In an attempt to beat Apple on its own turf, Samsung is launching a “test drive”-style program in five U.S. cities. The move will see customers encouraged to try out Samsung’s smartphones and smart watches for 21 days before choosing whether to go ahead and purchase the device.
The news comes from AdAge (via iDownloadBlog), which explains that the initiative will be ran out of “pop-up” stores in Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Santa Clara, California starting in July. The program is already available at a fifth location in lower Manhatten.
Customers can test either the Galaxy 5S, the Note 3, the Gear smart watch, or the Gear Fit device for a total of 21 days; a refundable $350 deposit must be offered, and Samsung notes that it’ll cover wireless charges incurred during the trial period.
The gimmick is not just for driving sales, but it’s part of Samsung’s broader tactic to introduce consumers to its portfolio of futuristic devices – ones with largely unproven market traction.
Melissa McNutt, senior manager of Samsung’s “experimental marketing” division, said: “Our trial program offers consumers the convenience and accessibility to explore and test Samsung Galaxy products in their own environment, enabling them to experience the incredible things they can do with our products and make educated decisions prior to purchase.”
However, because Samsung doesn’t have a retail presence in the United States, customers impressed with their test-driven smartphone or smart watch must purchase the device elsewhere.
It's an interesting initiative, though of course, it remains to be seen whether the program will pay off. We’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.
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