LAS VEGAS — Outerwall Inc., the parent company of businesses including Coinstar and Redbox, has quietly been piloting a new line of kiosks called SAMPLEit, dispensing beauty and cosmetics product samples for $1, along with coupons for the purchase of a full product.
Outerwall is talking about and demonstrating SAMPLEit for the first time publicly here at CES this week. The company has rolled out the SAMPLEit kiosks at 100 locations, primarily in Texas for now, and it’s aiming for a broader rollout after working out any issues with the pilot.
It’s part of a broader attempt by the Bellevue-based company to expand its business into new areas after pulling the plug on its movie streaming joint venture with Verizon last year.
Outerwall CEO Scott Di Valerio said in an interview at CES that the company will make revenue not only from the sale of the samples but also from distribution fees to be paid by the beauty products companies.
“We think this can be a really interesting one not only for the products but also because of the data that you learn about the consumer — how many times they’re coming back, what are they sampling, where are they sampling, and how are they using the coupons,” he said.
Customers have the option to enter their email addresses to receive updates, and there is also an associated SAMPLEit app. The company is also testing the use of beacons on the kiosks to unlock alerts in the app when a regular customer is within range of the kiosk in a store.
For customers, the ability to try a sample before buying full package is especially important in the case of beauty products. The kiosks dispense perfume, skincare products, cosmetics, hair products and other samples.