The New Mattress Sales Reality: Four Retail Tips
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By Ben Trapskin, The Sleep Sherpa (www.sleepsherpa.com)
It wasn’t all that long ago that buying clothes online was a funny concept. How would you know if it fits? How do you return it? Will it arrive in time? Today we are experiencing the opposite, the showrooming effect, where consumers are hesitant to purchase from brick and mortar stores without checking online for a better deal or more information on the product from sources they trust. This is especially true in the case of mattress stores which now serve as a space for consumers to research their product while laying on it. So, how do you, as a mattress retailer, cope with this new reality? Here are four ideas.
1. Realized The Importance Of Social Media & Review Sites:
Instead of relying on a salesperson to guide them, consumers are now tapping into social media and other sites that have reviews and testimonials. Some online mattress reviewers personally sleep on every mattress they review, which gives them much more context than the average consumer who has no framework as to how one mattress compares to another mattress in the marketplace.
Review sites give consumers a peek behind the curtain, or in this case a peek behind the mattress ticking, to really see how a mattress will perform. Armed with this new information, they may come into a store with a strong opinion on what they want to buy. A company called Hassless Mattress is taking this to an extreme by opening mattress stores with no employees. Customers can try out mattresses at their leisure with no pressure and research mattresses online at their pace when questions arise.
2. Tell Your Mattress Story:
It’s no longer sufficient to just to have a good product. Instead, consumers want the story behind the mattress and what sets it apart from the competition. New mattress startups such as Casper have proven that buying a mattress can be cool. What will your customers say about their mattress buying experience at their next dinner conversation with friends?
3. Have A Consistent Message:
The eldest Millenials are starting to come of age, and more than any other generation, their physical and virtual lives blur together. In order for you, as a brick and mortar store with an online presence to have a positive shopping experience, your online showroom must be just as appealing as the physical. Work to create a consistent message, show more than just an image, a brand name and a price, plus create a consistent look in both spaces to win over this new generation of shoppers.
4. Help Customers Feel Secure:
Finally, everyone wants to feel secure in their purchase. Online mattress companies recognize that customers are taking a risk by “buying without trying.” In return these companies are providing generous trial periods that eliminate the risk of being stuck with the wrong choice. Others such as Luxi have created modular mattresses that converts to soft, medium for firm to adapt to changing needs. This results in more positive reviews and less negative ones centered around returns.
More about the Sleep Sherpa: Ben Trapskin is a new type of mattress expert, a self-described “sleep geek.” Ben evaluates mattresses on his website, www.SleepSherpa.com , and he has become a leader among a new industry of mattress review websites which have become popularized recently with the proliferation of online mattress sellers.
Consumers used to have no choice but to go to a store to buy a mattress, which was often a dreaded experience. The number of options was overwhelming, and the sales process could be unpleasant. When marketers began selling mattresses online, consumers welcomed the simplified buying experience, but then things got complicated, again, when dozens of companies began selling mattresses online, with all of the products looking alike and making the same promises.
Ben Trapskin, aka the Sleep Sherpa, came to the rescue of consumers, helping guide them through the mountains of mattresses, to find the best mattress for them. Ben conducted extensive research and invented tests to compare and rate mattresses, and he posted his data and mattress reviews on Sleep Sherpa website to help others by sharing the knowledge he gained.
While many other mattress review sites keep popping up across the Internet -- many out to make a quick profit by exploiting the online mattress boom -- Sleep Sherpa stands out as an objective, data-driven resource that offers true value to consumers in the market for a mattress.
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