Understanding the Woman Who Wants a Mattress

In my house, my wife is the boss of just about everything, but she is NOT THE BOSS OF ME…(yeah right). She keeps the checkbook, manages the social calendar, keeps track of the kids’ activities, and makes almost all the purchasing decisions. By ALL, I mean everything from groceries and home furnishings to the clothes in my closet. However, when it comes to computers or electronics of any kind, I have to draw the line.

There was a recent survey featured in the April edition Sleep Savvy and Bed Times that I thought was really interesting. Fleishman-Hillard, a national public relations firm, partnered with Hearst Magazines to follow up on their 2008 study called “Women, Power & Money.” They updated the survey in September of 2011 and uncovered some really interesting information about shopping for home furnishings that the mattress industry should pay attention to.

Where women go for information

  • The top three places women go for information during the learning phase of a purchase are: 1. Friends and family; 2. Spouse or partner; 3. Retail Sales Associates. Word-of-mouth marketing is incredibly important and that means you need to figure out what people are saying about your products and services and determine how to steer that conversation. More importantly, if the feedback is negative and people aren’t happy, maybe it’s time to reevaluate your business. In addition, ask yourself how much time you spend with RSAs doing product training, coaching them on the consumer, and simply learning from their daily experiences. They are very relevant in the sales process and the best team will win.

The factors that influence a purchase

  • What information do women use to make a decision? Price leads that list, with quality of craftsmanship and quality of materials following close behind. As a component supplier, I enjoy hearing that craftsmanship and materials matter because it confirms what I have always felt. Since the downturn in the economy, there has been a major shift in the way people shop. Consumers are more discerning about how they spend their money. If you are going to sell them something in the big ticket category, you really need to build value more than ever. Banging the “quality” drum is fine, but if you don’t back it up with some narrative on how you achieve that quality, you will fall flat. What are you doing to highlight the components used in making the mattresses? See how my friend Simon Spinks does it when he talks about the wool his company puts in its products. This is NOT your average approach.

The Joint Decision

  • Yes, the woman is powerful when it comes to mattress buying, but for big ticket purchases of $500 or more, about 85% of females say the buying decision should be a joint one. Of course you should consider the female buyer in about everything you do, but as I have said in past blogs, this is NOT a male-versus-female issue — it’s 100% about targeting the segment of the market that values sleep. Men are very much a part of this equation and if we lose sight of that, we will miss opportunities.

Thank you Julie Palm, Sleep Savvy, and Bed Times for printing this article. It is great information that I feel more people should be reading. The question is, what will we do with it?! How well do you focus on the impact of female influence? In the comments section below, share some of your experiences.

6 thoughts on “Understanding the Woman Who Wants a Mattress

  1. Hi Mark — Thanks for being thought-provoking, as always 🙂 and for referencing the BedTimes and Sleep Savvy story 🙂

    I may be biased and far from impartial when it comes to mattress shopping, but the No. 1 thing this female looks for when shopping for a bed is a pleasant, helpful sales associate with a great “bedside manner.” Someone who doesn’t mind the fact that the customer may know a few things about mattresses, too. Heck, almost everyone does a good bit of online research before making a big purchase, so plenty of shoppers must feel as I do–that they already know a few things about mattresses before they walk in your store [yes, there’s too much misinformation online, I know]. So I can say for certain women don’t want to be talked down to and they want to like and respect the person they’re buying from.

  2. Mark, this is a wonderful blog you have. I have been researching around myself to buy a new mattress for our home, and I must say I definitely agree with you on women making the mattress buying decision. My husband is only going to chip in when I final them down to top 3 options and then also I doubt if I will get much input except for price inquiry 🙂 I have been looking to splurge a bit and narrowed down my buying decision to Memory Foam mattress, as I am based in UK I have decided to go with this website for delivering at my location. Can you give any pointers on what do I need to check before parting with my money?

  3. hello,
    You really cleared up a lot of things for me. It’s really hard to find proper info about mattresses that isn’t just some commercially sponsored blurb. I’ve been looking for a good mattress. I’ll be shifting to Tulsa around New Year’s and I’m throwing out the old Spring mattress cause i think it’s lived its life. Is there a affordable brand you recommend? I’m really set on Memory Foam mattresses, but the ones with the cooling gel things get a bit expensive. I have mild spondylitis and so a good mattress is really crucial. If you have a recommendation for pillows, I’d be willing to listen to that as well.
    Thank you
    Janna Jamieson

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