I haven’t seen the numbers for 2018 but I’m guessing that the e-commerce/direct to consumer channel has yet again captured the majority of the industry growth. This is where most of the advertising dollars are being spent and no doubt where the excitement and momentum is at the moment. So what role are you playing as we watch this shift happen?
Are you one of the people that explains it away saying that it will cap out soon because return rates are high so the business model won’t be sustainable. There are also those that believe the cost structure is out of wack and it’s impossible for those guys to make money because of the required ad spend to get traffic to the sites? How about the opinion that consumers want to feel the bed before they buy it so most people won’t be going online to purchase a mattress. If you or your company is buying into some version of this narrative, you could end up like Blockbuster or Toys R Us.
One-sided beds worked, memory foam isn’t a fad and continues taking market share from traditional mattresses, and beds in a box are here to stay. We may not want to believe something is happening so to make ourselves feel better we look for big rocks to hide behind. These rocks will cost us our business if we don’t get real with what’s going on.
Many large brick and mortar retailers still haven’t created the kind of experience that will make their customers actually WANT to come in and shop with them. Product for a price advertising is still the go-to for many in terms of how they spend their money so there is very little to no emotional tug or connection to the people that they want shopping their stores. (Emotions drive the sale right?) The vast majority of retailers are giving most of their floor to products that customers can find anywhere in their market vs. the e-commerce guys all offering something totally different from the competition. So why is this all happening?
Either the brick and mortar guys don’t believe in a unique shopping experience, strong messaging, and differentiated products, OR, they are finding their own way to convince themselves that the path they are on will be good enough.
The convenience of the internet, social proof of 5-star ratings, and the desire to avoid the painful process of trying to understand/shop the mattress category are going to give consumers every reason they need to shop online. It’s not going to gobble up all of the business but I think where we are is just the beginning. The GOOD NEWS is that there are ways to prevent it from happening to your stores.
We have the merchandising part figured out for you. If you’re a retailer and want to see the most compelling/unique product solutions in Las Vegas come visit me in B980 and see what the all-new Spink and Co. and Dormeo collections can do for you in 2019. Give your customer something special and they will reward you. It’s only part of the solution, but a very profitable part.