Before I get started I wanted to give you a heads up on the Dos Marcos Podcast this week on mattress tariffs. What impact will this have on your business? Listen is as we talk through the good and bad.
What is the single largest obstacle for most people when buying a bed online? Not being able to actually try it out don’t you think? So said differently, the biggest advantage for the brick and mortar guys is their ability to let the consumer get a feel for the products they are about to buy. So why are people not making this a bigger deal?
I am not a retailer, nor am I tapped into everything being done out there but from what I see and hear, there isn’t much of a direct attack on the idea of buying a bed online. According to Mike Magnuson of Goodbed.com the D2C channel is growing at a rate of 20-30% a year, now has over 150 online brands, and accounted for 18-20% of retail sales in 2018. Is this a threat that should be ignored? If you are a brick and mortar retailer reading this right now I want you to visualize the map of where you have your stores. Now I want you to add another layer where your competitors have their stores in relationship to your stores. Finally, I want you to add in one last layer of stores. You just found out that a new company called E-COMMERCE just announced store openings in YOUR markets and they are going to drop 150 locations all around you. How would you react to that because this is the reality you are facing today, the difference being you just don’t see them as you drive around town.
Back to my original point. Being able to try a bed in your store is a big advantage but are you leveraging it? Some retailers are and make it a HUGE part of who they are and for good reason. Think about other consumer products that you are fitted for prior to buying them. Guys have you ever had a nice suit tailor made for you? Ladies, how about a dress? Have you ever been fitted for a pair of shoes? Golf clubs? When someone is selling you something and takes the time to customize a product experience for you don’t you feel like you are getting something better than if you were simply buying a product “off the rack”?
I know that for most of us we can’t customize the surface comfort of our beds but what about the sleep ecosystem? (See THIS POST for my thoughts on how I see the future of retail.) Consider all of these variables…mattress height, comfort level, price, support system, pillow comfort/size/shape, adjustable base functionality, mattress protector’s impact on allergies/temperature/stress/protection, sound in the room (sound machines), light in the room (face mask, blinds). How many people shopping for a bed do you think actually understand the impact of all of these things when it comes to getting great sleep? Remember, you’re selling a total sleep experience not just a mattress.
Some of you are reading this and screaming at me through your screen saying “BUT WE DO THAT QUINN!” Maybe you do, but do you tell anyone? How about…
- Our people are trained to help you understand your sleep and find solutions that will improve your quality of sleep, therefore, your quality of life. Come and see us and let us customize your sleep experience so you wake up every day feeling INCREDIBLE!
- If sleep is important to you then you have to make sure your bedroom is set up for the best sleep experience. With our process and highly trained sleep consultants, we can help you find the perfect sleep solution CUSTOMIZED JUST FOR YOU.
- We understand buying your dog food online, we do it too. But why in the world would you buy something online that is critical to your health and happiness without first trying it out? Come into our store and we will CUSTOM FIT you for the best sleep experience of your life!
- If you want to sleep great and live a better quality of life as a result, then you should understand everything that you need in order to get that kind of sleep. Come visit us and we will unlock the secrets of great sleep and custom fit you for the best sleep experience of your life.
- And my favorite….Sleeping on a bed in a box might be a lot like drinking wine from a box. They might get the job done at first, but the next morning could be a little rough. Come and visit us and we will custom fit you for the perfect sleep experience so you wake up feeling great every day!
Some retailers are using cool technology to fit consumers for their beds. My buddy Brent Biermann works with XSENSOR and provides total systems for retailers so that they can help the consumer see how pressure points impact quality of sleep. How about the bedMATCH program from Kingsdown that takes consumers through a series of questions with a bed match suggestion at the end.
The bottom line here is that creating a great experience for your consumer is a pretty big deal. From the minute they open your front door until the time they leave they need to feel like you are there to help them solve their problem. If a consumer knows that you are NOT in the mattress business, but are there to serve them and fit them for something that can change their life, then you will have a big advantage over anyone that can’t do the same.