How to Better Assist Mattress Shoppers Online

How to Better Assist Mattress Shoppers Online

By: Kristy Esch, Senior Marketing Manager, PERQ

 

Mattress shoppers tend to start research online. Help guide consumers along with useful, personalized information on your retail mattress website to win them over.

 

Mattress shoppers Bryant and Cassi Magnus researched new mattresses online for six months, evaluating different styles, brands and consumer reviews. The couple wanted a bigger bed to accommodate their expanding family, but were also motivated by sleep problems. Bryant suffered stiffness upon waking, the painful toll of working a physically demanding job as owner and lead technician at a pest control company.

 

They visited several mattress showrooms but said the experience left them weary, describing the in-person mattress shopping encounters as generic and not very educational. Cassi says the mattress sales teams instructed them to lay on different models and asked which one was better, instead of helping them figure out which mattress might alleviate Bryant’s discomfort.

 

Many mattress shoppers face specific sleep issues like Bryant and want an expert opinion on how they can sleep better by buying the right bed. Guide them through the sales journey and address their literal and figurative pain points with helpful, personalized information online.

Mattress Shoppers Seek Solutions to Solve Sleep Problems

A month after welcoming their first baby, the Magnuses bought a mattress on Amazon. While they did research on multiple mattress store websites before purchasing from the e-commerce titan, Cassi says the retail sites weren’t informative or helpful.

 

“Most were just selling stuff,” she says, adding that she wished she could have found personalized guidance and research when searching online. “It certainly would have helped.”

 

With so many online mattress-buying options now available to consumers, it’s critically important for brick-and-mortar mattress stores to assist shoppers who visit their websites as they decide which mattress type fits their sleep needs and which retailer showrooms to visit.

 

“Mattresses are a really personal purchase for people, and there are all kinds of ways mattresses can play a role in helping you sleep better,” says Doug Stump, national sales director at PERQ, a technology company that works with home furnishing retailers to improve their existing websites by creating an interactive online shopping experience. “Try to engage the consumer to discover some of this on their own. People are expert researchers, so give them online tools to use and some guidance that will really help.”

 

Real estate broker Dave Bell of Indianapolis says he did “tons” of online research before buying a new mattress from Mattress Firm in March. “I had a lot of stiffness, neck and back pain, with restless nights sometimes,” Bell says.

 

Using consumer reviews to evaluate quality and narrow his options, Bell then tried out multiple mattress brands at a recent home show. Armed with more information on his options, he says he visited mattress store showrooms during slow business hours so he could get better service and individualized attention. Ultimately, he found a comfortable mattress and says he feels much better in the morning.

 

When asked if he found mattress retailer websites helpful, Bell says the sites didn’t offer him much research assistance up front. “I find so much changes between mattress purchases that it’s difficult to know where to start and what to look for,” he explains. “It’s a big decision, no matter the cost, that will affect my overall health and performance if I can’t get a good night’s rest. You have to do your homework.”

Give Helpful Information to Guide Mattress Shoppers

Jeff Giagnocavo and Ben McClure, owners of Gardner’s Mattress & More in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, prove it’s in a retailer’s best interest to educate and help consumers before trying to sell them a mattress. The business partners not only used this marketing tactic to turn around Gardner’s plummeting sales amid the country’s economic collapse, they then started Automatic Mattress Profits so others could emulate their successful sales strategy.

 

As a coaching and consulting service, AMP helps independent retailers increase sales by using an “information-first retailing” model that includes mattress buyer guides they created. Consumers can download a guide from a participating retailer’s website, which both empowers the mattress shopper and builds trust in that store by being helpful for free. In return, mattress stores collect lead data when the potential customer enters their contact information to download the guide.

 

“Focus on how a mattress fits their sleep needs first and shift price further down the line in importance,” Giagnocavo advises. “We allow our clients to help before they sell.”

Personalize the Mattress Shopping Process

To complement their mattress guides, Gardner’s Mattress added the PERQ Online Guided Shopping Solution to the store’s existing website a year ago. They’ve since become a reseller of the software, recommending it to AMP’s mattress retailer clients.

 

Ben McClure says the most successful online PERQ tool the store implemented is an interactive mattress assessment “What Mattress Style is Best for You?” that helps the store understand each customer’s individual sleep needs so they can propose the best product.

 

It also gives the store in-depth lead information on any consumer who goes through the experience, so they can personalize follow-up emails and address a customer’s specific needs when they visit the showroom.

 

“Try to help guide mattress shoppers and give them a starting point based on what they’re trying to achieve,” Doug Stump says. He often hears from furniture store owners that shoppers bring their mattress assessment results to the store when ready to buy.

 

“If you don’t have any kind of research tools on the website, people just end up looking at all kinds of mattresses,” Stump says. “Most are not comfortable walking into a store blind to talk about a $2,000 purchase with an aggressive salesperson.”

 

That’s exactly how consumer Cheryl Toomey feels. She’s considering buying a new mattress to improve her sleep. “I have a lot of problems sleeping. I don’t know if it’s my mattress but it certainly could be a big factor,” says Toomey, who realized her old bed may be the problem after going on vacation. “I slept like a dream.”

 

Toomey recently bought a couch, and when shopping at home furnishing stores she saw just how many mattresses are on the market since she last bought one. “Mattresses are not cheap,” she says. “I don’t want to go in and pay a big chunk of money, and then not be happy with it.”

 


5 Quick Ways to Help Mattress Shoppers

For many, it’s been a decade or longer since they bought a new bed. The plethora of choices can overwhelm even the savviest consumer. Provide expert sleep advice to help mattress shoppers as they begin researching mattresses online.

 

  1. Start the Conversation Online

Make your website the store’s best salesperson. Guide them through the sales process with helpful research and calls to action like a free sleep consultation or coupon. Collect website visitor lead data and use it to continue the conversation when they come into the showroom.

 

  1. Assess Sleep Preferences

Learn as much as possible about each customer’s sleep preferences, so you can give advice on the best mattress types to meet their individual needs. Offer an online assessment to find out what sleep problems you can help them solve.

 

  1. Educate Mattress Shoppers

Provide educational materials on your website to assist consumers who want to research their options before visiting a local showroom and talking to a salesperson. It gives shoppers more confidence and they’ll have a better idea of what they want.

 

  1. Engage Consumers

To stand out among the online competition, create engaging website experiences that keep consumers on your site longer and build trust in your brand. Don’t expect shoppers to sift through endless pages of irrelevant inventory. Create interactive content to engage shoppers.

 

  1. Give Personalized Advice

We’re all too busy to pay attention to generic retail messaging. Get a consumer’s attention by employing smart technology that delivers personalized content based on what a shopper views on the website. Follow up with online visitors with a phone call or email thanking them for taking the time to look at your website and personally invite them to visit the showroom.

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