Sleep Retailer eNews | June 29, 2017

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Serta Simmons Bedding Launches Direct-To-Consumer Brand

SSB Tomorrow Sleep1

Serta Simmons Bedding has entered the direct-to-consumer mattress market with the launch of Tomorrow Sleep. More than just another bed-in-a-box brand, Tomorrow Sleep was developed as a new kind of one-stop-sleep-shop: it offers a comprehensive sleep system that includes everything from a hybrid mattress to a sleep tracking device to light-diminishing drapes. Like many of today’s new mattress start-ups, the brand provides a simplified online buying process at more approachable price points - but it has a clear leg-up from many of its online competitors. Though it will be run independently from SSB’s other mattress brands, Tomorrow Sleep will leverage the extensive manufacturing resources, research and knowledge of its parent company. More than simply disrupting the market disrupters, Tomorrow Sleep's business model and product assortment reveal some of the key attributes that consumers are looking for from their mattress buying experience.

For SSB, Tomorrow Sleep is a smart response to the changing buying habits of today’s consumers. Sold exclusively online, the brand's Hybrid Mattress not only offers shopping convenience but delivers more advanced technology at the $550 price point. The bed combines premium temperature regulating memory foam with a wrapped coil system and a ventilated rail system. But it doesn’t stop there. The full Tomorrow Sleep System also includes a variety of different sleep accessories such as pillows, sheets, comforters, protectors and even drapes. For tech-savvy consumers, the SleepTracker Monitor utilizes bio sensors to monitor body movements and heart rate then delivers personalized sleep suggestions. While each product will be sold separately, the price tag for the full sleep system will start at just $1,300.

By offering a total sleep system for the price of many individual mattresses, Tomorrow Sleep is making it easy for consumers to upgrade their entire sleep environment. More than just simplifying the buying process, it also reflects a more holistic approach to sleep and wellness: one that emphasizes how many different factors can have an effect on sleep quality. For traditional mattress retailers, Tomorrow Sleep may serve as a good example of how to expand your product offerings to better connect with your customers.

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Why Are Consumers Choosing Online Over In-Store Shopping?

Business Online Shopping

It’s all about the experience, according to a new study from GPShopper. Turns out most brick-and-mortar retail stores are still lacking when it comes to meeting consumers’ shopping expectations. Titled “Reality of Retail: Consumer Connection,” this new survey explored how customers feel about shopping both in-store and online—discovering valuable insights about what sort of experiences and factors matter most to them. For retailers, this information can provide much-needed direction for what sort of innovations they could implement to boost store traffic and improve their bottom line.

GPShopper teamed up with research firm YouGov to poll nearly 1,200 adults in the United States, asking questions about their own shopping habits, feelings and expectations. For many of these consumers, the majority of their in-store shopping experiences make them “feel nothing,” with the second most common feeling being “anxious.” In fact, more than 70% of respondents said that shopping at brick-and-mortar stores is dull and inspiring—while only 42% found in-store shopping to be more expensive than ecommerce. Interestingly, only 28% said they shop online because it’s a fun experience, while 58% said they turn to ecommerce because it’s cheaper.

This paints an interesting picture of why consumers are purchasing online. When lacking a fun or inspiring shopping experience, people prioritize price and convenience instead. Other factors driving consumers away from physical stores include the lack of new products in store and poor service.

Other than simply trying to rectify the negative assumptions consumers have about in-store shopping, what else can brick-and-mortar retailers do to meet their customers expectations? GPShopper’s survey also looked at what sort of technological innovation resonated most with consumers. They found that 85% of respondents value ratings-based product recommendations, while 80% enjoy purchasing items online and then picking them up in a physical store. Of particular note to the bedding retail industry, this study found that 86% of consumers polled enjoy “experience stores”—retail spaces where they can test the products in person, but then buy on mobile or online.

Ultimately, this study reinforces the fact that in order to be successful in today’s marketplace, retailers must offer a seamless cross-platform experience. By integrating their digital and brick-and-mortar efforts, traditional retailers can create a more fun in-store experience that offers all the convenience of ecommerce shopping.

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The Interest In Adjustable Bases Continues To Grow

Saatva Lineal Adjustable Base

Americans are doing more and more in their beds these days, but it’s not what you may be thinking. The Saatva Company recently conducted a survey that found that people are increasingly doing a wide variety of daily activities from their beds, including reading, watching TV and working. But many of these same people are still having trouble getting comfortable. In addition to providing insight on the different types of activities that are now being conducted from bed, the survey also reinforces the growing consumer interest and awareness in adjustable sleep systems. By understanding how consumers are really using their bed, retailers can provide more meaningful solutions—and better communicate the benefits of switching to a power base.

The “Elevate Your Sleep” survey was conducted by Toluna, a research insights company, who queried 1,000 adults about their attitudes, opinions and behaviors about sleep and adjustable beds. According to the results, more than half of respondents reported watching TV, browsing the internet, reading email and checking social media from bed—with 60% saying they would prefer to watch a show or movie in their bed than on their couch. While many of them are already using their bed for more than just sleep, 45% said they wished they could do even more daily activities there. What’s stopping them? The biggest challenge is getting comfortable, with 66% agreeing that finding the right position was the hardest part of doing daily activities in their bed.

As such, more consumers are looking to adjustable bases to make their beds more comfortable for these activities. The survey found that 60% are interested in a bed that helps them rest or relax in a variety of positions, while 55% of respondents have already considered purchasing an adjustable bed. This points to a major opportunity for retailers. While the adjustable category has, in the past, struggled to overcome its “hospital bed” comparisons, today’s consumers are more aware of the benefits and capabilities of these more high-tech bases. With a wide range of adjustable options on the market today, it’s easier than ever for retailers to help customers find the best base for all of their bed-bound activities.

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Don’t Succumb To The Summer Sleep Slump

Sleeping Woman

Even the best sleepers can hit a wall when it comes to getting shuteye in the summer. While for many, it’s easy to keep the bedroom at ideal sleeping temps simply by flicking on the air conditioner, for those who don’t have access to A/C or are trying to minimize their carbon footprint, sleep doesn’t have to be so elusive, even when the temperatures start to rise. A little science, ingenuity and common sense can make a world of difference in the quality of your summer sleep.

A first step to combating nighttime heat is to try to keep out as much daytime heat as possible. Keep the bedroom curtains or blinds closed; sometimes it even makes sense to keep the windows closed, especially during the hottest part of the day. If possible, switch to insulated curtains. Not only will they keep your room cooler by blocking heat, they will also keep it warmer in the winter – not to mention that most insulated curtains are also great at blocking any ambient light, resulting in a darker room for sleeping.

Establishing a cross breeze will help to wick moisture off of your body. This works best if you have windows on opposite sides of the room, opening both windows so that the breeze flows through one and out the other. To enhance the cross breeze effect, you can position a fan in one window. When the air temperature dips outside, say in the evening, turn the fan to exhaust – it will suck in cooler air from the open window, venting out the hot air of the room. If you don’t have opposing windows, try placing two fans at opposite ends of the bed for an artificial, but no less pleasing cross breeze. Only have one fan? No worries! Aim it at the bed with a bowl of ice in the path of the breeze. The ice will cool the air as it rushes over, giving you a refreshing, cool gust. If your primary cooling device is a ceiling fan, be sure that the blades are going in the right direction, pushing the air down.

You’ll also want to pay attention to what you’re putting on your bed. Choose lightweight, natural bedding like 100% cotton percale, batiste or voile that will allow for optimum breathability. Natural linen is also a good option for summer; it’s highly absorbent, wicking moisture away from your body. Of course, there are also oodles of performance materials out there that use fabric technology to help you sleep cooler. You’ll want to avoid super high thread counts as the higher the thread count, the more tightly packed together the fibers, decreasing breathability. For covers – if you opt for any at all – go for open weave blankets that will be better at venting body heat, keeping your feet outside the covers to allow your body to better regulate its temperature.

Preparing your body for summer sleep is just as important as creating a summer sleep sanctuary. Keep exercise, alcohol and heavy food to at least three hours before turning in. While exercise earlier in the day is definitely beneficial to sleep regardless of the season, being active too close to bedtime can keep your body stimulated and too warm to calm down. And while alcohol might make you drowsy, it’ll likely mess with the quality of sleep you’ll be getting, disrupting your deep sleep periods. Likewise heavy meals that are rich in protein will cause your body to work overtime, creating metabolic heat and raising your internal temperature.

Try taking a warm shower or bath prior to going to bed; the moisture on your body acts like sweat – as it evaporates, it has a cooling effect. While some people think sleeping in the nude is what summers were made for, you might want to rethink that. Wearing light, breathable pajamas might actually be more comfortable than sleeping naked as the fabric will help move moisture away from the body. For super hot nights, you could try spritzing your pjs with water, or dampening your sheets ever so slightly, to take even greater advantage of the evaporation process.

And don’t forget about the magic residing in your freezer – ice! Freezing a plastic bottle of water (but only fill it about two-thirds full so the water has space to expand as it freezes) and wrapping it in a light cloth and hugging it like a teddy bear or placing it beneath your pillow can give you a reverse heating bottle effect. Similarly, chilling a rice pack (or a clean sock filled with plain, old rice & tossed in the freezer for a couple of hours) and putting it on pulse points such as your wrists, neck and temples can help to lower your body temp, sending you off to La La Land feeling cooler and more refreshed.

By keeping these tips in your proverbial back pocket, when the heat hits, you’ll be ready to hit back and sink into a serenely satisfying summertime slumber.

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