Sleep Retailer News Preview | Jan. 5, 2017

Here's a sneak peek at Sleep Retailer News, our forthcoming e-newsletter and your newest resource for the latest updates on the bedding retail industry. Sleep Retailer News was designed to make staying informed as simple as possible. Each newsletter will offer easy-to-skim summaries of some of the most recent industry news stories, highlighting just the key points and why they matter. 

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Sleep Number Launches New Smart Bed

Sleep Number 360

The excitement around “smart sleep” has grown steadily over the years—and it saw another major boost this week with the launch of the Sleep Number 360 Smart bed. Debuting at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, this new bed does more than just monitor sleep habits; it automatically adjusts its comfort to accommodate changes in pressure or movement during the night. Not only does this new smart bed signal towards the “future of sleep,” it points to a shifting consumer interest in more pragmatic sleep technologies. Additionally, it creates a greater platform for the entire “smart bed” market—which includes products like Kingsdown’s Sleep Smart mattress and Responsive Surface Technology’s ReST bed. As consumer interest continues to grow, traditional retailers may find more customers looking for these high-tech mattresses.

Using the latest in biometric sleep tracking technology, the Sleep Number 360 smart mattress adjusts the bed’s comfort in real time to maintain the ideal comfort and support level for each sleeper—no matter their position. Additionally, the mattress comes with an automatically-adjusting bed base, a unique foot-warming feature and a smart alarm option. For retailers looking to leverage the buzz around smart beds in their own stores, there are a number of products currently available on the market. A longtime leader in sleep science, Kingsdown’s Sleep Smart system was engineered using more than a decade’s worth of research from the company’s Sleep To Live Institute. Using advanced diagnostic technology, the mattress determines the proper support needs—then allows consumers to adjust three support zones on their side of the mattress using a hand-held remote control. Touted as the first “truly smart bed,” Responsive Surface Technology’s ReST bed combines sleep tracking with real-time adjustment. Using a patented pressure-sensing fabric that continuously monitors nearly 2,000 pressure points on the body, the mattress automatically inflates or deflates five zoned air chambers—adjusting the sleep surface to the user’s specific needs. With price points that range between $3,999 and $5,999, these “smart beds” give retailers a high-quality, big-ticket item that resonates with consumers’ growing interest in sleep technology.

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Better Business Bureau Lowers Rating for MyPillow

Woman sleeping on pillow

MyPillow has made quite a splash in the bedding accessories market as of late, due in part to its prolific infomercial-style TV ads. But the pillow producer came under fire this week, as the Better Business Bureau announced it had lowered the company’s rating to an ‘F’—citing a violation to its advertising code. Following a slew of customer complaints, the bureau deemed a number of MyPillow’s advertising tactics to be misleading, including its “buy-one-get-one-free” promotion. While none of the BBB violations were related to the product’s quality, the slashed rating serves as an important reminder for businesses everywhere to review the bureau’s codes so to avoid such violations—which can have a negative effect on sales.

The Better Business Bureau’s rating system uses an A+ through F letter-grade scale, representing the organization’s “degree of confidence that the business is operating in a trustworthy manner.” The unbiased system takes 17 different factors into account, including consumer concerns filed with the bureau. MyPillow’s new F rating was determined following more than 200 consumer complaints in regards to its ongoing “buy-one-get-one-free” offer. The BBB’s advertising code requires that  “BOGO” offers can be extended for a limited time only—otherwise it is considered the normal price of the product and promoting it as a sale is considered misleading. Additionally, MyPillow was penalized for the use of an “as seen on TV” claim on its products sold in-store. The company actually offers two different pillow constructions—one sold direct-to-consumer online and one that is available in retail stores—but the “as seen on TV” claim obscures the differences between the two. Finally, the bureau is also disputing MyPillow’s claim of offering a “full warranty” when, in fact, customers must pay a fee to return the pillow. The full BBB Code of Advertising includes 39 rules and can be read in its entirety on the bureau’s website.

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Four Tech Tips To Help Retailers Save Time

To Do List

Whether you’re wading through endless chatter on Twitter or watching as your new website somehow doubles the length of your to-do list, it can sometimes feel like technology is only making business more complicated. But there are a number of exciting new high-tech tools that are actually working to simplify our lives and increase productivity. Jennie Gilbert, COO of Retailer Web Services, has outlined four key tips for retailers looking to implement new technologies to streamline their sales and marketing processes. From automating product data updates to adopting review monitoring software and scheduling digital promotional calendars, these tips may just be the key to increasing your output in 2017.

Automate product data updates: Choose a website solution that allows you to automatically update product data, whether your adding new options or discontinuing old products.

Implement review monitoring software: Customer reviews are more important than ever these days, but it can be hard to keep track of all the different platforms. Choose and implement a software system that will monitor all of the review sites for you, automatically. Consistent monitoring of your online reputation will help you maintain an effective campaign to improve it.

Increase good reviews about your store: The true path to increasing your average star rating and getting more good reviews about your business: consistency. By adopting a new sales process that includes asking for each customer’s email address, you can automatically solicit new reviews after every purchase.

Be more promotional: Take the time up front to review and select a digital marketing package that can deploy professionally designed and branded turnkey promotions on a timely basis. Though it might seem daunting to understand and set your marketing automation settings the first time around, this is a time saving trick that will increase your returns.

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