For the average consumer, finding the perfect mattress can be a challenge, especially with the growing number of brands, materials and comfort levels from which to choose. Looking for new ways to better serve their customers, many manufacturers and retailers are using diagnostic systems as retail selling aids.
Whether high-tech pressure-mapping or thorough questionnaires, these systems help RSAs direct their customers to the beds best suited to their needs—a process that’s proven to boost consumer confidence and lower return rates.
Kingsdown’s bedMATCH program is the fourth generation of a highly-advanced diagnostic approach to mattress selection and personalization, first introduced in 1997. In working to streamline the customization process of therapedic support systems, sleep specialist Dr. Oexman and Kingsdown’s Director of Research Dave Scott developed an algorithm to diagnose the appropriate amount of pressure needed at various points of the body, determining the right level of support for the least amount of pressure. This ergonomic approach to mattress selection relied on the assumption that the right amount of support would ensure a better night’s sleep.
Since then, Kingsdown has invested $5 million to verify these claims and today bedMATCH is the culmination of more than 15 years of research and 6 million sleeper profiles, providing the highest level of diagnostic analysis available.
The in-store system is based on 18 different statistical measurements, including height, distribution of weight, degree of lumbar curve, and a variety of pain calculations specific to certain points on the body. By combining advanced measurement technology with a wealth of research, bedMATCH differentiates itself with its ability to make accurate, well-informed links between this information and the exact bedding features necessary for optimal sleep.
When executed properly in-store, retailers using bedMATCH saw their close rates increase by an average of five points and the total store AUSP improve by $300 a set, resulting in higher store revenues.
SERTA: ONLINE SHOPPING TOOLS
In recent market research, Serta found that many bedding customers were frustrated and confused by the current mattress buying process. In an effort to reach out to the many customers who conduct extensive research online before coming in-store, the company is introducing its new mattress selector and Serta Test Rest app to help unify the online and in-store sales process.
This two-step process first takes shoppers to the online mattress selector, which allows users to answer a short set of questions to provide them with specific iComfort and/or iSeries models to should try at their local retailer. Once in the store, shoppers can use the Serta Test Rest app (which is free to download through the app store) to rank their experience with each mattress, making it easier to remember which models were preferred.
BOYD SPECIALTY SLEEP: SLEEP METRICS
Introduced in 2008, Boyd Specialty Sleep’s; Sleep Metrics Program uses specially designed software to analyze specific consumer information (body type, sleep style, special needs) alongside information gathered from the in-store diagnostic “selection mattress.” The system assigns a Comfort Index score, generating a list of recommended products to best meet their needs—including mattresses, pillows, protectors, adjustable power bases or phase-change materials.
Sleep Metrics takes the guesswork out of buying a new bed. “The Sleep Metrics system creates a more consultative and professional experience for the shopper and enhances the selling skills and success of the retail sales associate,” president Denny Boyd explains.
Boyd has recently updated the program to include an online version, based on current market research indicating that nearly 80 percent of consumers research products online before they shop in-store. Retailers can now include a link for Sleep Metrics on its own website, enabling consumers to take a diagnostic survey online and bring their results to the store.
Created specifically for the mattress market by XSENSOR, REVEAL simplifies the rest-test process. REVEAL analyzes the body surface pressures with 1,664 sensors to give unbiased, real-time recommendations of an appropriate mattress category. The highly accurate technology works to educate customers with a dynamic image of their body impression as it’s measured on a mattress—a real-time approach that provides consumer confidence and lowers confusion, while the three-step software ensures a more consistent selling process.
Available in both mobile and stationary versions, REVEAL has helped retail stores increase closing rates by 80% and sales margins by 50%, in addition to drastically reducing return rates.
KING KOIL: SLEEP ID
King Koil first introduced its SleepiD program in 2010 as a computer-assisted, in-store mattress selection system. Shoppers enter specific information about their sleep patterns, gender, height and weight, and SleepiD presents pressure map data of how different beds fit certain body-types. The system analyzes the consumer’s input to determine their sleep comfort identity based on the adequate levels of spinal support, and zero in on the system that will support their needs.
King Koil is currently updating the SleepID system as an in-depth, online program that will be available to retail customers and on its own web site. Working closely with the International Chiropractic Association, the digital version will include new education platforms and terminology that will help consumers actually define comfort and what they want in a mattress “as opposed to simply guessing by trial and error on packed and confusing sales floors,” King Koil executive Owen Shoemaker explains.
In its final form, King Koil’s new online mattress assessment program will be designed to pull consumers into stores with a far better understanding of what they want, helping retailers better stimulate traffic.
The first phase of the new program is planned for introduction in January, 2015.
Soft-Tex Manufacturing is bringing the innovative “Pillowise” app to the United States for the first time at the Summer Las Vegas Market. First created in 2003 by Dutch physical therapist Thijs van der Hilst, this unique system uses an advanced algorithm to determine the “perfect pillow” based on distance measurements between the head, neck and shoulders along with sleep style and preferred mattress firmness.
The sleek retail display stand holds the six pillow options, a hook for measuring tapes and an iPad holder to input the measurements. The app analyzes the results and assigns the consumer a color—pink, orange, green, blue, red, or purple—that is embroidered on the edges of the pillows found in-store. Consumers can access the Pillowise app online, on a mobile device, or in-store to enter their individual information, allowing them to do the measurements at home and come into the store with their color to simply test and buy the pillow.
“The concept of one or few sizes fits all has gone away in many other aspects of the bedding industry as a customized approach to sleep has become more popular,” said Senior Vice President of Sales and Business Development Jeff Chilton. “With Pillowise we are pushing that sleep is what’s most important and finding the best sleep doesn’t have to be a guessing game anymore.”