Specialty Sleep Association To Host Online Review Panel Discussion

The Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) is sponsoring a panel discussion on Monday, January 29 3:30-5:00 PM at the Las Vegas Winter Market that will address one of today’s hottest sales and marketing topics: ONLINE REVIEWS. Word-of-mouth has always been recognized as one of the strongest methods retailers can use to create and keep customers. Nowadays word-of-mouth has become word-online. Every retailer knows how important online customer reviews have become in the sales process and every retailer should want to know how to get verified reviews and use them to create more customers.

With that in mind, the SSA has put together a dynamic panel of internet professionals who make online product reviews their business. The basis for this discussion is to shed light on how independent retailers can get real reviews on both products and services at an accelerated rate over their competition.

The panel moderator will be Brian Davis, SSA board member and general manager of The Bedroom Store, St. Louis, MO. Says Davis, “Over the past 5 years our business has gone through a transformation like no other time in my past 30 years in the industry. The consumers path to your door now lies through your website.” Davis believes that traditional forms of advertising are becoming less and less relevant in driving consumers to his stores. “If you want consumers to shop your stores, you better have a great website giving them all the information they need, and online reviews for both your company and your products.” Davis is interested in discussing one of the big challenges within our industry: how do you get the reviews on both your products and company when you are increasingly losing foot traffic in your showrooms?

The dynamic SSA panel lineup at the Las Vega Market will deliver pertinent information for today’s independent retailer, answering that question.

Michael Magnuson, founder of leading consumer buying guide for mattresses GoodBed.com, will be sharing his perspective on the role of reviews in the mattress shopping journey today. He will draw from nearly 10 years of experience with GoodBed, during which time millions of consumers have used the site's unbiased reviews, expert advice, and sophisticated search tools for help in finding their own perfect mattress.Magnuson will also offer his thoughts on what mattress retailers and manufacturers need to know about reviews. This will include an overview of today's mattress review landscape, as well as best practices for collecting, managing, and utilizing reviews learned from over 200,000 mattress owners having shared their mattress experiences on GoodBed's independent review platform.

James Winn, VP sales and operations at Feefo, a global leader in product and service reviews, will be discussing the importance of collecting genuine, verified customer reviews in the furniture and mattress industries. Feefo is a Google Licensed Content Partner that has been fighting fake reviews since 2010, and is used by more than 3,500 businesses in all markets across the globe. Its award-winning platform empowers customers and businesses to make better purchasing decisions through genuine, verified customer reviews. As a result, the customer-generated content allows businesses to build trust, which in turn, helps increase website traffic, conversion rates and ultimately, sales.

Brian Rea is the director of retail partnerships at Podium, a top customer interaction platform backed by Google Ventures. Rea will point out what things Google loves when it comes to reviews for furniture and mattress stores, as well as the pain points these businesses see when it comes to online reviews. Podium has a texting capability component, and is designed to make it easy for mattress and furniture stores to collect reviews while the customer is in the store.

“Collecting the review while the customer is in the store is the key," says Rea. "Once they walk out you are competing with a million other things to grab their attention so it is very important that they have a way to get the review right at the end of the purchase.” Podium is used by over 14,000 businesses globally to generate more reviews and help businesses communicate better with their customers.

There will be time at the end for Q&A for retailers to better learn how they can improve their business's online review process and build a stronger customer base.

For more information, please visit sleepinformation.org.