Crafting In-Store Merchandising & Top-Of-Bed That Works
What kind of messaging is driving consumers to buy from local mattress retailers?
With 60% of consumers still confused about how to purchase a mattress, it is critical for retailers to deliver clear and concise messaging to help guide them through the process and make the best decision for their needs. That is what Colonial determined through its latest market research study, which found that over 63% of respondents (all of whom recently purchased a mattress from a local retailer) reported that it was the displays on particular mattresses that drew their attention in the store. But not all merchandising and top-of-bed programs are equally effectively. So what kind of messaging is connecting with consumers and driving them to buy? We take a closer look.
Clear, Informative Messaging
Before you can start crafting a more effective messaging strategy, you must first understand the barriers that keep consumers from buying.
Among the 60% of Colonial’s study respondents who felt that mattress buying was confusing, the issues that confounded them the most were “not knowing how it will feel all night” (19.7%) and being faced with “too many options” (18.9%).
From there, the next most prevalent issues were centered around the difficulties in comparing the available mattress options. Of this group, 14.7% were confused about “what are the differences,” while 7.6% were concerned with “memory foam versus innerspring.”
With this in mind, there are three key areas that your top-of-bed messaging needs to answer:
1. How will the mattress feel all night long?
Rest-testing in a store can be confusing—especially when you’re worried that the bed you’re laying on now may feel different after a few hours of sleeping on it. Identifying key temperature regulating features and support innovations is a good first step, but it’s just as important to connect those dots on what they will really mean for the consumer’s experience over the course of a night sleep.
2. What is the difference between the various mattress types?
While industry insiders are well-versed in all the different components that can make up a mattress, the average consumer probably couldn’t tell you the difference between latex and memory foam or a hybrid versus an innerspring. Your messaging needs to communicate the differences between the constructions as clearly as possible, in addition to properly identifying which mattress models fit which category.
3. What are the different types of memory foam and innerspring?
Why does it matter if the support system is made with traditional coils or individually wrapped? Are coils even necessary? Why is this foam bed double the price of that foam over there? Simply listing off the specs of the mattress only tells part of the story—retailers must communicate how these differences will impact the overall experience of sleeping on the bed.
When it comes to attracting consumers, promotional messaging continues to be a meaningful strategy. Of the group of consumers drawn in by in-store displays, 43.6% said it was “sale signage” that caught their attention. In particular, 62% of respondents said their decision to buy a mattress from a local store (over an online-only option) was because that store was “promoting a name brand sale event.”
According to the survey, the most effective promotions to use were:
- “manufacturer’s closeout”
- “manufacturer’s special price”
- “lowest prices of the year”
- “anniversary sales”
Crafting some new ads to drive consumers in the door? The two most effective advertising messages, according to the study, were very straight forward: “40% to 50% off” and “Save $300 – $700.”
Piquing Consumer Interest Through Merchandising
Let’s take a closer look at the memory foam category. Of the group of respondents who expected to buy a memory foam mattress, only 29.4% actually ended up purchasing one this time around. Many of them were first-time memory foam buyers, with only 35.3% saying they had one before this last purchase. One of the biggest drivers towards purchasing memory foam? Its adaptability with adjustable bases. For 39.6% of these memory foam mattress buyers, the decision to buy a memory foam mattress was determined by their desire to buy an adjustable base.
Retailers can leverage the association consumers have drawn between memory foam and adjustable bases through smart merchandising and signage. This will reinforce the idea for those already interested in adjustability—and introduce a tantalizing concept to those who are perhaps new to the category.
Thoughtful Messaging & Quality Customer Service=A Winning Combo
While mattress shopping can get a bad rap, Colonial’s survey also revealed an interesting insight about the process: 96.9% of respondents said that buying in the store was actually better than they expected. That satisfaction was in part driven by the customer service they experienced; 92.5% said the salesperson they worked with was knowledgeable and helpful.
Strategic messaging and merchandising effectively tee up the sale, putting the RSA in a position to serve as a helpful guide for the customer. This creates a more positive experience for everyone involved—and gives consumers more incentive to buy right then and there.
For more information, visit colonialllc.com
About The Study: Colonial commissioned this research study in Q1 of 2022 through America’s Research Group. The sample included eight hundred consumers who purchased a mattress in the last two years and planned to buy it from an online-only website but changed their mind and bought it in a retail store or through a local store’s website. The study was conducted in eight major cities across the United States.