Q&A: Supporting Independent Retailers In The Online Market

While the majority of mattress sales are still made in brick-and-mortar stores, the growth of the ecommerce marketplace has become too significant to ignore. In 2012, online sales made up only 5% of the total mattress sales in the US—but in just five years, that number has jumped to nearly 10%. Today, the web plays a vital role in the mattress buying process—even when the final sale is ultimately made in a physical retail store. Most consumers are starting their journey to buying a new bed online, conducting extensive product research on their own before ever stepping foot into a showroom. A successful digital marketing program is a valuable tool for connecting with new customers, driving more traffic into brick-and-mortar stores and ultimately boosting sales. For retailers looking to expand their online strategy, we turned to three savvy bedding brands to learn more about the digital resources they offer to their retail partners.

How are you helping independent retailers compete online?

Restonic; Jula Rosen"Retailers are uniquely positioned to succeed in the eyes of the Google Gods—all they have to do is be findable. And while the formula to become more findable is simple, the execution behind it is anything but easy. Simply put, the more relevant content a store puts online, regularly, the easier it will be for Google to understand what the store is about. The difficult part is creating or curating that content and then posting it consistently. That requires a very specific skill set, which can be a drain on resources for smaller retailers. The Restonic Digital Publishing Program takes the burden of finding, creating and curating content off the retailer’s shoulders. We have hundreds of blog posts available to our retailers, along with thousands of pieces of social media content—all polished and ready for posting online. We also offer digital marketing support to retailers to help them understand how to use the content to their best advantage. Our digital marketing strategy has two purposes. The first is to drive brand awareness nationally, which we know will help our retailers both online and in stores. Second, it’s the tool we use to create the content that feeds our publishing program."—JULIA ROSIEN, BRAND DIRECTOR, RESTONIC

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Reverie; Lisa Tan"Reverie is providing strategic guidance to bedding retailers as they work to grasp the core principles of the digital space. Our goal is to partner with small- to mid-size retail partners to raise product awareness, encourage adoption and grow sales through their digital channels. We also support our large retailers with digital and mobile-ready assets that encourage digital shoppers to step foot in a store. Our creative marketing team takes a digital agency approach to providing services to retailers. We start with a kickoff call to gather needs and set KPIs and by the end of our program, each retailer walks away with the assets and a budget map for success. Through this approach, we’re able to leverage our existing resources to provide a high level of value to our retailers. They get great content on platforms they’re not always comfortable targeting and we expand our business, relationships and specialized industry knowledge as a company. The Reverie Digital Marketing Program is a rarity in the retail industry in its robustness and innovative approach to messaging. From a digital omni-channel campaign targeting a brand-new demographic to an ongoing social listening digital ethnography, Reverie is paving the way for their retail partners to reach new customers using the channels now available through the digital realm."—LISA TAN CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER, REVERIE

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Beautyrest; Michelle Montgomery"Beautyrest is helping retailers in the online arena by encouraging them to integrate digital elements into their marketing efforts. Beautyrestdealers.com is an online destination for retailers, where they can find the Beautyrest elements they need to enact a digital marketing program including web banners, Twitter and Facebook images, YouTube videos and a social media calendar. We also include a web style guide that offers guidelines and best practices for utilizing these elements online. SleepSells—our online training and education destination for RSAs—addresses both the online and in-store environments, keeping the industry updated on the latest online sales trends and digital marketing opportunities. Beautyrest.com, our Under the Covers blog and social media channels all reinforce the idea that it’s best to go mattress shopping in stores. We support our retail partners through a substantial digital advertising campaign that educates consumers about our mattress offerings while driving traffic to the Beautyrest.com retailer locator. On the retail floor, we have made digital displays available—like Simulator, the bedding industry’s first virtual-reality app that uses interactive 3-D models to break down a mattress layer by layer—so RSAs can use them in conjunction with traditional selling strategies."—MICHELLE MONTGOMERY VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS, BEAUTYREST

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