Click here to get Sleep Retailer News delivered straight to your inbox.
How Mobile Technology Can Help Boost Brick-And-Mortar Sales
As the popularity of the ecommerce sector has continued to affect traditional retail sales, many believe that the growth of mobile technology has been another nail in the coffin for brick-and-mortar shopping. But according to Anindya Ghose, a professor at the New York University’s Stern School of Business, smartphones might just be the key to saving the struggling retail industry. In a new book, Ghose explains how mobile tech creates new opportunities for traditional retailers to engage customers by harnessing the power of data. And there’s plenty of additional research to back up his beliefs. According to Deloitte Consulting, digital interactions influence 56 cents of every dollar spent in brick-and-mortar stores—as many consumers are now using their mobile phones to research products, compare prices and download coupons while shopping. Retail Dive’s latest Consumer Survey reinforced the power of mobile technology, revealing key insights on how 603 consumers surveyed use their smartphones while shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. One thing is clear: it’s more important than ever before for retailers to offer a seamless integration between their physical and mobile shopping experiences.
According to the Retail Dive Consumer Survey, the smartphone is an essential part of shopping these days. This is especially true for customers under 35, who are often more willing to consult their mobile phone than the store associate when they have questions. But it’s growing more and more important to older shoppers as well, who are more likely to use their phones to access digital coupons.
According to the most recent Retail Dive Consumer Survey, 58% of the consumers surveyed said they use their smartphone in stores to research product information—with nearly as many consumers using them to check or compare prices. Nearly 40% of consumers use their phones to access digital coupons in stores. A third of consumers surveyed said they used a specific retailer’s mobile app while in the store—compared to the just 22% of shoppers who said they would scan QR codes.
This underscores just how important it is to have a comprehensive mobile strategy, one that allows consumers to easily check in online while shopping in-store and vice versa. It also reveals some of the improvements that can be made offline as well.
First, product information and pricing needs to be communicated more clearly in store, whether in the form of POS signage, kiosks, pamphlets or displays. Secondly, it shows a new opportunity to provide more value for consumers on their mobile phones—a chance to engage with them where they’re already going. By making sure your website is mobile-friendly (one that is filled with detailed product descriptions, personalized sales offers and easy-to-access ratings and reviews), you can provide your customers with all of the convenience of shopping online without having to sacrifice rest-testing.
The growing power of mobile technology also opens up new opportunities for more tech-savvy retailers as well. Department stores like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have begun to leverage “geofencing” technology by installing GPS beacons in stores. This allows the retailers to engage with consumers when they’re close to a store, sending them specialized coupons or deals directly.
More and more retailers are shifting their focus towards enriching their mobile strategy, with more than half citing it as one of their “top three priorities in 2017,” according to a new report from the National Retail Federation. As the retail industry evolves to best support their customers, those retailers who are not leveraging mobile technology are in danger of being left behind.
Tempur Sealy Looks Towards The Future
It looks like Tempur Sealy is beginning to rebound following the termination of its partnership with Mattress Firm earlier this year. Following the official end to the partnership on April 3rd, the company is looking beyond this relationship in order to gain a greater understanding of its sales potential moving forward. Despite falling short of revenue expectations in the first quarter of 2017, Tempur is reporting a boost in non-Mattress Firm sales during the beginning of the second quarter of the year. The announcement of these sales numbers come as Tempur Sealy shifts its strategic focus to offer greater support to its other retail partners.
Last month, Tempur Sealy reported first quarter earnings that totaled $722 million in revenue—which lagged behind the expectations of $725 million. But during the first two months of the second quarter of 2017, orders for all Tempur Sealy branded products increased by 7% compared to non-Mattress Firm sales during the same period last year. Excluding all Mattress Firm sales, Tempur Sealy orders were up by 15% last month when compared to May 2016—with orders for Tempur-Pedic products up by 28%.
While the news of the Mattress Firm break-up initially caused panic throughout the industry, it may ultimately open up new opportunities for retailers. In particular, Tempur has plans to help its remaining retail partners open new locations moving forward. “Certain retailers are planning new stores in markets where Mattress Firm has a large presence,” Thompson explained. “We’re going to spend some money. We’re going to run a little sloppy until we understand how the bedding market resets.”
Additionally, Tempur will also be investing heavily on advertising over the next few quarters. The company recently teamed up with tennis icon Serena Williams for its new “Tempur-Pedic Sleep Is Power” campaign. Beginning this month, Williams will be featured in television and digital advertising and supported by social media and PR efforts. By further boosting its brand recognition through strategic advertising, Tempur will be helping drive more traffic to the retailers still carrying its products.
While Tempur has pledged to support its retail partners, the company is also investing in its own retail channels as well—including opening new flagship stores and growing its ecommerce channel. As we head towards the second half of the year, we will definitely be watching to see how the bedding market “resets” and reacts to these changes.
Sinomax Expands Its Presence In The US
Sinomax, the Chinese-owned manufacturer of memory foam pillows and mattresses, has opened its first manufacturing plant in the United States. The refurbished 500,000 square foot facility, located in Tennessee, will allow the company to offer “Made In America” bedding products to its retail partners. A supplier for Walmart since 2006, Sinomax products will continue to be sold at the retail chain’s stores nationwide—but the company recently announced a new strategic partnership with Serta Simmons Bedding as well. The two companies have teamed up to develop boxed mattress offerings under the Serta and Beautyrest brands, which will be available to retailers as early as July 2017. As the popularity of boxed and low-cost bedding options continues to grow, this new expansion may have a great effect on the industry as a whole.
Sinomax has invested $28 million in its new American facility, which had previously served as a Whirpool factory before closing in 2008. In addition to bringing an expected 350 new jobs to the local community, this new plant opens up new opportunities to make “Made In America” bedding more accessible to the average consumer. It will also expand the distribution and promotion of new boxed bed offerings, thanks to Sinomax’s new partnership with Serta Simmons Bedding. All of the new Serta- and Beautyrest-branded boxed mattresses will be made and assembled in Sinomax’s new US facility, which creates a valuable new selling point for retailers looking to expand into the mattress-in-a-box market.
Instead of Counting Sheep, Shuffle Off to Sleep
Chances are, at some point in your life, you’ve struggled to get to sleep. Perhaps you obsess over regrets from the day. Or you stress about things you’d rather avoid tomorrow. Whatever the case, once your brain starts chewing over something, it can be hard to get it to stop – especially once you’re in bed and there are fewer distractions. While the ages-old trick of counting sheep is a historic go-to when you have trouble sleeping, some scientists speculate that this tactic is just too boring to keep the mind focused enough to let you fall asleep. So what to do when those silly sheep won’t give you shut-eye? Enter Serial Diverse Imaging (SDI), the most common process of which is known as Cognitive Shuffling - a method that allows your brain just enough “toys” to play with, but not so many that it starts engaging in higher functioning.
Created by Professor Luc Beaudoin of Simon Frasier University in Vancouver, Canada, the Cognitive Shuffle is based on Beaudoin’s new super-somnolent mentation theory of sleep induction. Mentation refers to what your mind does: the process of thinking, rationalizing and sense-making. Somnolent simply means sleepy. The super-somnolent part comes into play because The Cognitive Shuffle is both counter-insomnolent (interfering with sleep adverse thinking) and somnolent (promoting favorable sleep mentation). The goal of this technique is to get your brain to stop thinking in words and instead, focus on pictures, allowing your worries to take a back seat. When you’re attempting to think of images that go with a particular letter, it’s nearly impossible to also focus on that jerk in accounting. Simultaneously, the seemingly random parade of mental pictures triggers the sleep regulators in your brain to start inducing drowsiness, producing “micro-dreams” that in turn lead to full-on sleeping.
To break it down, Cognitive Shuffling has you focus on a simple, emotionally neutral word of at least five letters. Then you break down the word letter by letter, taking each letter separately and imagining as many (unconnected) images as you can that start with that letter. On his website, Beaudoin uses the example of BEDTIME, first concentrating on the images of words that start with B (baby, ball, banana, Belgium) and then moving on to the next letter, E (egg, envelope, elephant) and so on until you either fall asleep or finish the word, in which case you can start with another “seed” word. To make Cognitive Shuffling as easy and intuitive as possible, Beaudoin developed mySleepButton, an app that does the “seed” word selection for you, leaving you to solely focus on the imaging part of the process.
While Cognitive Shuffling may seem deceptively simple on the surface, it just might be the right amount of focused distraction that can make getting to sleep a more expedient and effective process. So the next time you’re struggling to catch some Zzzs, forget the sheep and instead, shuffle your thoughts.
Click here to get Sleep Retailer News delivered straight to your inbox.