Would it surprise you to find out that many online mattress reviews are written by the very DTC companies who sell the mattresses?
Unfortunately, that’s often the case. Review sites claim to provide unbiased product reviews, but it’s the retailers themselves who either write the reviews or pay consumers to talk up their brand.
Not only does this push consumers to DTC brands and create deceptive “best of” mattress lists, but it also attempts to dissuade consumers from shopping in brick-and-mortar stores where they can get fitted for a mattress.
And if that’s not enough to convince you that these DTC brands are undermining the core brick-and-mortar value propositions, think about how many online reviews these DTC brands have.
Thousands. Millions, even. And because of this, these products stand out when consumers are researching mattresses online. It makes these products look even more popular by comparison, which gives consumers more confidence to buy those products.
So how can you fight back?
It all goes back to the value proposition brick-and-mortar retailers offer. Let’s break it down into three buckets: selection, experience and RSA’s.
First, there are thousands of online mattress brands today, which means you’re competing against even more companies than you were just a few years ago. However, less floor space may actually be an advantage for brick-and-mortar retailers.
If you have fewer options in your store, there’s less for the consumer to have to search through. And psychological studies have found that people don’t like to make choices between too many options because they get overwhelmed. So by offering fewer options, you’re giving the consumer a better, less stressful shopping experience.
Another advantage for brick-and-mortar retailers is that they have the product available for the consumer to touch and feel. No amount of information written in a product description or online review can replace trying out the mattress in the store.
Consumers feel mor confident and satisfied with their purchase if they’re able to see it and test it first. Just remember to have them lie down for at least 10-15 minutes to truly get a feel for it.
Finally, RSA’s are the most powerful tool a brick-and-mortar retailer has. While no one likes a salesperson who hovers, RSA’s are an invaluable resource for shoppers who know nothing about mattresses (which, let’s face it, is most customers).
Online, a consumer might turn to a chatbot for help, but is that really answering their question, or just causing more confusion and frustration?
And RSA’s aren’t just important during the buying process, they also have value after the purchase is made because they can help fix any issues that occur or answer customer questions after the purchase.
All of these things combined give brick-and-mortar retailers the upper hand, but if you’re not communicating these advantages to your customers you could be missing out on a large chunk of business.