Restonic has done a great amount of research over the years, and VP of Marketing Julia Rosien says the company always has a specific end goal in mind.
What is it? To help inform the retailer about what’s happening from the consumer’s standpoint and help them define their marketing plans.
Recently, the company partnered with Women’s Choice to conduct a 2022 sleep survey polling 329 women on their sleep habits and recent mattress-buying experiences.
“As a manufacturer, we feel like that it’s our responsibility to conduct research,” Rosien explains. “It’s like supplying pictures for your products. It’s something that we need to do to help the industry. It’s an integral part of our business and an integral part of that relationship-building with the retailer.”
The recent study focused on women specifically, which Rosien says is unique and important because women are the decision-makers when it comes to buying household products like mattresses.
Rosien says the fact that it shines a spotlight on women differentiates it from other research currently out there, and that there was a good mix of Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers that participated.
The ages of women were evenly spread across Millennials, Gen Xer’s and Boomers, and for worsening sleep quality post-pandemic, women between the ages of 18 and 29 (42%) and those age 45-60 (35%) suffered the most.
When it comes to replacing their mattress, 70% of respondents say comfort was their primary motivator, even above price (56%) and free delivery (30%).
“And from a pandemic standpoint, I think the survey really gave us a little bit more of an insight into what women experienced during the pandemic, and how it affected their sleep,” Rosien explains.
So what does this mean for retailers? Are women more in tune with buying a mattress now that they see sleep as more important?
Rosien says the research points to yes.
“I would suggest that sleep has become more important, according to this survey,” Rosien says. “And the cost has become less important. Understanding that this is what we need to stay healthy and to stay active is more important to women than ever.”
Rosien explains that during the pandemic, it was women, by far, that suffered in the workforce, that had to choose between homeschooling their kids and their jobs.
“All of those things exasperate the point,” Rosien says. “That frustration of not being able to get enough sleep, not being able to get enough time, or not having a good enough mattress. And it’s not just the mattress, really, it’s everything that goes into the sleep environment. We saw that when they’re buying these mattresses, women in that study also bought the mattress pad, the boxspring or adjustable base sheets, pillows, and mattress protector because they’re all performance products — they just make that mattress better than what it already is.”
Rosien says retailers need to hear that message because it’s an excellent opportunity to upsell a customer.
“The message needs to come through that that upselling, that add-on selling, is important because it’s good for the consumer.” she says. “it improves their experience after purchase. It’s also good for a retailer because it helps them, get a higher ticket sale.”
She adds that this also speaks to the point that giving away a mattress protector with the sale of the mattress is outdated and a generally silly idea.
“If you’re giving away a cheap mattress protector it’s not really going to do anything for the consumer,” Rosien explains. “It doesn’t improve the experience, doesn’t improve the satisfaction afterward. And it doesn’t add on to your sale like it does nothing for you or the consumer.”
She says this message is especially critical in the economy where we are. Retailers are trying to add as much value as they can, but the message from surveys like this is that you need to pack the value into the mattress itself.
“Talk about the innovation and technology — it’s not just a rectangle; you’re buying this is because it’s a performance product that is as important as your running shoes, your bike, or you use your gym membership.”
With the dramatic speed in which consumers purchase their mattresses — making it within two weeks — and that’s another thing retailers need to consider.
“They’re really at the top of that sales funnel long before that,” Rosien says about consumers. “So you need to be able to reach those consumers on social media or through display advertising, or geofencing before they’re actually ready to purchase. We know that moment of purchase with the consumer when they buy a mattress is usually made out of panic or fear. They are worried about getting a good night’s sleep.”
Turning the buying process into a more positive experience and changing that conversation so it’s not so dramatic and not so fear-based will help the consumer and the retailer in the long run.
“They like they put so much responsibility on that mattress to solve all their problems. And their purchase is so abrupt and dramatic. But getting into that consumer’s head before they get to that point will help retailers get brand recognition in their local marketplace. And it’ll help when the consumer actually walks into a store or decides which store to go to.”