Mattress arena is enjoying a cultural moment. The purchase of mattress once jam-packed in stuffy showrooms with dizzying overabundance of models hyping ergonomic gel foams or springs was a notoriously complex in-store process. It has become a past but recently mattress purchase process has become quite interesting.

With an increase in the startup, mattress arena is evolving through innovative technology, delivery, creative marketing, and talking about mattresses has become easy. In this technology era, mattress upstarts are shaking brick & mortar stores do things differently in a better way.

Traditional mattress model

Before new entrants, mattress arena was defined by large-scale merging controlled by some of the behemoths. Mattress prices were increased many times. For example, the difference between $1,000 and $2,000 mattress was just minimal. Just a few extra springs of extra 2” cushioning’s. This following factors got added in the final cost along with manufacturers and retailer’s profit, overheads, and sales commission.

The most crucial point is that consumer’s experience of purchasing a mattress was very poor. They were confused in determining whether to replace a mattress or not and if yes then how much must they spend. In addition, they were overwhelmed with the array of products and felt awkward to try them in public. They found it hard to differentiate and finally bought it home for a trial.

Upstart grabbed the opportunity that shouted for change

To address these problems, many mattress startups emerged and the market is consistently expanding. The interesting part is that even if they sell regular mattresses [without tech features] they position themselves as tech companies because of their innovative approach. Online selling does not mean you need to be a technology firm but with unusual, advanced and effective marketing tactic you can be one. All the startups are different in their focus, brand, and funding sources. You can check to get an idea of the best features offered.
Common key success factors of startups

DTC or direct-to-consumer brands

DTC models bypass the commission mediums and offer products on the manufacturer’s website. Cost efficiency gets enhanced because the profits are passed on to consumers, who can buy mattresses online at cheaper rates. Startups are capitalizing on this trend.

Consumer-friendly options & purchase terms

To make purchase painless, available products are being narrowed down. It means to offer a couple of mattresses and remains committed to simplicity. New mattress retailers are aware of the hesitancy of purchasing a mattress online, so they tweaked their purchase terms offering consumers ten-year warranty, 100-day trial, as well as free home delivery, pickup, and returns.

The traditional regional retailer made returns difficult with lengthy waits as well as charged return fee. Some retailers disallowed returns.

Bed-in-box packing & home delivery

Within a week, customers get memory foam mattress all rolled up at their doorstep, which was a dream in the past. You just need to unbox it and the foam expands to a specific size. The compression technology has been used for a decade but it has recently disrupted mattress arena. This kind of packaging of mattresses has made it physically and financially simple to ship and deliver, which would otherwise be unprofitable due to logistic factor [shipping fully formed mattress].

Innovative marketing strategies

Consumer’s attitude towards mattress is changing, especially the ones between 18 to 35 years. They are replacing mattresses more often, which is due to a shift in perception.

Therefore reaching millennial is crucial and the best way to target them is through digital platforms. Millennial also help in product promotion via sharing a video of themselves unbox their mattress and watch it expand.

New mattress retailers sell sleep rather than the extra bed features. They are capitalizing on people’s thoughts on buying something better. Millennial are obsessed with wellness, so ads are targeted towards the importance of sleep for overall wellness. In addition, millennials are concerned about social responsibility and as they are connected worldwide with their Smartphone mattress companies are leveraging from this angle.

The future for mattress retail store-keeper is to use the above strategies to gain an edge against competition in the coming years.