Digital Marketing Tactics

Mattress Companies Are Losing Sleep

As long as most people can remember, mattress shopping was typically a venture handled in person by testing out different designs and levels of comfort at a mattress store. However, with online shopping rapidly becoming the most preferred method of consumerism, the mattress industry has had no choice but to adapt as well. That means customers no longer have to leave the comfort of their own home, deal with pesky salespeople trying to persuade them to buy the latest model, or transport a huge mattress from a store to their bedroom.

A decade ago, most would not have believed that consumers would be willing to pay $800+ for a mattress that they have never seen, felt, or laid down on. After all, who is crazy enough to make a purchase for an item that you will have for the next 5+ years without laying on it in a store. The online mattress pioneers, Tuft & Needle, found an easy solution to this consumer dilemma. By offering an extended money-back guarantee, consumers could now make a convenient purchase without any perceived risk. It took two Silicon Valley refugees with roughly $6,000 to come up with the revolutionary idea of selling mattresses in boxes. Who would have imagined? After a few years and an increasing market share for the mattress-in-a-box industry, it was clear to all forward thinkers that this was the future of this $15 billion dollar industry. Even Hollywood stars could see the potential of this industry. That is why Leonardo DiCaprio invested in what could easily be considered the premier mattress-in-a-box company, Casper, in 2014. Casper was a success from the start making $1 million in sales there 1st month in business.

Digital Marketing

It wasn’t long before the truth behind this $15 billion dollar industry revealed itself.

  • Customers did not have brand loyalty to mattress manufacturers or distributors.
  • There are expensive logistical issues with shipping non-flexible items as large and heavy as standard mattresses.
  • People did not enjoy the current mattress shopping experience.
  • People enjoyed, preferred, and were more likely to spend more when shopping online than in stores.
  • Traditional mattress companies were drastically underutilizing digital marketing to reach their potential customers.
  • Traditional mattress companies were failing to connect and engage with young adults.

You may be wondering why more traditional mattress companies that have hundreds of millions, if not billions in annual revenue, have not made more successful transitions into the new age of online mattress sales. The transition from being a retail-based marketplace to creating and establishing a digital presence appeared to be a feat that the former titans of the mattress industry could not embark on alone. These companies did not only lack the vision for how to transition their company into the new age, but were lacking the human capital needed to battle against the top digital marketing minds that were hired by companies such as; Casper, Purple, Nectar, and Leesa. They were simply outmatched from a marketing perspective and even though they only lost a relatively small portion of their market share, the writing was on the wall. If the likes of Serta did not take strong and decisive action immediately, their brand would suffer the same fate as BlockBuster. Customers were given a better alternative than needing to go pick up their video and suffer huge late fees. With Netflix, everything could be done from the comfort of their own home. Besides the overwhelming convenience of these new online options, these new brands appealed to young and old alike allowing for customers to buy a better product, in a more convenient manner, and feel better about being an “innovator.”

ecommerce web development

Changing With The Tide

In a pioneering move, mattress industry giant Serta Simmons Bedding LLC merged with a relatively newer mattress company named Tuft & Needle in 2018. The differences among the two brands are in fact the very reason for their partnership. Serta represented the outdated model of relying mostly upon retail sales, building off of the success they had already garnered from the past. On the other side, Tuft & Needle exploded onto the scene as online gurus, employing highly effective digital marketing tactics that generated $170 million in 2017 sales. While such an awesome digital presence is impressive, you may still be wondering why Serta, the $3 billion-plus company didn’t continue handling their e-commerce web development and marketing on their own. Well, the truth is they were doing fine until around 2017 when their revenue dropped about 26.5%. Upon reviewing Serta’s digital sales, it became apparent that Tuft & Needle had figured out something special. Instead of competing with a powerful force, it was best to join together and have each party bring their unique strengths to the table. In the case of these two companies, Serta can continue to dominate the retail market while Tuft & Needle can offer their digital marketing tactics to secure online sales. If you can’t beat em,’ join em.’

Tuft & Needle mastered the art of selling on Amazon and used the glowing reviews they received on this platform as social proof that helped them bring more users to their site. This enabled them to increase their profit margins, which in turn enabled them to invest more into marketing causing the cycle to continue while growing in magnitude and scale. Tuft & Needle can also be considered the Serta of online mattress companies. Where Purple, Casper, and Nectar relied on very creative and cutting edge marketing initiatives through incredible video and social media content, Tuft & Needle started and continued with their subtle approach to branding. Their messaging has stayed rather consistent throughout the years, “we make great American made products at a great price. You will love our products just as thousands of other people have. Read our reviews.” Serta has also had more subtle branding tactics throughout the years and even their counting sheep campaigns are low key when it comes to the mattress industry. These brands appear to be 2 sides of the same mattress and we are excited to see how their messaging and marketing changes with this new partnership.

Online Potential 

At Smashed Media, e-commerce web development is among the most crucial services we offer for any business today. In the past, requiring an online presence was more industry-specific, however, as people get busier and purchases become more accessible with fewer clicks, any company would be foolish to underestimate the power of the internet with regards to potential sales. The talented web developers on our team can create a truly unique and engaging experience for any incoming traffic, regardless of the device or platform. By spending extra time on the website, consumers can certainly feel the difference between a simple one button click, and an optimized site that answers any question the buyer has. Serta and many other industry titans are slowly but surely realizing that hiring talented web developers is a sure way to extend the longevity of their brands. Retail surely isn’t going anywhere, but the majority of sales are inevitably heading toward digital, and it’s time to adapt.


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