On the surface, the sleep industry appears to be a relatively undesirable space for a startup.
Beds and mattresses are heavy and bulky, and sales are traditionally based on a tactile experience that consumers have with products in physical stores. Holding inventory is expensive and risky, and shipping is a nightmare.
Sure, people are willing to shop online for almost everything these days – but when up to 40% of life is spent lying on a bed, isn’t that a product that should be tested out before a purchase decision is made?
Despite the conventional wisdom to the contrary, the $15 billion mattress industry has seen the entrance of several ambitious startup companies, and they are starting to put a dent in market share.
Today’s infographic from Online Mattress Review tells the story of how disruption is occurring in this unlikely space – and it all starts with big changes to the business model to make online mattress sales more palatable for both the company and the consumers.
AN UPDATED MODEL
Here are a few key ways online mattress companies, like Casper or Purple, have changed up their value proposition to customers to make life easier for themselves:
By offering a money-back guarantee of up to 100 days, online mattress companies give customers plenty of time to test their product. This reduces the chance of buyer’s remorse.
Going all-in on memory foam
Memory foam, as well as other mattress types that can be compressed down in size, allow for fast and easy shipping. Consumers can take a box the size of a filing cabinet and easily navigate it around corners and doorframes in a household setting.
Fun, relationship-based marketing
To appeal to the millennial market, Casper has taken on some quirky initiatives, such as creating Insomniabot-3000 (a chatbot for people who can’t sleep), and a Labor Day Mattress “Sail” boat cruise.
In 2016, the market share for online mattress sales was 5%, and it’s expected that the number for 2017 could be at least double that.
While tech startups and the sleep industry may seem like strange bedfellows at first, it’s clear that consumers are embracing the chance to get in bed with the idea.