For a long time, manufacturers and retailers agreed that mattresses could not be sold online. Who would buy such an expensive product without testing it? But then young start-ups shifted trading to the Internet. And with that, the traditional market has been really shaken up.
The start-ups, led by US pioneer Casper, initially did everything differently to the traditional retail trade. While the latter offers a wide variety of different mattress types, also giving the customer the option to choose the degree of firmness and number of comfort zones, the young companies enticed their customers online by selling a universal mattress. “One fits all.” In other words, a uniform product for every customer, whether tall, short, heavy or light.
With smart marketing ideas and technological innovations, these companies turned what is really a rather boring product into a hip lifestyle object. And the online providers are all using the same methods. Their mattresses have cool names like Felix, Leo or Emma. They give their customers buying advice through live chats, deliver their mattresses free of charge and offer free returns within 100 days, which certainly sounds more customer-friendly than spending 10 minutes trying them out in the shop. Their success proved the online pioneers right. In just a short time, more than 5% of mattress sales were made over the Internet.
In Germany in particular, but also in other European countries, customers are reluctant to buy mattresses on the Internet. According to surveys, 80% of Germans want to test a mattress before buying it. And that doesn’t work with online shopping. Again, Casper was the first to react, taking a step closer towards customers. Through so-called “pop-up” stores – shops that are only open for a limited period – Casper is now also offering its products offline. It has also expanded its product range, signifying a convergence with the traditional market. With Casper Wave, the company has brought a mattress onto the market that is designed to adapt even more effectively to the sleeper’s body.
Emma mattresses are now even sold at Matratzen Concord discount bed stores. Other online start-ups are also expanding their product ranges and selling accessories such as bed linen and fashionable nightwear. In the mattress industry, offline and online traders are thus learning to cooperate. Both sides stand to benefit from this. The young start-ups have taught traditional retailers how to market themselves well.