From Click to Brick: Why Online Mattress Companies Are Stepping Offline

By Andrea Pisani Babich

Direct-to-consumer mattress companies like Casper, Leesa and Tuft & Needle have changed the way consumers think about buying a mattress. Gone are the days where shoppers bounce from retail store to retail store, trying to secure the best bargain on a new bed. Buying a mattress online comes with many benefits, however online mattress purchases still make up only a fraction of the $15 billion US market.

As online mattress companies start to pick up steam, one common, and somewhat ironic, path to expansion is creating a physical presence – whether through owned and operated retail stores or partnerships with popular retailers. See how these brands are offering an in-person experience to coincide with their digital one.

Casper Materializes in Bricks and Mortar Stores

Casper retail store, inside view

Casper, one of the pioneers in online mattresses, has just announced a retail partnership with the UK department store chain, John Lewis. Shoppers in the UK can now test rest Casper products at 24 John Lewis stores across England, Wales, and Scotland. John Lewis hosts displays that include the original Casper Mattress, Casper pillows, and their newest product, the Casper Wave Hybrid Mattress.

As part of Casper’s efforts to put more products within reach of more consumers – literally – in June 2019, 1,000 Target stores began selling Casper’s pillows, sheets, bed protectors, and lounger support pillows in a wildly successful partnership that put Casper products right in front of consumers where they normally shop.

Casper joins a growing migration of online companies – including Amazon, Wayfair, and Warby Parker – to bricks and mortar stores. Bricks and mortar retail sales continue to dominate all sales by about 90% despite a recent increase in digital sales. Like other retailers, online mattress brands want to give their customers an opportunity to try out their products before clicking the “buy” button.

Mattress companies have a special interest in meeting consumers where they typically shop because many shoppers remain leery of making such a large investment sight-unseen for a product that people experience in very idiosyncratic ways. And even though most direct-to-consumer mattress brands offer generous in-home trial periods, many consumers want the extra assurance of a test rest before they make a commitment and set up a new mattress in their bedrooms.

You’ll still get the bed-in-a-box delivered straight to your door, the competitive pricing, and the convenience of ordering online without a commissioned salesperson breathing down your neck. But with in-store trials, you can buy with greater confidence that you won’t have to send your mattress back.

Test Rest Tuft & Needle Products

That’s why Tuft & Needle has stores popping up all over the country. You can find a full line of Tuft & Needle mattresses and accessories at their stores in:

  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Gilbert, AZ
  • Beaverton, OR
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Leawood, KS
  • Seattle, WA
  • Dallas, TX (coming soon)

Plus you can try Tuft & Needle’s newest mattress, Mint, at select locations of Crate & Barrel, and Interior Define, and the original T&N mattress at Unruh.

Click and Brick: The Best of Both Worlds

While it may seem like a step backwards, expect to see more direct-to-consumer mattress brands opening their own stores and placing their products in your favorite home goods stores as the success of these trailblazers gets more and more attention. The convenience of online ordering with the assurance of in-person trials before you buy? That’s a win for mattress shoppers still skeptical of the totally online shopping experience.


Sources

Fortune: fortune.com/2017/08/23/casper-mattress-philip-krim/

DMN: dmnews.com/customer-experience/article/13035306/clicks-to-bricks-why-online-retailers-are-opening-physical-stores


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