I don’t know about you, but there is so much “to do” that sometimes it takes a concentrated effort to step away from the everyday business to actually research and look at what’s happening to retail today. But, when I am able to make the time, I often find a few things that inspire me and get me thinking about how we can help retailer reach their customers in different and effective ways.
Recently, I spent a little bit of time looking for any new trends in how consumers are searching for and purchasing mattresses since the start of the pandemic. As we peel back the layers, four key trends stood out. Here’s what they are and, more importantly, what they mean — for furniture dealers and beyond.
Trend 1: “Mattress” searches continue to be the dominant search term for consumers, and that’s a trend that we see continuing today, nearly two years later. Searches for the term are only down slightly from the peaks we saw in 2020, but they’re still the top dog.
Why it matters: The fact that this trend has continued throughout 2021 and into the new year is great news as we see travel begin to pick back up. It shows that consumers are still focused on the home and in managing their health and wellness, which is anchored in good sleep. Discretionary spending on experiences and travel is making a comeback, but it hasn’t (as of yet) negatively impacted spending on the home.
Trend 2: “Best Mattress” and “Top Rated Mattress” keywords are the highest searched terms in the category, indicating consumer/peer reviews are critical to the purchase process.
Why it matters: It’s not new that consumers look to their friends or others for added confidence before buying any product, let alone a higher ticket item. They want to be confident that they’re investing in a product that will fulfill their needs and live up to that hefty price point. Retailers can capitalize on this by using star ratings in your ads and posting reviews of products on your website. These are great signals to shoppers today that can help drive peace of mind.
Trend 3: Searches for “Mattresses Made in the USA” was up 500% compared to pre-pandemic.
Why it matters: This feels like a natural consumer move based on the intense focus to support local businesses during the pandemic and the ongoing supply chain issues that have lingered. Consumers want to “support local” in more ways than one, and independent retailers can capitalize on that momentum by showcasing your American-made products in your digital search strategy and with a banner on your home page — just as a few examples.
Trend 4: Another area we looked into was how independent retailers promote the Bed-in-a-Box category on their various websites. Everyone has the product detail on a page with product images, but very few have the product price clearly displayed.
Why it matters: For this product category in particular, consumers are after convenience. The same could be said for consumers making duress appliance purchases — albeit “convenience” is substituted with “availability.” In either instance, pricing and expectations of fast delivery time are table stakes. Make sure you’re able to meet the consumer where they want to be. Give them the information they are after. This will help drive incremental sales for you.
Amanda Evans is director of marketing for Nationwide Marketing Group