Buying mattresses online is not a new concept. And while ecommerce has proved a successful addition to the retail chain Bedshed, the bricks-and-mortar retailer has now revolutionised its offer with an exciting new initiative.
Firms like Koala and Sleeping Duck have led the development of an online-only market for mattresses; now Bedshed is proving it can compete in this space, drive customers to stores, giving them the ability to try before they buy,, and deliver a premium offer with additional benefits.
Luke Clarke, Bedshed’s general manager operations and marketing, reveals the brand new ecommerce option is a no-fuss purchase, specifically designed for 18-35 year-olds.
“Bedshed has something for everyone, but the younger generation is less aware of the brand. We want to hone in on this space so we are appealing to younger consumers with a simple offer that cuts through the digital noise, educates the consumer and doesn’t confuse them.
“We think we’ve done ecommerce quite well on our Bedshed site but there are still 20+ ranges of mattresses, still a lot of choice,” he explains.
Simple solution for younger generation
So Bedshed developed a one-product offering: the Drift Queen sized, medium feel mattress bundle that includes delivery and an Australian made mattress protector.
“It’s a bit like Goldilocks… one mattress is too hard, another too soft. For the majority of our customers, the medium is just right,” says Luke.
The new Drift website is a vanilla choice, not a Cherry Ripe, says Luke, and it serves the target market perfectly.
The goal is to capture new customers in the early stages of buying.
“This is an entry point product for a first time buyer,” says Luke. “Why confuse the offer to someone who is buying their first mattress? If you know you want a different feel or size, you can click through to the Bedshed site.
“The younger audience is the customer of the future. From the franchisee perspective, we are trying to bring customers in offline with a super simple offer. We take away all the smoke and mirrors, offer our 40 years of expertise, and the customer can still try before they buy.
“Research informed us that half our customers will try it first in-store, and there are 43 Bedshed stores around Australia. They can try the firm, the softer, the plush feel, or any other mattresses in store. And if you go on to Bedshed a larger range of mattresses is available.”
Before launching the standalone Drift website, Bedshed spent three months building up a brand presence and audience on social media.
Bedshed leverages expertise in new e-commerce concept
“It’s about the audience and the messages, customers want to buy from someone with authority and expertise.”
The new Drift offer leverages Bedshed’s four decades of bedding experience and Sleepmaker’s 85 years of creating high quality mattresses.
Care has gone into ensuring the Drift mattress delivers the right aesthetics: neutral colours, straight lines, a contemporary quilting pattern – all subtle differences that appeal to 18 to 35 year-olds.
“Foam mattresses have driven modern mattress construction – there isn’t the extra layer of cushioning found in a traditional mattress,” Luke points out.
The Drift mattress is manufactured in Australia by Sleepmaker and has sustainability smarts, with recycled plastic bottles used in the thread, and other recyclable materials.
Bedshed has researched buyer considerations, and found while Australian-made is high on the list there are few online players offering Australian made products.
Research also revealed that price is the tipping point in a first mattress purchase.
One click solution
“We wanted to take a strong offer into this space so it was important to get the right price points. We’ve bundled an offer with an Australian-made mattress protector and the backing of our unique comfort guarantee exchange – after 60 nights a customer can exchange their mattress if it isn’t right for them.
“This is all bundled up as one click,” says Luke.
Unlike pureplay ecommerce stores, the Drift mattress from Bedshed doesn’t come in a box.
“We store mattresses, we deliver them, it’s what we do. We deliver right to the bedroom. A customer can sleep on the mattress straight away, it doesn’t need to decompress, unlike a mattress that comes delivered in a box.”
The early results are pleasing, says Luke, with customers shopping across all three channels – Drift and Bedshed websites, and stores.
“Once these younger consumers are exposed to our brand, they see they can purchase furniture as well from Bedshed.”
How the brand will develop is yet to be seen.
“People buy for the same reasons they always have. While Black Friday will be our first big push, customers buy a bed when they need one.
“It’s a big opportunity to see how the market responds; if we’re finding people are clicking on more sizes, then that becomes an opportunity for us.
“Bedshed is a franchise bedding retailer with a bricks and mortar foundation, and we’ve become omnichannel. In our Drift business we’re looking to compete with online-only, but we have massive advantages – a legacy of bed retailing and physical stores . We have the expertise, and the network to supply a quality, Australian-made and cost-effective product at a click of a button, delivered straight to your bedroom.”