It is high time for most of the mattress retailers who are still focused on merchandise, price and traditional marketing methods to convert their traditional stores into customer-centric mattress stores to increase sales and profits exponentially.
The customer is the king in every business. Further, what’s best for the customers is best for the business too. So, like every industry, the mattress industry also needs to put the customers at the core of every business aspect. Thus, mattress stores retail too need to be customer-centric.
Here, being customer-centric means anticipating all needs and wants of customers, understanding their mindset, listening to them at all times, delivering them before they ask anything and guiding them well throughout their journey from start to finish. In simple words, it means holding the customers most important in business and understanding the world through their eyes and always doing what’s best for them. Further, being customer-centric also means creating efficient customer experience and creating value for them.
Thus, it is high time for most of the mattress retailers who are still focused on merchandise, price and traditional marketing methods to convert their traditional stores into customer-centric mattress stores to increase sales and profits exponentially.
Elements that can help in making mattress retail stores customer-centric
The following five key elements can set the foundation of a customer-centric mattress retail store and investing in them can help the retailers climb high on the success ladder.
- Customer engagement and interaction: It is an art to engage and interact with the customer. Hence, retailers or their hired staff need to make it a point to analyse and understand customer mindset (perceptions, wants, needs and desires) first and then give them solutions regarding what mattress product would be the best for them. Sometimes, customer engagement and interaction can extend to customer education also as the customers themselves might not know what they need. For this purpose of effective customer engagement and interaction, retailers need to either be sleep experts themselves or hire sleep experts and not merely salespeople. This means hiring people who are able to understand customers well, and anticipate and answer all their queries instead of being pushy and unhelpful.
2. Enhanced customer experience: If the customer engagement and interaction go well, then it can lead to an enhanced customer experience where customers are satisfied with the given solution and the subsequent mattress purchase that they have made. This can eventually lead to customer loyalty. Typically, to ensure enhanced customer experience, mattress retailers need to indulge in not one-time interaction but continuously engage with the customers for days or weeks, guide them to the next step in the entire process, empower and support them throughout their journey from start to finish and focus on building longlasting relationships. From the customer’s perspective, the experience is only as good as the value it delivers. Sunil Borana, Owner, of Wonder Sleep Mattress, avers, “Everything in the store should be perfect from product displays to lights and music. This further adds up to the overall customer experience.”
3. Making the store visually appealing: As soon as the customer enters any store, the first thing that catches his/her attention is the visual appeal of the store which is then followed by the products for which he/ she has come to the store. This brings us to the point that visual merchandising is extremely important these days and the look and feel of the store play a great role in attracting the customer to the store and the same holds true for mattress retail stores as well. A silent selling technique, visual merchandising involves various factors like how the store looks i.e., whether it is neat, well planned, airy, well-lighted and has a breath of positivity and how mattress products are displayed i.e. if there are effective window displays for new or most selling products etc.
So, if the mattress retail stores offer a visual treat to the customers and allow them to easily look, touch and feel the products, then it can definitely attract, engage and motivate the customer to make a purchase.
4. Unique signage and retail store elements: If mattress retailers want to operate a successful store that attracts maximum customers and drives sales, then it is essential that they get noticed by the customers and this involves incorporating unique signage and brand elements. Here, signage is the design or use of signs, symbols and messages to communicate with customers for selling and marketing purposes. Quality signage and unique retail store elements (like a particular colour scheme, lighting, etc.,) can create a unique identity for the store and this can lure more customers to visit the store in the first place which can eventually lead to making any purchase.
5. Focussing on the ambient features: Last, but not least, the power of ambience should not be undermined when looking to make the mattress retail store customer-centric. Music, colours and aesthetics play a great role in catching customers’ attention and adding up to their overall shopping experience and who would not want the best shopping experience?
There is an endless array of visual cues that can be used to help the mattress product communicate with the customers and they can even give a fresh appeal to the store. By using the right music, interesting lighting, spotlights for highlighting top products, colours, aesthetics, symmetry and contrast, customers can be attracted easily. Sulbha, a charted accountant from Mumbai, says, “Music, light and ambience can have a subtle effect on the customer behaviour and make them like the retail store so much that they would recommend it to their friends and family. This happened to me when I visited a mattress store in my city.”
Thus, customer-centric mattress retail stores can be built only when there is good customer engagement and interaction, enhanced customer experience, incorporation of unique signage and store elements, ambient features are focussed upon and the store is visually upright.
Can the above features flip the customer’s choice?
Well, the answer is definitely a “Yes”. Today’s mattress customers are not only looking for a good product but for a good shopping experience as well. They want to be treated by the retailers well and feel welcomed into the store and this can be only possible through customer-centric mattress stores.
Further, today’s mattress customers are also spoilt with choices as there are many retail stores in the market offering the best of the deals. So, here the differentiating factor can be the customer-centric mattress stores that deliver an experience to the customers and not only the products.
Hence, it has become increasingly important that retailers act according to modern-day customer requirements and find ways like customer-centric stores to improve their sales. Thus, there are a plethora of opportunities for retailers to harp on this new trend and beat the tough offline as well as online competition through customer-centric mattress stores.