People are not averse to buying mattresses in these times as it is a mark of health and hygiene.

The Covid-19 outbreak has robbed consumers of their routine, forcing them to adapt new habits that are likely to continue for a long time. Since they are staying longer at home and making it their workspace too, their sleeping patterns have changed with more flexibility on waking and sleeping hours. The pandemic and the resulting lockdown gave them enough time to catch up on their sleep, which was in short supply because of their busy lifestyles earlier. With this, the focus is back on sleep, which is much deserved, as numerous studies over the years have pointed to ill-effects of sleeplessness. The focus is also on sleeping spaces and mattresses, which allows Mattress Companies explore possibilities of increasing their sales by appealing to consumers’ needs and promoting healthy lifestyles, of which sleep is a crucial component.

THE FOCUS IS BACK ON SLEEP. THE FOCUS IS ALSO ON SLEEPING SPACES AND MATTRESSES, WHICH ALLOWS MATTRESS COMPANIES EXPLORE POSSIBILITIES OF INCREASING THEIR SALES

The sedentary lifestyle most of the consumers were forced to adopt because of the lockdown should find themselves in a better mental space if active life is promoted. Mattress companies have already been promoting their products by telling consumers that they can stay active with a good night’s sleep. For these companies, promoting the “healthy lifestyle” will be the differentiator for years to come.

As Covid-19 pandemic has covered most parts of the world, people are concerned about their health and hygiene in all their activities. From carrying personal hand sanitisers to ensuring that their faces are covered all the time with masks and shields, there is a heightened awareness on personal and societal health. Hygienic beds and ease of maintaining their mattresses, therefore, should be an attractive proposition for consumers. And that is what the focus of a Mattress Company should be, industry experts pointed out.

That a bed is a long-term investment that needs to be chosen carefully should be drilled into the minds of consumers. Health and hygiene, rather than the cost of a mattress, should be the selling point, they said.

One can be more productive despite working from home, by using the right mattress, sleeping well and for a healthy period of time.

THE RESPONDENTS WHO ARE WILLING TO BUY A MATTRESS WERE MORE LIKELY TO BUY A MATTRESS AT THE FIRST AVAILABLE OPPORTUNITY. THE REST WILL WAIT OUT THE SITUATION TO SETTLE DOWN

As Covid is a big health and economic crisis, the consumers’ purchasing and other behaviours will change. Mattress companies should reshape and rethink their strategies to capture the market in the post-Covid era. They should dedicate teams to work on the planning to emerge stronger in the future, experts exhorted. Cross-departmental key performance indicators should be evolved to give a new direction and purpose to the company. As is crucial in any business, operations should be moved towards intelligent and data-driven strategies.

We conducted a quick survey asking respondents two crucial questions among others. One was: How much are you willing to spend for a good mattress? And the second: Is buying a mattress in your priority list now, in this situation? The results were surprising. An overwhelming majority — 80% of the respondents — were willing to spend between Rs 10,000 and Rs 25,000 on a good mattress. And 13% were ready to shell out Rs 25,000 to rs 40,000 for a mattress.

On the willingness to buy there was an interesting mix. 20% said, they are buying a mattress now even in the current situation at the first opportunity. About 26% said, buying a mattress is on their minds but not essentially top of on their list. The majority said they do not have it in their priority list.

The survey indicates that with the right strategy, a mattress company can tap into consumer needs and increase its sales and margins. But it is also important for the company to look at its customers, employees and strategies with a fresh set of eyes.

Another interesting result that emerged was that the respondents who said they are willing to spend Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 on a mattress were more likely to buy a mattress at the first available opportunity. The rest will wait out the situation to settle down.

WINNING OVER THE NEW CONSUMER

The ever-increasing focus on health

Health is becoming increasingly important for the consumer. Mattress brands should heed this change and make it a priority to support healthy lifestyles for consumers. Having a “health strategy” will be a strategic differentiator for the foreseeable future.

Growing love for local

The desire to shop local is reflected in both the products consumer buy and the way they shop. Mattress brands will need to explore ways to connect locally – be it through highlighting local origin of the product, the producer or the process and connecting to the local lore.

Staying connected with consumers

COVID-19 is a health and economic crisis that has a sustainable impact on consumer attitudes, behaviors and purchasing habits. CPG companies can adapt to these changes by taking action to respond, reset and renew to be positioned even stronger for the future.

-> Redefine relationships with consumers, customers and employees and reimagine your organization and ways of working

-> Rethink and redefine relationships with ecosystem partners

->Reconsider your product and service portfolio

Omnichannel Option

If you haven’t already considered adopting the Omni Channel approach then this is the right time to do. Omni Channels provide a variety of touch points for the consumers to interact with the product and make a transaction.

Be Assuring

As a result of a new vulnerability to job losses and pay cuts, there will be lower spending at retail for some time to come, till sentiments improve. Mattress brands must think of ways to improve optimism and positivity to how consumers behave after the virus is vanquished. Brands should be caring and empathetic and put people above profits.

Optimism-Filled, Safe Experiences

After the long and indeterminate lockdown ends, retail stores must offer exhilarating and refreshing experiences to customers. People are itching to get back to malls and shop but the fear is holding them back. There should be a gradual easing of this phenomena. Elsewhere in this issue we also talk of a new experience consumers are mentally expecting which is now being dubbed as Safe-EX (Safe Experience).

How to navigate a post Covid-19 consumer world is a question mark in everyone’s mind. While majority are thinking only of only essentials and want to minimize their social interaction, there is a temptation to go out to shop and interact with the world. Much of the buying requirements are being fulfilled by online channels and Omni channels. It is now time for Retailers to rise up to the occasion and be smart enough to help consumers navigate between online and offline experience journeys seamlessly.