Relevance of free trials and cross-selling of products in mattress shopping

Both offline and online retailers must adopt a slew of strategies to promote mattress shopping in India.

Mattress shopping in India has still not gained momentum. Although, people are increasingly showing interest in mattress shopping owing to increased incomes and growing health woes, yet, it is needed that both offline and online retailers adopt a slew of strategies to promote mattress shopping in India. One of the primary strategies can be increasing customer satisfaction and shopping experience by offering special benefits which may include lucrative offers like cashback, vouchers, large discounts, free trial periods, extended warranty etc. Such offers not only motivate the customers to shop more but make them loyal as well towards a particular brand and retailer.

Why Free Mattress Trials are Important?

Modern-day customers are aware of the fact that buying a new mattress is an important decision as they would be spending nearly 1/3rd of their life on it. It is due to this reason that they have become very selective these days. Earlier customers had only limited options as there were only a few brands and retailers in the market who used to sell mattresses through brick-and-mortar stores. Now with online mattress companies selecting a new mattress has become easy. Here comes the differentiating factor like free trials that can hugely impact the customer’s choice.

Bhavesh Godawat, a Pune-based marketing professional, says, “If you can try clothes, shoes and other products for free before purchasing them, then the same should be applied to the mattress as well on which you have to sleep the whole night. So, in my opinion, a free trial of the mattress is necessary.”
As of now, free mattress trials are provided by only a few upcoming or established online mattress brands in India. This is because, with offline shops, customers can at least touch and feel the mattress before buying it but in the case of online shops, this is practically impossible. That said, the business model of these few online mattress stores is fairly simple i.e., they offer customers some mattresses variants, set clear prices cut out middlemen so that the prices are lower, ship free to customers and offer them a 30 to 100-day trial (depending upon the pre-decided policy) during which they can return the item for a full refund.

The major benefit of free mattress trials is that it is a win-win for both the retailers in the segment as well as the potential customers as the former can get a chance to show the customers their new products, features and the latter can try a new mattress before buying so that there is no risk factor. Particularly, for retailers, free trials are important as they can greatly increase their potential customer base. However, like anything else, offering a free trial has its pros and cons.

Despite the few disadvantages associated with the free mattress trial offer, this strategy can greatly help retailers to increase their mattress sales. So, while until now only a few online mattress sellers were providing free trials, today, even offline sellers need to look into this strategy as this can help them beat the tough online competition and gain huge customer support.

Why Cross-Selling on Mattress Shopping is Important?

Offering cross-selling products on purchases has always been the best marketing practice to draw more customers to any store. The same is applied to the mattress industry also. The mattress industry can cross-sell products such as bedspreads and pillows along with mattresses. Akshay Agrawal, Owner, of Udaipur-based Sumpuran Furniture & Interio which keeps mattresses also for sale, avers, “Customers are always on the lookout for options for saving money or getting something free and if they get a product such as a pillow or a bed sheet, they are likely to get attracted to the store. Thus, cross-selling can greatly help in increasing mattress sales. In fact, from increased sales to improved reputation, cross-selling may be that one ingredient that can bring huge success to the mattress retailing business.”

Generally, various offline mattress stores have been giving free pillows as an offer on particular days like Independence Day, etc., or during weeks like Diwali week, etc. Well, typically, the best deals are offered around festive days and major shopping events. Sometimes, freebies are also given to certain customers under certain scenarios to ensure that the customer returns in future. Not only offline mattress retail stores but even online stores are offering cross-selling products on mattresses.

Despite the few disadvantages, cross-selling products can be a great strategy that can help online as well as offline mattress retailers to make mattresses an exciting shopping category. This can motivate customers to buy mattresses more frequently. Thus, mattress retailers can gain more profits and earn a good name in the market.

To Conclude

Understanding the fact that most Indians are still hesitant to buy mattresses frequently, free trials and cross-selling products offer a huge relevance in the industry as these two strategies can undoubtedly lure more customers to the retail store and lead to increased mattress sales. While many offline, as well as online mattress retailers, have started to move in this direction, many need to tread on this path to success.

ISPF is an industry body which promotes importance of sleep and role of mattress for a Indian consumers. ISPF plays very important role in connecting Indian bedding industry ecosystem. ISPF also acts as bridge between India and international players.