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Marketing Colonial’s In-Depth Research Uncovers Key Insights About the Mattress Buying Process

By Gretchen Kast The retail landscape is changing. As more online information and purchasing oppor- tunities have grown over the past decade, traditional brick and mortar retailers have had to evolve to stay current. Armed with a wealth of brand and product information along with reviews from fellow shoppers, consumers have a more critical eye when it comes time to make a purchase. This fact not only influences the way consumers are shopping, but the way bedding retailers should be engaging with them. Known for its unique research studies, Colonial LLC understands quite a bit about consumer shopping habits. Since 1982, the company has been helping their clients raise their brand awareness, elevate the percep- tion of their product value and increase their sales. Colonial recently expanded its exper- tise with a two-part quantitative and qualita- tive consumer research study that explored the mattress purchasing process—from pre- sale planning to point-of-sale branding.

In doing so the company confirmed a few key insights about the way people shop for beds today—namely, that knowing how a mattress is constructed is still very important to them. Con- sumers want to see and know as much as pos- sible. So, given the increasing number of online reviews and e-commerce platforms available to shoppers, is it safe to assume that shoppers already know exactly what they’re going to buy before they even step into a retail store? Or, even, that consumers no longer find it neces- sary to go into a store at all?

Short answer: no. Even though it’s now pos-

sible to research and buy a mattress at the touch of the button, that doesn’t mean that brick-and-mortar stores have become obso- lete. Far from it, in fact. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, e-commerce ac- counted for only 8.3% of total retail sales in 2014 and while it’s projected to grow in the coming years, it will still only equal a fraction of dollars spent at in-store. While online research helps supply con- sumers with the key product details they’re

Bedgear Debuts Interactive “Pillow ID” Fitting Tool

By Christopher Schriever Bedgear Performance Bedding has unveiled a new interactive shopping experience on its website, allowing consumers to “find their fit” with a personalized performance pillow. Of- ficially launched in November in anticipation of the holiday season, the Bedgear Pillow ID introduces a new way to shop for a pillow through an individualized, interactive and convenient online tool. Inspired by its high- ly successful, patent-pending retail model of personalized pillow fittings, Bedgear de- veloped this new platform to reach a wider audience of consumers looking to improve their sleep quality for better rest and recov- ery at night.

14 Sleep Retailer / Winter 2016

The Pillow ID product selector helps con- sumers determine the right pillow for them based on their sleep style, body type and mattress. A series of eight questions helps to identify a variety of pillow options according to personal profile and preferences. Consum- ers can choose to purchase immediately or have the results emailed to them. Getting fit for the right pillow is as essential to sleep quality as the mattress, accounting for up to 30% of total sleep comfort. Of the 24 vertebrae that make up the spine, seven run from the base of the skull to the top of the shoulders and are directly impacted by pillow position and support. Studies indicate that a vast majority of people sleep on a pillow that

seeking, it can never convey how a mattress will feel more accurately than laying down on it can. So while most consumers come into a retail store with an educated idea of what sort of product they’re looking for, the decision about which mattress to purchase is ultimately made through rest-testing—and in-store branding and displays are the most important factors in driving a consumer to try certain mattresses over others.

Colonial’s most recent qualitative study was designed to replicate a retail store environment—with 20 identical mattresses dressed with 20 different Top of Bed Dis- plays—in order to provide key insights on branding and visibility impact, fabric and styling preferences, product and spec card usage and pricing strategy. By working with professional third-party research associates and qualified study participants, Colonial can offer retailers the most successful in-store marketing practices that are backed by veri- fiable statistics. Visit

does not provide proper spinal alignment, re- sulting in restless nights, grogginess and neck pain. Better sleep is a proven contributor to im- proved daily performance, from mood to mem- ory, weight maintenance, immunity and muscle responsiveness. Visit

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