While bedding is a product category that consumers tend to want to see and feel before purchasing, you cannot discount the ever-growing impact of ecommerce. So if you’re a brick-and-mortar mattress store, and you’re not taking advantage of online marketing, then you’re missing the boat.
According to comScore, a digital business analytics provider in Virginia, U.S. retail ecommerce sales reached $186.2 billion in 2012, a whopping 15 percent increase over 2011. In fact, ecommerce growth rates for 2012 outpaced brick-and-mortar by a factor of four, and online sales now account for 10 percent of total U.S. retail spending.
Simply put, brushing aside the power of online mattress store marketing is a grave mistake for your business.
This is not to say that you must publish all of your mattresses online with a price tag. Across the brick-and-mortar industry, a rising percentage of sales are first researched online. So while you’re not necessarily losing all your sales to ecommerce enterprises, consumers are doing more research online before they visit your physical location.
However, if you don’t have an easily navigable website, and you’re not providing valuable information about mattresses, then you’re most likely losing customers.
Build Your Website
A high quality website offers the opportunity to reach a segment of buyers who otherwise would not know about your store. Among other things, your website should:
- Be eye-catching
- Be simple to navigate
- Provide your brands value proposition and offering
- Offer valuable with useful information that is downloadable to convert traffic into leads
- Perform lead to sale nurturing
If you have all of these things, you should have an edge on ecommerce retailers. Why? Because you have a storefront –and more specifically, customers know who you are and are more apt to trust you.
Use this as a strength by displaying social proof, business awards, community involvement, the years you’ve been in business, and any other information that shows you can be trusted.
Back in the “old days,” shoppers visited four or five stores before purchasing a bed. Now they go to one, or if you’re lucky, two stores. This is the power of the World Wide Web. Shoppers are doing more of their research online and then they find a store to complete their purchase.
Market Your Website
Once your website is up and running, you will not only have to maintain it (updates, optimization, etc.) but also market it. You will need at least one dedicated staff member to update the pages regularly, produce new content, and engage socially to help market your company. Key components of an effective online marketing campaign are:
- Content marketing: Blogging, eBooks, and press releases – to convert visitors into leads
- Search engine optimization: Increasing your Google rankings – to drive relevant traffic
- Paid online advertising: Google and social media advertising – to laser traffic low hanging fruit
- Email marketing: Newsletters and ongoing promotions – to keep your brand top of mind
- Social media: Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms – to build brand advocates and offering customer service
- Analytic reporting: Analyzing trends and opportunities – to monitor and optimize your efforts
You can use all of these methods – and more – to reach a wider audience of relevant visitors while driving more foot traffic into your mattress store. By running an active blog on your site, you will be assisting in consumer education (or what we like to call, bed-ucation), allowing you educate consumers into the best options to satisfy their needs, to show best-selling products so you increase the value per customer, coupled with reviews written by actual buyers.
Offering videos, quality photos, and detailed descriptions will help lure shoppers away from the web and onto your doorstep. Enhance interaction by using social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter to reach more people and increase brand awareness.
This is only the start. Look at the Internet as one more vehicle – in fact, the most important vehicle — to add to your marketing arsenal.
If you, as a mattress retailer or wholesaler, don’t have the in-house expertise to launch or manage a quality website, find an outside marketing agency to handle the work for you. It’ll be well worth the investment – trust us!
Building your website is only the first step. Marketing your newly-minted site is a whole new animal. Take lead starting today before the competitor across the street does!
If you have more questions on online mattress store marketing, feel free to contact us. Discover what it will take to achieve your online business goals with a FREE inbound marketing assessment.OUR SYSTEM FREE ASSESSMENT TALK WITH US