There just has to be an easier way to get the mattress info across | Sheila Long O’Mara

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I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating: mattresses are the most confusing category consumers create when furnishing their homes.

The jumble of components is not always easy to understand; foam vs latex, foam density, number of springs, natural materials, cooling fabrics and so on. And, most consumers worry about being “sold” during the process of buying a new bed.

I guess buying has always been daunting; However, the internet, the rise of search engine optimization, an abundance of review sites, and the explosion of affiliate marketing have flooded the web with mattress information and, in some cases, misinformation. .

That same internet is where consumers turn to start their mattress shopping journey to find a mind-blowing amount of top 5 or top 10 best mattress titles. Sometimes these titles include brands rarely known to industry insiders.

My Outlook inbox is filled with Google alerts touting the best mattresses for back sleepers, side sleepers, wankers and turners, best mattresses for sex or some other euphemism, and more. A quick Google search brings up thousands of results – some paid ads and some organic – and if you dig a little deeper into the links it gets pretty interesting.

Of course there is consumer reports, long the standard-bearer for consumer product reviews. The publication and website reviews everything from headphones to cars to appliances to pillows and, yes, mattresses.

You may or may not be familiar with sites like Best Products, Good Housekeeping, and WireCutter, owned by The New York Times Co., all of which have built a business model around product reviews, and that model is bolstered by marketing. affiliate: consumers click on and buy, the site earns a commission on the sale.

Same CBSlong known for its reviews of technology and consumer electronics, has moved into the mattress review business.

Some sites don’t even test the mattresses themselves and instead rely on a wide range of items from other outlets. How can that make sense?

I guess because there is money to be found in affiliate dollars, the playing field for mattress reviews has become more crowded and will continue to do so. Page after page scrolls through search results, a gateway to how consumers jump into search.

Try it. You will find media names like Forbes, US News & World Report, Rolling Stone – why? — and popular mechanics. What do expert music industry editors know about mattresses and how well or poorly they are made? This is curious to me and, again, confusing or misleading to consumers who rely on the media for untainted information to inform their purchases.

And let’s not forget the consumer reviews that populate sites like Amazon, Wayfair, and other direct-to-consumer e-commerce players.

The thing is, it’s loud, and it’s increasingly difficult to weed out the legitimate information and the misinformation for consumers who are simply looking for a new mattress to help them get a good night’s sleep.

What should a retailer do? Train your teams to have open and honest conversations with consumers when they walk into your store looking for the latest “Clapton” mattress that got five stars on a random website. (No, that’s not a real mattress brand that I know of. It’s the name of one of our pets.)

What is your alternative? What better mattress do you have that fits within their budget, and how does it compare to the Clapton brand? Make it real for them and help them find a mattress that offers a solution to their wants and needs… without the affiliate marketing money.

It’s just cleaner that way.

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