Sleep Country Mattress Shopping vs Online (2023)
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Watch out for This Persuasive Sales Routine
According to the National Research Foundation, online mattress shoppers tend to be just as satisfied with their purchases as shoppers who bought their mattress from a store.
But the shopping experience is where online beats the brick-and-mortar mattress stores like Sleep Country.
Sleep Country’s ‘sleep experts’ are not true experts in the field of ergonomic mattresses. They get extensive training in sales, so their expertise is how to sell their products.
Online, you’re able to make more informed choices without the distraction of high-pressure sales.
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Sleep Country has a sales routine that goes something like this:
- You begin with two mattresses within your budget and size requirements. You are asked to try both for a few minutes each. Which of the two felt better?
- Next, the process is repeated, with the winner from Round 1 facing off against a third alternative.
- This 1-on-1 comparison process is repeated for a few more rounds until you have identified a mattress you think is best in the bunch.
Not only does this approach let mattress shoppers cut through the options and zero in on one they like best, it’s incredibly convincing because you are taking ownership of every step down the decision path. It doesn’t feel like overt sales pressure; you are convincing yourself.
Perfect outcome, right? Not so fast.
You’re evaluating the wrong thing entirely.
Sleep Country Versus the Real World
The number one reason some people are hesitant to buy a mattress online is because they believe you need to try it before you buy it. But lying on a mattress in a showroom — an incredibly time-consuming process if you’re comparison shopping — gives little to no indication of how it’s going to feel after a few nights in your own home.
To find the right mattress, you need to test it the way it’s meant to be used.
Sleep Country is an artificial environment. How you test a mattress in store differs considerably from how you would use it at home.
Here are just a few of the differences:
|Testing in Sleep Country||Testing a Mattress at Home|
|Attire:||While in clothes and shoes||While in pyjamas or sleep attire|
|Surface:||Feel the textured cover designed for selling||Feel the comfort (or lack thereof) of the mattress; textured cover hidden beneath sheets and mattress protector (optional)|
|Bedding:||Store pillows, or none||With your blankets, pillows, and bed sheets|
|Test Length:||1–20 minutes||Tested throughout the night for months|
|Setting:||In a well-lit, climate-controlled showroom||In your own bedroom|
|Model:||On a floor model you won’t own||On the model you will actually own|
|Social Pressure:||With social pressure from a salesperson or other store patrons waiting their turn||With only your experience affecting your evaluation|
|Sex:||Legal regulations prohibit such acts in public||Able to engage in amorous activities|
The in-store test does have something going for it, though: it’s extremely persuasive.
However, this is the kind of persuasion that often leads to poor decisions and regret.
(Read to see how Coca-Cola made this same mistake in a multimillion-dollar blunder. Related Example)
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The alternative to the in-store test is an innovation from the founder of online mattress companies Novosbed and Douglas: the sleep trial.
Sleep Trials: The Only Effective Way to Test a Mattress
Online mattress companies don’t have showrooms. Instead, they rely on sleep trials.
What is a sleep trial? It’s a certain number of days after buying a mattress in which you can try the mattress at home, with the option to return it for a refund.
Sleep trials generally vary from 100 nights to the industry-leading 365-night trail offered by Douglas. Douglas gives full money back, arranges for pick-up, and sends the lightly used mattress to a local charity, like Habitat for Humanity, or a recycling facility as a last resort.
You get to try the mattress the way it was meant to be experienced.
How Are Mattress Store Sleep Trials Different?
You might be wondering how the sleep trial differs from the satisfaction guarantees offered by mattress stores. Take a closer look; their details could be your downfall.
Online mattress companies offer very generous sleep trials to allow you to do this, like the 365-night trial offered by Douglas, versus only 100 nights at Sleep Country. Both Douglas and Sleep Country include free delivery, while The Brick only offers it free if you have their store credit card.
If you don’t like the mattress you’ve bought, Douglas offers a free, money-back guarantee on mattress returns. Sleep Country does exchanges only, plus a $65 restocking fee.
Big names in the mattress industry, like Sleep Country and The Brick, are well known mainly because they advertise — a lot. And that cost gets built into the price of their products. Add the costs of sales commissions, running a chain of brick-and-mortar stores, warehousing large volumes of product, etc., and you’re looking at retail markups of up to 100 per cent.
That’s why even if you are a good haggler who manages to negotiate a better price, you’re still paying considerably more in stores than you would for a comparable product sold online.
If you’re buying directly from Douglas.ca, you’re cutting out the middleman of a retail store. Douglas mattresses are made to order and shipped directly from their manufacturing facilities to customers, usually within a few days of when the order is placed. With its direct-to-consumer model, Douglas eliminates unnecessary costs and passes the savings on to their customers. They offer their lowest mattress prices all year round, so there’s no waiting for sales or discount codes.
It’s important to be well informed before buying a mattress — a decision that has a significant impact on the quality of our sleep, and by extension, of our lives. So, before rushing to the nearest Sleep Country, consider the advantages of shopping for your next mattress online.
To see the difference, try visiting www.douglas.ca
Related Example #2 – Sip Tests and the Launch of New Coke
In 1985, The Coca-Cola Company introduced “New Coke,” replacing their world-famous formula with a sweeter alternative. The move brought immediate backlash. Sales sputtered, and customers upset from having their favourite drink taken away demanded the return of the old product. Eventually, the company yielded. The old Coke was re-introduced as “Coca-Cola Classic,” and New Coke was phased out soon after.
New Coke is still considered one of the biggest marketing blunders in history. Why would such a smart and successful company replace the world’s best-selling soft drink with a new, untested version?
Because of the Pepsi Challenge.
In Pepsi Challenge ads, people showed a general preference for Pepsi over coke in blind taste tests. When Coca-Cola executives confirmed these results in private, they panicked. A new, sweeter cola was put into production, one that tested better than either Pepsi or Coke when the tests were repeated. New Coke was born.
But as Malcolm Gladwell describes in his book, Blink, though people preferred the taste of Pepsi to Coke when they had just a sip of each, they also preferred the taste of Coke to Pepsi after drinking an entire can. A sip just wasn’t enough to reveal true taste preferences. In their scramble to guard market share, Coca-Cola executives confused how a drink was tested with how it was actually consumed in a real-world setting.
It’s the mattress shopping mistake all over again! (Back)
Next Steps: Links & Resources
Ready to learn more before you buy your next mattress?
Mattress-Reviews.com includes details on sleep trails, refund policies, and additional fees for every mattress it has reviewed.
Unlike the majority of review websites, Mattress-Reviews.com sends each mattress to a certified engineering firm for testing. Not only does this ensure proper and consistent methodology, it allows for accurate comparisons across all mattresses. For instance, if you were wondering about edge support or motion isolation for a particular mattress, you will be able to see exactly how it stacks up with dozens of other models, to a precise detail. This reduces reviewer subjectivity and increases your odds of buying a mattress you’ll love.
Finally, our comprehensive collection of mattress shopping resources can help you better navigate the other main considerations in buying a new bed.
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