HIGH POINT — The COVID-19 pandemic gives the bedding industry new opportunities to connect with consumers, better sleep experts said in a presentation during the Furniture Today Bedding Conference.
Mary Helen Rogers, vice president of marketing and communications for the International Sleep Products Assn. and its consumer education group, the Better Sleep Council, said new consumer research shows that the way that consumers shop for a mattress can influence how well those consumers sleep and how satisfied they are with their purchase. Consumers who do more research and visit retailers are more likely to be happy with their mattress purchase.
Rogers was joined in her presentation by Terry Cralle, a long-time BSC supporter and a better sleep educator and advocate.
Cralle noted that the pandemic has changed consumers’ attitudes about shopping, leading them to purchase more health, wellness and home products. “Shoppers want to improve their health and safety as well as their home environment. So connecting a mattress purchase to health, wellness and home upgrades can help frame that purchase as a positive, need-to-have product for better health rather than just a nice-to-have product.”
The BSC’s new consumer research shows that consumers already connect health and a good night’s sleep.
A good night’s sleep was cited by 43% of Millennials as the top factor for health and well being, while a good night’s sleep was cited by 44% of Gen-X consumers and 39% of Boomers as the top factor for health and well being, Rogers said.
She noted that the research shows that Millennials are spending less on new mattresses than older consumers, but they plan to buy new mattresses sooner, purchase bedding accessories and are likely to make more mattress purchasers over their lifetime than Baby Boomers.
While Baby Boomers are spending more on mattresses, their age makes it likely that the next mattress they purchase will be the last of their lifetime, Rogers said.
She and Cralle stressed the importance of touting better health messages.
“The mattress literally is Square One in a healthy lifestyle,” Cralle said.
“The foundation of a good night’s sleep is what you are sleeping on,” Rogers added. “That should be a quality mattress.”
She also said the BSC’s research challenges the notion that mattresses are a “grudge purchase.” About half or more of the Millennials, Gen-X consumers and Baby Boomers are very satisfied with their mattress purchase, with the highest number of very satisfied consumers — 65% — falling in the Baby Boomer category.
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