The average amount of time that passes between expenditures varies wildly depending on need and cost. People buy homes on average of every 8 years, cars every 6 years and mattresses around every 9 years.
Think about how much changes in a 5 year time frame in the mattress industry let alone almost a decade! Products, technology, materials, messaging, health concerns not to mention business models (like Bed-in-a-box & e-commerce). The industry may seem to move slowly from year-to-year, but over 10 undergoes a tectonic shifting of great magnitude!
Consumers block out your ads
Consumers are bombarded with impressions, some estimates report up to 10,000 ads per day! Buyers have evolved to "block out" the white noise, but what about when it's time to buy?
Customers get hyper-focused on your ads
If you've ever started shopping for a particular car, you'll start to notice that car all over the place. It's a phenomenon called Recency Bias. Our minds are more receptive to seeing things we have recently devoted attention to.
So if you decided to start shopping for a mattress, you'll quickly become inundated with countless ads, brands, storylines, new technology...and since it's been 10 years since you've shopped for a mattress, you can imagine the shock one would experience trying to make sense of it all!
When Steve Jobs was re-hired as the CEO of Apple, as told by Walter Isaacson, one of his first orders of business was to eliminate the vast number of products they were selling, as much as 70% of the products were killed! One year later, Apple, nearly bankrupt, turned a very healthy $309 million profit.
How are you simplifying the process?
When people become overwhelmed by a decision, often as a result of being presented a number of options, they can experience Analysis Paralysis and the the fear of making a perceived "buying mistake" prevents a consumer from purchasing.
Bed-in-a-Box companies understood this and used it to their advantage. Many of these successful brands began with 1, 2 or 3 beds to make the buying process incredibly simple. They kept the price points lower than industry average which reduced purchasing anxiety and lowered expectations. They gave longer than average comfort trials and told unique stories about their brands.
Add more features?
Now that e-commerce has equalized the playing field for mattress brands, companies are looking for ways to create product differentiation. There is mounting pressure to jam-pack any new material or technology into a mattress to provide an incredibly long list of benefits on a spec sheet. And while there is a place for "more is better", mattress makers may be better served focusing on simplicity, story-telling, ease-of-buying instead of creating the Swiss Army knife of bedding.