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Retailers can use value proposition to fight back against online reviews

Retailers can use value proposition to fight back against online reviews

Start a Google Alert for “mattress” and you will be served thousands of articles with titles like, “9 Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers” or “Best Mattresses Under $1,000.”

These review sites hurt our industry because they promote pay-for-play strategies that give savvy marketing-focused DTC brands an upper hand. 

In fact, the issue itself becomes quite complex when you consider the differences between clearance centers, mattress-by-appointment stores and quality sleep shops. That’s why this will be the first of several articles focused on this issue, as I’m currently collecting comments from retailers about this for follow-up articles.

This first article offers an immediate way brick-and-mortar retailers can fight back — value proposition. Break it down into three categories: strategic selection, excellent experience and educated RSAs.

First, there are thousands of online mattress brands today, which means you’re competing against even more companies than you were just a few years ago. However, less floor space may actually be an advantage for brick-and-mortar retailers.

If you have fewer options in your store, there’s less for the consumer to have to search through. And psychological studies have found that people don’t like to make choices between too many options because they get overwhelmed. So by offering fewer options, you’re giving the consumer a better, less stressful shopping experience. 

Another advantage for brick-and-mortar retailers is that they have the product available for the consumer to touch and feel. No amount of information written in a product description or online review can replace trying out the mattress in the store.

Consumers feel more confident and satisfied with their purchase if they’re able to see it and test it first. Just remember to have them lie down for at least 10-15 minutes to truly get a feel for it. 

Finally, RSAs are the most powerful tool a brick-and-mortar retailer has. While no one likes a salesperson who hovers, RSAs are an invaluable resource for shoppers who know nothing about mattresses (which, let’s face it, is most customers).

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Online, a consumer might turn to a chatbot for help, but is that answering their question, or just causing more confusion and frustration?

RSAs aren’t just important during the buying process, they also have value after the purchase is made because they can help fix any issues that occur or answer customer questions after the purchase.

All of these things combined give brick-and-mortar retailers the upper hand, but if you’re not communicating these advantages to your customers you could be missing out on a large chunk of business.

Reach out at if you’re interested in offering your take on this issue, and stay tuned for the next article in this series. 

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