A couple of weeks ago, I was having coffee with a few good friends of mine. Interestingly, the topic of mattress was brought up by a friend of ours who have been recently relocated to Hong Kong. She has been searching around for a good mattress and stumbled across brands such as Skyler, Noa, Emma, Sea Horse and Tempur.
A common difference she has noted between the newly mattress-in-a-box brands (Emma, Skyler and Noa) compared to the established long-time players in the market (Sea Horse and Tempur) was that the new entrants all offered the 100-night trial period. She asked if this service was necessary since some of them also do have physical store that allows customers to test. There was of course, a good split of yes and no. Those who disagreed said that a physical store was more than enough. Those who agreed said that it was a great service to have, especially since mattress is a rather personal item.
Why is it important for business to offer return policy?
Most stores these days are offering return policy, allowing their customers to return items after a specific period. Having a sound return policy is not only good business for offline stores but essential for online stores. According to a recent poll, most consumers stated that they do consider a brand’s return policy before shopping at the store. It’s an important aspect to attract and retain customers. This also give consumers some time to react when for instance, regret sets in after purchasing a beautiful and ridiculously expensive dress that was not suitable for any occasion at all. Even more so for the online businesses that relies on descriptions to attract shoppers to buy. Without this guarantee, it is even harder to convince shoppers to make a purchase since they cannot physically see and feel the quality or even try on the size!
Return policy and its relevance to mattress shopping
Mattress is an item that is very personal to us. A good and supportive mattress is important for a good night’s rest. Hence, choosing and investing in the right mattress is particularly important. Investing in a good mattress, however, is not easy at all. A lot of time needs to be dedicated to doing the pre-purchase research. Even then, testing is important to ensure the mattress ‘feels’ right. Between the two, researching is the easiest to do as most information is easily available online. Testing, on the other hand, is easier said than done. How often do we lay in the same position that we do in the comfort of our house at the stores? How often do we roll around the mattress to test for its bouncy-ness and movement isolation property in the store? And more importantly, how long does it really take for our body to adapt to a mattress to know if that is the right mattress for us? The answer is long. Most research will tell you to at least 30 days for you to get used to a new mattress to consider if it’s that comfortable and suited for you.
So my answer is yes, a 100 night trial period is extremely important even if you can try out and purchase the mattress at store. It not only makes a good business case because it demonstrates retailer’s confidence in the product. But more importantly, it gives customers a longer period of time to try the mattress at the comfort of their home, testing the mattress thoroughly by actually sleeping on it the whole night and giving the body time to respond to it. This, however, does not negate the fact that physical stores are not important in the purchasing process. Mattresses are big priced items. Putting down a few thousand of dollars with the company just for testing may not be right up to everyone’s alley. Furthermore, the process of returning the mattress is not as easy as it is even if pick ups are free.
Three mattress-in-a-box brands that I highly recommend that provides both physical location for you to try the mattress and even go home with the 100 night trial service is as follow:
JG Casa, 19/F, Gravity, 29 Hing Yip Street, Kwun Tong
ECOSA store , 2/F, 318 Portland St, Mong Kok
Rim Casa, G/F, 66-68 Queens Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Skyler store, Unit 2B, 2/F, Kwai Bo Industrial Building, 40 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Hong Kong
Sofagoodsofa, Flat A2, 5/F, Cheung Fat Building, 7 – 9 Hill Road, Sai Wan, Hong Kong
With all the new online brands offering this service including setting up showrooms and retail stores, it’s interesting to see how the big boys would match up to stay relevant!