Everybody sleeps, but not everybody wants to buy a mattress online. Nest Bedding has always embraced an omnichannel strategy, with a very robust e-commerce presence as well as brick and mortar locations. What’s really interesting, as Digiday reports, is how the physical store locations’ design and aesthetic was influenced by the website.
Nest Bedding CEO Joe Alexander explained to Digiday that many mattress store customers don’t necessarily trust traditional mattress retailers. At the same time, they’re uncertain about buying a bed in a box from an online retailer, in part because they want to be able to see, feel and assess the mattress for themselves before purchasing. Nest’s strategy: develop trust online, and continue that trust by making the in-store experience representative of the digital one.
There are two important ways Nest did this. The first is visual. The in-store merchandise is heavily influenced – almost identical – to the visuals on the website, including color scheme, layout, and props. Via Digiday, “Alexander describes the approach as contrary to most mattress company websites which tend to focus on products using shots of people lying on mattresses. “What we wanted to do was convey emotion and not commodity,” said Alexander. “We want people to think that they can see themselves here instead of oh, they sell beds.”
The second way the digital experience is integrated into the in-store environment has to do with social media. All of its stores have screens that display Nest Bedding’s mentions on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram in real time. While this move definitely reinforces the sense of social validation a customer can feel when they choose a Nest mattress, it’s also an impressive display of confidence on the brand’s part.
The big takeaway for retailers here is that the time for thinking of e-commerce and brick and mortar locations as distinct and separate from each other is over. The lines are blurring, with online experiences influencing brick and mortar sales and vice versa. This includes aesthetic choices, as Nest has demonstrated, as well as functionality like shop online, pick up in store. As customers experience this hybrid approach from other retailers, they’re going to begin to expect it from you. The only question is: will you be ready?