While shopping for a mattress, many consumers still prefer the touch-and-feel experience of the store. New tools and technologies, however, are allowing retailers to create a richer experience for online shoppers so they have the information they need to make the best decisions.
Mattress Firm, a multichannel retailer with more than 1,500 locations in 38 states, wanted to replicate the personal nature of its in-store experience online. Using assisted selling technologies from Vee24, the retailer was able to significantly improve online conversions and overall basket size.
Live video assistance, coupled with online chat and co-browsing functionality, allows Mattress Firm to connect with customers in new ways, according to Daniel Dietz, Director of E-Commerce at Mattress Firm. “If we want to offer a truly differentiated shopping experience we need to be available for our customers when they want, where they want, how they want — Vee24 enables us to further accomplish this goal.”
Since implementing Vee24, Mattress Firm employees have noted a significant difference in conversion rates and basket sizes for consumers who use the assisted selling offerings and those who do not. Conversion rates for assisted sessions can be up to 10-fold higher than the retailer’s e-Commerce averages. Basket sizes also can be between 25% and 100% larger.
Due to the success of the video chat experience, Mattress Firm recently added two additional service stations.
“The customer is able to build a better connection with our sales associates,” said Dietz in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “As a result, we are able to see higher closing percentages along with overall improved customer satisfaction ratings. Many of our customers who ordered through video chat have said it is what made them decide to buy from Mattress Firm.”
By nature, mattresses are very high-touch products that consumers want to experience before buying, according to Dietz.
“This presents a challenge in the online space, which is why we are excited to expand our video capabilities,” Dietz explained. “Many people don’t know how to shop for a mattress since it’s been a few years since they purchased their last one. Providing the opportunity for customers to do research online and see a friendly agent may ease concerns and build trust.”
Agents are available via chat and video to guide shoppers along the browsing and buying journey. Customers can even “co-browse” with agents, which makes the experience more interactive and similar to shopping in a store.
“It’s important that we build trust with potential customers and our web site plays a key role in that process,” Dietz said. “By building a site that is centered on education, we build the overall brand. Whether they ultimately buy on our web site or in one of our stores, we want to make the experience easy and enjoyable. Through an expansive brick-and-mortar presence as well as a growing online presence, we are able to build a trusted national brand that not only provides all the best brands at all the best prices, but multiple options to purchase — in-store, online, phone, chat and now video.”