Did you know 80% of shoppers add on accessories with major purchases? Are you tapping into that hidden profit opportunity? Your customer uses sleep accessories every day, but research shows that only 40% of mattress sales include an accessory purchase.* ( 2012 Furniture/Today Retail Bedding Survey). Instead, customers visit major department stores or go online for everyday sleeping accessories. Why? The answer is simple: Customers either believe they’ll get a better deal at the leading department store or don’t know they can make these purchases at their mattress store.
How can retail sales associates maximize the relationship they have built with their customer? Here are a few ideas. Increase household penetration, develop sleep shoppers, and create referral business.
*Increase household penetration of sleep accessories. Example: Instead of selling 1 bedframe for the mattress your customer is purchasing today, ask how the support in all the beds of the home is performing. Are any making unnecessary noise? Are any mattresses sagging due to poor center support?
*Convert the sleep consumer into a sleep shopper even before the 10 year mattress replacement cycle. Example: Bring your customer back to the store for small purchases. It’s wedding season and an easy gift is new pillows for the bride and groom.
*Create referral business on items in your customer’s everyday budget. Example: Mattress protectors are budget friendly. Your customer purchases a new mattress protector and you have built value in the breathability and temperature benefit of a new protector. They tell their friend they are no longer sleeping hot, the friend comes to your store to purchase a new mattress protector.
Tips are below, but first let’s talk numbers:
A mattress tends to be a long-term, planned purchase. The average home has four mattresses that need replaced, let’s say every 10.5 years. So how can you build profit into purchases only made every 10 years?
How Much Can the OVERALL sale increase with sleep accessories?
Lifecycle of a mattress = 10.5 years
Average house has 4 beds = 4 bed frames, power foundations, ornamentals, mattress protectors.
Lifecycle of a pillow = 3 years
Average house has 2 pillows per bed) = 8
Lifecycle of sheets = 2 years
Average house has 1.5 sheet sets per bed = 6
Do you see the opportunity for upselling? If you’ve earned the customer’s trust enough to sell a mattress, it’s worth asking about the other essentials.
Capture greater sales by targeting your audience’s core comfort values. Increase the number of sleep accessories by asking about additional bedrooms for which the shopper may have needs. You can convert the retail mattress customer from a mattress consumer, to a sleep shopper. Consumer behavior notes that big-ticket items, such as a mattress, tend to be longer term, planned purchases, while smaller ticket items such as bed frames, pillows, and sheets tend to be closer to an impulse purchase and replaced more often.
How did retail environments become successful at selling accessory items with core purchases? The FIRST step is ALWAYS asking the consumer to consider what more they need to complete their purchase. McDonald’s started their “Would you like fries with that?” campaign, which was a tried-and-true retail tactic that helps them sell millions more fries each year.
Tips for increasing accessory sales:
- Knowledge is power – Know what you sell. What products are available in your store? To order? Know the features and benefits, as well as the various style options.
- Repetition – Introduce your customer to their sleep accessory options early in the sale and mention them often throughout. This will help build brand recognition and credibility with your customer.
- Stress the importance of a complete experience – They’re shopping for a bed, but make sure they know a mattress is only one component of the complete sleep experience.
- An educated decision – Explain the key features of the accessories and why those elements encourage the best sleep imaginable. How will a mattress protector safeguard their investment? What will a new pillow do for their sleep quality? And why are your sleep accessories better than department store options?
- Demonstrate – Don’t just tell, show. Get the shopper involved. Often the difference is in the feel. Let the customer experience the product. It might just sell itself.
- Cost analysis – Show your customer how bundling sleep accessories will help their pocketbook. Consider pricing the mattress as a bundle with all the accessories built in. The benefit to the retail sales associate is you can then drop product not price, while holding margin in your mattress sale.
Are you missing out on these hidden profits? If so, it’s time to rethink your approach and maximize every selling opportunity.