Q&A: What should retailers do to improve their online and in-store shopping experiences?

Mattress retailers can create better customer experiences by shopping other mattress stores to harvest ideas, looking at retailers outside the industry, and by being nicer to their customers.

Those are some of the insights offered by more than two dozen bedding producers who assessed opportunities and challenges in the online and brick-and-mortar worlds.

Brick-and-mortar retailing is not dead, one observed, but it is evolving.

A number of the producers said retailers need to develop omnichannel strategies that address both of those worlds in a coordinated fashion, but some said those two channels are different and should be treated differently; they noted that they are shopped by different consumer groups.

The producers shared their insights with Furniture Today, which asked them this question: What should retailers do to improve their online and in-store shopping experiences? (Rion Morgenstern, of Pleasant Mattress, was featured):

Rion Morgenstern
president and CEO,
Pleasant Mattress Co.
Retail owners need to go shopping at other stores more frequently and critically evaluate what those stores are doing to elevate the consumer experience. Go outside the industry. Go into stores that they’d like to emulate. If they want to offer a thrift store experience, shop a thrift store. If they want to provide a luxury experience, spend time in a luxury boutique to find out how it feels and replicate that feeling and experience for consumers in their stores.

I recommend that retailers take the Internet and their online presence seriously by finding a professional that knows how to build a functionally sound website. Experts are available to meet all budgets; stop hiring your nephew who “built a website once.” A website should generate consumer traffic into the store or at the very minimum get consumers to pick up the phone and call.

We’re talking singles and doubles, not triples and home runs. It really is about the website fundamentals of SEO and focusing on local and mobile to get consumers in your area who are looking to buy to come into your store.