Tag Archives: Come Back to Bed

Is Your Website a Cost Center or a Profit Driver

The following is adapted from Come Back to Bed.

In recent months when retailers across the country had to close stores due to the coronavirus pandemic, having an online store became essential to doing business. More and more, customers are coming to your website before they visit your store, if they even visit the store at all. Times have changed and today, your website is where a majority of customers will form their first impression of your business.   

When it comes to the job your website is supposed to do, here’s the headline: be visible to shoppers searching for solutions, and make it easy to do business with your company. Another important thing your website should do is create trust. Jennifer Danko, founder of Site on Time and a division of Nationwide Marketing Group, says, “Ask yourself a simple question: based on our website, would someone shopping online have a favorable impression of our business?” 

To accomplish these goals, your website should serve as your online store. It’s where customers can get a feel for your brand, learn your story and see what your business offers. By creating a website that acts as your online store, you’ll better market your business, increase visibility, and strengthen your customers’ experience with your brand. Here’s a few steps to take to turn your website into your online store. 

Match the In-Store Experience

Your online store should replicate the experience you want customers to have in your store. Start by asking, are all the options available in-store also available online? It’s a simple question, but often difficult to investigate. Do the hard work. 

For example, if you’re a mattress retailer, customers expect adjustable bases, remotes, and bed frames to be available for purchase on your website. Give shoppers the ability to purchase product protection. Let them easily buy and schedule white-glove delivery—if there’s an additional charge for shipping to a specific zip code, design an online experience that lets them pay that surcharge and schedule delivery. Make it easy. Every barrier to buying is a signal to consumers to bail and go somewhere that’s easier to do business. 

Show Inventory

There are two main ways to show inventory. First, you can show exact inventory. This makes some retailers nervous because inventory can turn quickly. If your site shows only one or two of an item left, it creates a sense of urgency. If you don’t want to show exact inventory, the second option is to categorize items as either in stock or quick ship. 

When buying something they need right away, customers want to know what you have in stock. If a refrigerator breaks, the food will go bad. Someone buying a fridge needs one today and doesn’t want to view items that’ll take two weeks to get.

Inventory visibility increases sales and improves margins. If a consumer needs a product today, they’ll prioritize availability over price. 

Transactions

This goes back to mirroring the in-store experience. Online sales for many traditional retailers have been incremental. Years back, people never imagined buying cars online. Now it’s fairly common. There are even car vending machines. 

Today, people are confident in making purchases online. Your job is to come up with ways to aid the customer by connecting them to the exact information they need to make the decision. For example, dimensions are a key factor for furniture and mattresses. The problem with online sales is that customers who are more apt to buy online are more likely to leave bad reviews. Call or communicate with the customer after they make larger purchases to ensure they have everything they need. 

Simplicity

Many retailers overthink the website design and focus on inconsequential details. Most business owners want to make their site a little different. Customers want obvious and intuitive. 

When looking at design, make sure it represents your company and matches your branding. Then make sure it’s user-friendly. Larger companies in your category have figured out designs that work. Don’t think so outside the box that people don’t know how to shop on your site. Don’t get bogged down in small details. Look at the overall experience. Some retailers want to do “daily deals.” People don’t visit independent retailers’ websites looking for daily deals. The customer wants to check if items are in stock; see current sales, rebates, and financing; and have a clear understanding of how delivery works. 

Competitive Pricing

Your online store should be priced to compete. Shoppers have options. Even if you feel your exclusive product commands a higher price, put yourself in the shoes of the consumer and find out if the online shopper would pay a premium. If you’re trying to sell $199 queen sets to compete against Amazon, you’ll likely lose—unless you create a winning strategy to upsell accessories and increase average tickets. Prices need to be competitive. And if you’re not offering the lowest price, make sure consumers understand the value added through service, delivery, financing, or other offers. 

Be Responsive 

Be available in the channels where people want to communicate. Use messaging platforms like Podium to enable live chat and text capabilities. List a phone number on your website. Set up social messenger services. Give customers the ability to contact you in their preferred channels and staff those channels with people who respond immediately. 

When customers set out to solve a problem, like the need for a new mattress, they want to solve it in the moment. They’re dedicating time now. The company that responds first wins. 

Make the Shift

For retailers, selling online has long seemed counterintuitive because it’s not how they built their business. However, times have changed and today, having an online presence is essential to doing business. 

Turning your website into your online store will enable you to better market your business and increase visibility. When your website is easy to navigate and clearly shows consumers what your business is about, customers will want to do business with you. Your website is a tool to establish trust and that’s what keeps people coming back. 


For more advice on marketing your business, you can find Come Back to Bed on Amazon.

Mark Kinsley is President and CEO of Englander, a top-15 US mattress company founded in 1894. Furniture Today called him one of its “20 People to Watch,” and Home Furnishings Business recognized him as one of its “Forty Under 40.” Mark Quinn is the Co-Founder of Spink & Co, Farm-Grown Beds, and the VP of Key Accounts and Marketing for Sherwood Bedding. He’s a top industry blogger at Q’s Views and holds pioneering patents in biometric sleep-space technology. Together, they co-host Dos Marcos, The Galaxy’s Greatest Mattress Podcast (dosmarcos.co), with more than 195 episodes and hundreds of thousands of listens.

Selling the Sale is for Retailers Playing the Short Game. Do This Instead.

The following is adapted from Come Back to Bed.

A major part of promoting your business is what you say, how you say it, and where you say it. 

Most retailers get into an advertising groove. They run the same promotions year after year with the same media outlets. When foot traffic doesn’t boom and sales numbers stagnate, they wonder why the business isn’t growing. The simple answer is that these retailers are focusing their advertising on sales, or discounts, when they should be focusing on substance.

Advertising isn’t just about promoting your sales and encouraging customers to give you their business. It should be part of your larger strategy to tell your story and connect with consumers. When you do this, you’re more likely to capture the attention of customers and that’s when you see your business grow. 

Here we’ll explore a prominent example of how choosing substance over sales can pay off for your business and highlight takeaways that you can use to shift the focus of your advertising to better communicate your story and purpose.

It’s About Building Connection 

In 2008, Chick-fil-A was facing tough competition from other fast-food restaurants that were giving away items for free to create spikes in business. Giveaways may generate some traffic, but it’s short-term thinking and brutal on the bottom line.

Chick-fil-A decided not to participate in a price war. Instead, they created Daddy-Daughter Date Night. Jeff Rouse, owner of a Chick-fil-A in Olathe, Kansas, wanted to host an event that would drive people into his store and give dads and daughters a memory that would last a lifetime. 

Little girls put on their best dresses, dads wore suits, and they stepped into a fast food restaurant that had been transformed with soft music, white tablecloths, and fresh flowers on every table. The event was such a smashing success, Chick-fil-A stores all over the country adopted Daddy-Daughter Date Night and added red carpets, carriage rides, and strolling violinists. It has since grown so big that community members now volunteer to help make it a special night for everyone involved. 

Competitors were advertising discounted chicken. Chick-fil-A was advertising the opportunity to deepen the connection between fathers and daughters. 

Prioritize Value, Not Profit

The biggest mistake retailers make when it comes to advertising is getting stuck on product-price-and-promotion messages. If that’s where you focus, where do customers place their attention? Is a transaction the only outcome you are after? 

There is no reason you can’t use advertising to hook your audience while also building value in your products, process, and people. If all you do is scream “SALE” during every major event, you blend in with every other business. You become noise that’s easy to tune out. 

Carve out space to talk about something cool you’re doing in your community. Imagine a television ad with twenty seconds spent building value in something special or telling a story, coupled with a ten-second pitch about the offer. That format still works, and you’ll accomplish way more than your bland competitors will, doing what they have always done. 

Promote Your Purpose

When you focus on substance rather than sale you create an opportunity to promote your business’s purpose. Chick-fil-A advertised Daddy-Daughter Date Night instead of a price-focused promotion. When we see that Chick-fil-A cares about our family enough to create this sort of event, it connects us to them in a special way. 

Consider how you want to connect with your customers. Is there a cause in your community that you care about? Can you give back in some way? Choosing to focus your advertising on your purpose will enable you to better tell your story and build strong connections with your customers that will help your business grow. 

Remember that this doesn’t mean you can never run promotions. Just make sure that’s not all you do. If it is, you’re missing a real opportunity. Get creative, be brave and go beyond your typical advertising messaging. You will be glad you did. 

For more advice on marketing your business, you can find Come Back to Bed on Amazon.

Mark Kinsley is President and CEO of Englander, a top-15 US mattress company founded in 1894. Furniture Today called him one of its “20 People to Watch,” and Home Furnishings Business recognized him as one of its “Forty Under 40.” Mark Quinn is the Co-Founder of Spink & Co, Farm-Grown Beds, and the VP of Key Accounts and Marketing for Sherwood Bedding. He’s a top industry blogger at Q’s Views and holds pioneering patents in biometric sleep-space technology. Together, they co-host Dos Marcos, The Galaxy’s Greatest Mattress Podcast (dosmarcos.co), with more than 190 episodes and hundreds of thousands of listens. 

5 Steps to HATCH Brilliant Business Ideas

The following is adapted from Come Back to Bed.

Marketing your business is an essential part of telling your story and attracting customers. You won’t succeed if consumers don’t know you exist. But your marketing needs to break through the noise in order to capture attention. How can you do this?

Creative thinking is where it starts. Creative thinking is critical when it comes to setting yourself apart from the competition. For some, thinking outside the box comes naturally, and for others, it’s tough. If you lack creative juices, there are five steps you can follow to help you to unlock creative ideas that will support your business goals. We call this the HATCH method. 

Bring together a good group, use the process outlined in this article, and watch the ideas flow. This is the path to making your business stand out so that you get paid. 

Hold a Brainstorm 

It’s important to clearly define the objective of the brainstorm. What do you want the brainstorm to accomplish? Be specific! Increasing sales isn’t a goal. Increasing sales over the Labor Day holiday by 10 percent over last year is more like it. 

After you figure out your goal, write it at the top of a Post-it pad to keep things in focus.

Act Crazy 

The goal of a brainstorm is not to select ideas, it’s to generate a large volume of them. Set the tone of the brainstorm from the start by encouraging people to be comfortable. No idea is a bad idea. No criticism after an idea is floated. Sometimes it helps to play a game before starting the brainstorm to help people loosen up and feel more relaxed sharing their ideas. 

Consider adopting what improv comedians call the “Yes, and” method. When one actor introduces an idea to the audience, the partner actor always builds on that topic. The second actor never shuts down the first actor’s idea. If one actor is pretending to be a sweet old grandmother who breathes fire like a dragon, the second actor would never say, “No, be a grandmother who breathes ice.” That approach kills the momentum. Using the “Yes, and” method, the second actor would think, “Yes, and the fire-breathing grandma has to sing in the church choir this Sunday!” 

Another framework is the twenty-idea method. Start spitballing ideas, and don’t stop until you get to number twenty. After about ten ideas it gets tougher to conjure new thoughts, but that’s also when things start getting good. When you push past the obvious, you get to the surprising ideas. After all, as Roy H. Williams said, “Surprise is the foundation of delight.” Stupid stuff gets said, laughter ensues, and creative juices start bubbling.

Take a Nap

Step away. Close out the meeting, go home, get a great night’s sleep, and come back to your brainstorm list the next day. It’s remarkable what happens when you allow your brain to process new material overnight. When your unconscious mind marinates on ideas and new inputs, your brain creates connections in your subconscious. 

Regroup and hand out colored stickers so each person has their own color. Then have each team member go up to the Post-it pad and place a dot on their top-five favorite ideas. You can expand it to more than five if you want, but the goal is to force the best ideas to the top of the list.

Choose Ideas

Bring back your team and focus on your top two ideas. Make sure you all agree that these are the best; check to make sure they have the most potential. 

It’s time to start putting together your strategy and thinking about the best way to execute it. How will you measure success? What will the budget be? What are the deadlines to meet the objective? What should the return on investment be? How can you fail? How can you mitigate that failure? What are the tactics you will have to employ to get the desired outcome, and who are the best people to assign those tasks to? 

Hand Off to Creative Team

Once you’ve chosen your ideas, hand them off to the creative team and let them begin bringing it all to life. 

Get the Most Out of Your Ideas

Harnessing creativity can be challenging, but by following the HATCH method you will be able to more easily brainstorm ideas and develop creative solutions to get your business noticed.

Remember that no idea is a bad idea. We all have the potential to be creative, we just need the right tools and environment to bring out our ideas. Once you master this process, the possibilities for leveraging creativity to grow your business become endless. 

For more advice on marketing your business, you can find Come Back to Bed on Amazon.


Mark Kinsley is President and CEO of Englander, a top-15 US mattress company founded in 1894. Furniture Today called him one of its “20 People to Watch,” and Home Furnishings Business recognized him as one of its “Forty Under 40.” Mark Quinn is the Co-Founder of Spink & Co, Farm-Grown Beds, and the VP of Key Accounts and Marketing for Sherwood Bedding. He’s a top industry blogger at Q’s Views and holds pioneering patents in biometric sleep-space technology. Together, they co-host Dos Marcos, The Galaxy’s Greatest Mattress Podcast (dosmarcos.co), with more than 185 episodes and hundreds of thousands of listens. 

ANNOUNCING THE DOS MARCOS BOOK NAME

Mark Quinn said it best, “We don’t want retailers to survive. We want them to thrive.”  In this week’s episode, we reveal the name of our new book, 

“Come Back to Bed: Attract More Foot Traffic And Make People Fall In Love With Your Store. “

As your Sleep Industry Guides, Dos Marcos has traveled the mattress universe looking for tried-and-true foot traffic drivers. Over the years we’ve gathered dozens of ideas that have been implemented by real retailers. But the book is more than a list of ways to attract foot traffic; Dos Marcos will show you how to build a brand people love, connect with people in a meaningful way, and truly differentiate your business from the competition. 

Here’s a taste of what’s inside the book, a snippet from Chapter 3 that touches on why mattress and furniture stores have to change and adapt to be here tomorrow. 

“We live in an attention economy. If you capture people’s attention, you can get paid. Fail to make people look and listen and business will suffer. Offer the same products sold at a dirty window store down the road and you’ll be commoditized. Avoid building value in your products and no one will care what you’re selling. Promote only price and item and someone will beat your price.”

You need to differentiate….

{…}To generate foot traffic and sales you have to give people a compelling reason to put on pants and stop shopping at Amazon.com.

You have to decide to do it differently.

{…}A shift takes place when you decide to do it differently. Suddenly you go from playing basketball against giants to running sprints against sloths. No one can keep up. They don’t understand what you’re doing or why you’re doing it. They scoff and criticize. They sneer and talk trash. And then one day you’ll see those trash talkers trying to play your game. At first you’ll be upset. Don’t worry. It won’t take long before your competitor realizes they’re the sloth and you’re the track star. If someone else plays your game, you’ll be better at it. A key piece of your game will be dedicated to something fun, meaningful, and magical—connecting with people. That’s where we’re heading next.”

We describe in detail over 70 tested methods for driving foot traffic. We incorporate the wisdom of heavy hitters in the industry such as Jim “Mattress Mack” McInvgale, Harry Roberts, Steve Rusing and many more. We lament over some of our own personal failures, and we did all this so that you could walk away with a one-stop-shop book designed to take your business from ordinary to extraordinary.


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