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Buying a Mattress - Offline vs Online

Buying a Mattress - Offline vs Online

Buying a mattress online v/s offline - what is the difference? We are sure you’ve come across this question many times - and we understand the question still stands as a conundrum. So, let’s paint a picture which makes it easier for you to understand the difference and make a conclusive decision.

What caused the shift in trend from offline to online?

A decade ago, almost all our purchases starting from clothes to groceries, food to footwear and other essential items were done from offline stores. But things have changed since the intervention of “e-Commerce” in India and now, we are officially living in the era of ‘Online Shopping’. Many sectors which were once offline dominated have now become e-Commerce strongholds and the same applies to the mattress industry. We all have witnessed this shift in trend but have we ever asked ourselves as to why this happened in the first place? Take a look at the possible causes.

  1. More convenience for customer
  2. Higher competition, more value for you
  3. Availability of unbiased information and options
Let’s understand the difference between online v/s offline mattress shopping based on the pointers shared above.
More convenience for customers
Offline Online
When you decide to buy a mattress from an offline store, you end up walking down to the store, spending time analyzing the product, and make the decision then and there. When you buy a mattress online, you conduct the transaction from the comfort of your home. No stepping out in the sun and no running to and from to different stores.
The delivery charges, the transportation of mattress from the store to your home, etc. are on you. Online stores offer free delivery i.e. product delivered to your doorsteps with no additional cost. You can also return the product if it has been damaged during the delivery without any additional charges.
Finding a good mattress might be easy but finding the ‘right’ one isn’t. The decision can’t be made in a day and certainly not in an hour. As a customer, you must be aware of numerous things such as the firmness you prefer, mattress that is designed to provide support in accordance with your sleeping position, your weight, the strength of your bed frame, etc. Simple touching and feeling won’t do. While shopping from UrbanBed using their website, you get enough time to make the right decision while considering all aspects that need to be factored in. Do it in a day, a week or a month… your choice. You won’t have a sales guy constantly nagging you to make an instant, uninformed decision and have second thoughts later.
If the mattress doesn’t work out for you, you might feel the need to return, exchange or get a refund. While the process might be easy, it won’t happen unless the store owner has relevant policies allowing that. Refund, return or product exchange is as simple as buying the mattress in the first place. If the product doesn’t work out for you, you can use the 120 nights trial warranty and get the product replaced. You can also return the product or get a refund in case of any major issue within 15 years from the date of purchase.
Higher competition = more value
Offline Online
Before the e-commerce industry took over, the competition for your local mattress store was fairly local. The only competition they had was with the other stores in the same area. And the fact hasn’t changed a bit for stores still in business. This means, even if they offer you occasional discounts, it won’t be worth the effort you put in. For online stores, the competition is global - and it is more intense than you can imagine. This means, higher and more frequent discount offers, better customer services, and so on.
If you understand how offline businesses operate, you’d know the price you pay includes several commissions… of the store itself, the dealer, the supplier and so on. When you purchase online, you are getting the product directly from the manufacturer i.e. no middlemen involved. Needless to say, you pay considerable less for a product which might have emptied your pocket had it been an offline store.
Availability of unbiased information
Offline Online
Offline retail stores are run by people, who, either in a direct or indirect way, influence your purchase decision. Buying online is more about making decisions purely based on the understanding of available information.
Most of the information shared by sales guys are biased. Their sales pitch may or may not be factually correct, but it certainly is designed to convince you into making a decision that they want you to make. The information about the specifications, features and facts are completely accurate. Besides, if you feel otherwise, you always have the option to cross check and verify from the internet.
Since you don’t know much about the product except the information available in the sales guy’s pitch, you don’t know whether to trust the efficacy of the product. You can always analyze the efficacy of the mattress from the reviews shared by customers who have already purchased the product before you.
When it comes to offline purchase, you do have the option to visit another store, compare the prices and choose the product accordingly. But, sometimes you settle for the first store you visit and miss out on options that may or may not have been better. With online mattress shopping, you can browse products of different mattress brands simultaneously, compare them side by side and then make a conclusive decision.