Meet the Client
BedMart is a locally-owned and operated family business with over 40 locations throughout Oregon, Southwest Washington, and Hawaii. With roots dating back to the early ’90s, Bedmart is also one of the few regional mattress chains remaining in the US—the rest are either national behemoths or mom-and-pop shops with a couple of locations.
Let’s be honest, if you’re in the PNW or Hawaii, you’re probably already familiar with the brand. The BedMart spokeswoman (daughter of the founder and badass lead of their marketing team) pops up everywhere from commercial breaks to your commute—smiling at you from the side of a delivery truck. Needless to say, we were excited to elevate such an iconic, local brand.
How We Helped
As consumers are increasingly comfortable making larger purchases over the internet, online mattress businesses have popped up everywhere. How can BedMart compete with the slew of “bed-in-a-box” companies selling directly to eliminate middleman costs? How can we elevate the online experience to match the expertise and customization customers encounter at the showroom?
Well, for starters, BedMart needed a site capable of selling and shipping mattresses online. But that only scratches the surface. Whether the final purchase is made online or in-store, BedMart needed a website to reflect the showroom experience. An experience which guides wary shoppers and while allowing more savvy customers to browse freely.
After launch, we continued to monitor analytics and streamline the shopping experience, improving both conversion rates (up 18% 3 months following launch) and the overall checkout experience. We also worked to improve non-branded search visibility (up 50% year over year on average across locations) and successfully implemented a robust SEO domain consolidation strategy to drastically improve location detection—making it easier for potential customers to find locations and schedule white-glove delivery.
Needless to say, walking through variations in person can be overwhelming, now try presenting those choices online to a variety of audiences with either distinct preferences or who may not know a Pillowtop from an Extra Plush and you wind up with what most mattress websites look like today: a jumbled mess.
To prepare for complexities, we carried out a number of research/strategy tactics (listed here), while routinely running new UX ideas through BedMart’s marketing team. As a result of our deep dive and the client’s constructive feedback, we were able to build a foundational page/information architecture system that would support both a new design and new technical requirements.
- SEO research
- Competitor analysis
- Heatmap tracking
- Content audit
- Lo-fidelity mockups (key pages/elements)
- User flows
- Technical scoping
Elevating the Brand
BedMart was a… challenging undertaking. We’re not going to try and sugarcoat it, establishing a new brand direction through the wireframing and design process was demanding. When you’re using your website as not only your primary salesperson but also as a springboard to refresh your brand and stand out from the noise, there will be revisions—lots of revisions—and we’re okay with that.
Buying Mattresses Online
Beyond page structure, menus, and the look and feel, a crucial portion of our plan relied on creating an engaging shopping experience that reflects the BedMart philosophy. Potential customers should be educated—not pitched—and able to freely explore the virtual showroom. Product pages should intelligently lead users, allowing the interested to seamlessly mix and match sizes, frames, and options while simultaneously guiding the wary through the feel and craftsmanship of each mattress.
Then there’s managing all these products on the backend. Intricate, yet easy to use systems make editing and building the pages quick and painless. Now BedMart can easily adjust the conditional taxonomies, import products, or drop in testimonials or a spec sheet. Say goodbye to stale product pages and untested content. The flexibility built into the website allows content to be created and edited quickly to elevate the eCommerce experience for both potential customers and the marketing team.
Try Before You Buy
Remember how we mentioned BedMart has over 40 locations? Well, a sizable portion of customers use the website as their introduction to a new mattress—but wouldn’t dream of making such a large purchase without a ‘kick-back test’ and talking to a salesperson. The website not only needed to educate shoppers on potential mattresses but also guide them to the nearest location, display location-specific pricing information, and swap messaging—say if you’re visiting the site from Hawaii instead of the PNW. This all requires very intricate location tracking and a lot of time spent building unique location landing pages that usher shoppers to showrooms and rank beautifully in search engines.
A Long Term Relationship
After launch, we began testing how folks are using the website—focusing primarily on conversion rate optimization and improving the eCommerce experience. From U/I tweaks to checkout and polishing backend order processing to enhancing location detection for customers interested in visiting a showroom, we know our work is never complete when we help retailers take their products online.
Increased checkout conversion rate by 18%
Increased non-branded search visibility 50%
Enhanced revenue tracking and analytics capabilities
Responding to a Pandemic
It goes without saying that 2020 has sucked. COVID-19 has disrupted countless industries, with brick-and-mortar retail getting hit the hardest. As the world turned to online shopping, we shifted our SEO focus from driving customers to showrooms to driving more traffic and improving conversion rates.
We understand what it takes to help a brick-and-mortar business not only take their products online but smash complex eCommerce work—both during the website build and while supporting digital marketing efforts long term. Don’t sleep on us! (C’mon we resisted punning it up this entire case study, let us have this one.)
“Bedmart is a NW institution and they have worked hard to provide fantastic, in-person service. It was great to take this approach online, and use our skills to navigate their established local retail business into an online machine.”
“Developing a long-term solution to support BedMart's digital brand was not short on complexities! Collaboration and testing across disciplines and all teams was an essential component to manage the project's variables. Launch day was a rewarding milestone, but even more rewarding is the opportunity for Gravitate to continue the partnership with the BedMart team and continue enhancing the end customer experience. ”
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