Sleepwell is the mattress establishment in India, it was the first brand to introduce the showroom retail format for the mattresses. They’ve led the comfort products market in India through an extensive retail network of 2000 stores spread across the country.
As their product line expanded, the need to sharply distinguish between each mattress, under different price brackets became critical for both retailers and consumers.
A lack of updated and latest information, upgrades, and prices often resulted in deferred decisions of purchase. This lack of information base also resulted in differing in-store sales experience for the customers.
A small survey of the in-store sales journey also showed the same problem at a salesperson level.
Each store sold as per their own knowledge and preferences, local area trends, and personal experience—pitching the products to customers in their own style, based on assumptions reached via the individual’s experience.
A common platform to establish the brand, commitment to quality and explain each choice was paramount.
The first step was to solve the problem of inconsistencies with mattress information. One line of thinking was to have an information framework, one which could enable direct comparisons between two mattresses and is able to justify their price point as well as indicate clear benefits between two mattresses when moving up the price ladder. However, this didn’t mean that the lower priced product was an inferior product but allowed the salesperson to make the case for each product as per their price point.
We started by understanding the world of mattresses and the terminology around them. The 3 elements of comfort that make a mattress: Air, Posture and Touch also emerged from this exercise.
As this exercise went on, we were able to group the layers of a mattress in 3 individual sections as per their function and order in the mattress.
The top section consisted of soft and thin layers that could be felt with a low pressure from fingers or palm.
The comfort section consisted of the middle layers which lent to the compression and elasticity felt when putting your body weight on the mattress.
The support section were the layers at the base of the mattress helping the mattress get rigidity, stability and firmness.
This clear framework helped us sort the mattresses as per their comfort profiles from firmest to softest. Combining these ranks with the prices of each mattress, we were able to plot a scatter graph of the entire Sleepwell mattress product line-up.
Our intervention is more than an app design.
From the initial concepts, the app was designed to be a non-distracting tool to aid (not replace) the salesperson in their existing sales technique and facilitate a natural conversation with the customer inside a store without the need for them to constantly glance at their phone for information or recommendations.
Mattress preferences are subjective and heavily rely on the feel that the customer prefers (firm or gentle) and their budgetary constraints. Keeping this in mind, we wanted to aid the salesperson in moving through the Sleepwell product line using only these two parameters. In keeping with the theme of non distraction, these controls are prominently placed and sticky for quick and easy access.
Other aspects of a good mattress like ventilation, longevity, materials used and other such factors come into the picture only after the customer likes the feel and price of a mattress. Moreover, a customer is more likely to ask for the next mattress to be softer or firmer relative to the mattress that they are experiencing currently in the store or have at home.
If the customer shows their interest in a mattress, its details are available on the app in a quick reference (cheatsheet) format with the most important information highlighted as well as a handy split-section view of the mattress to equip the salesperson with the latest available information without having to read lots of text or marketing jargon.
Depending on this conversation, the salesperson can use the app to get suggestions for firmer or softer mattresses or similar/related mattresses, compared to the one being shown currently.
In the backend, the scatter graph comes into play and plots the closest points to the current mattresses to get to the next suggestions in either direction.
From a business perspective, moving the customer up to a premium product is also an important consideration to generate higher value per sale. The salesperson is still the ultimate decision maker when it comes to recommending a product to the customer. The app gives them clear upsell and downsell paths in each of the aforementioned feel tabs.
Once the salesperson selects a mattress to pitch to the customer, they are provided with a detailed view of all the features of a mattress on a single page. This page is designed to work as a quick reference guide to clearly and concisely explain the features of a mattress to the customer without the need to read long marketing jargon around the mattress. This saves mental effort and time on part of the salesperson and allows them to follow their own sales techniques with just the right amount of information at hand.
It is a powerful enterprise app, updated simultaneously with their new product launches, existing product changes, and shifts in prices, placed in the hands of salespersons across 2000 retail stores of Sleepwell across India that helps to guide the customer-in-store, and sell with deeper product knowledge and confidence.
A perfect pitch for each product
The goal of the Sleepwell digital sales tool, or the virtual salesman app is to help the salesperson generate maximum value—for the consumer and company both—from every sale by recommending/upselling the best mattress. It would also act as an organised, logical information resource to make it easy for the customer to make informed purchase decisions in-store.
Demystifying mattress buying for the consumer
To a consumer, mattresses are either uninteresting or mysterious. The Virtual Salesman demystifies the world of mattress buying for the consumer by developing a set of clearly defined and easily understandable parameters for choosing the right mattress for their needs.
Developing ‘mattressology’, the art and science of selling comfort
Mattress preferences are subjective and heavily rely on the feel that the customer prefers (firm or gentle) and their budgetary constraints. But a usable structure had to be developed for adoption and success at scale. Keeping this in mind, we wanted to aid the salesperson in moving through the Sleepwell product line using only these two parameters.
A guided sales journey through Sleepwell’s product portfolio
From the initial parameters and the corresponding mattress, a salesperson will be able to guide the customer through the portfolio by changing the parameters, as expressed by the consumer in a dynamic, real-time conversation.
Today, a tool to empower the real salesperson
First, the Digital Sales Tool or the Virtual Sales fills the knowledge gap for the real salesman. It acts like a reliable assistant that facilitates a more effective and efficient sales conversation, improving the sales conversion.
Eventually, a knowledge bank to optimise product line and new product development
In the process of guiding consumers, the goal of the app is to capture the preferences and nuances of the mattress purchasing universe, spot redundancies in the product portfolio to reduce redundancies and identify trends for new product development.
partner-in-charge itu chaudhuri | ux & ui concept itu chaudhuri, arpit sharma, sreeja chatterjee | ux & ui development arpit sharma | ux research arpit sharma, sreeja chatterjee | writing itu chaudhuri, ayushmaan agarwalla | project duration 8 months