Better seen as a way of life than just a consumer durable, the overall Indian mattress market size has grown at a CAGR of above 11% over the last five years
No more sleepless nights for the mattress brands as the market is gradually burgeoning revenues, all thanks to the pandemic. With people nesting in homes and work-from-home (read work-from-bedroom) redefining the new ways of operations, we now see a visible shift in the consumer demands and perspectives. Rise in income levels, health consciousness, digital modes of purchases & bouncing back of construction in both residential and institutional areas are some of the key factors augmenting the growth of the sector.
The blurring lines between one's professional and personal life due to the WFH situation has impacted the sleep pattern for many. "Consumers are seeking solutions to solve sleep-related issues. They are particular about choosing the right mattress that suits their lifestyle, including one that improves sleep, adds to comfort, and provides luxury, enriching the entire sleep experience," points Vinod Khandelwal, Sr. General Manager, (E-com head and Buying), Nilkamal.
Categorised into organised and unorganised, the mattress industry in India is currently worth Rs 10,000 crore (as of 2019), where about 40% of the market is occupied by organised players. Pritesh Talwar, CEO, Livpure adds, “The growth rate of the market is eight to ten percent. The online mattress market is only around seven to eight percent. And it is growing rapidly as the population, consumer adoption and GDP grows."
Knocking the opportunity
“COVID sure has given new space business opportunities to these mattress brands in India. Not just with work-from-home in urban states, but migration of white-collar and blue-collar employees relocating to their hometowns also led to surge in demand from smaller towns,” shares Balasubramanyam SV, General Manager, Durfi.
Also, due to safety concerns and other health risk challenges, most of the offline consumers have now switched their preferences to buying products online through eCommerce portals. Due to lockdown and being homebound, services such product availability, one-touch accesses to place the order, great customer-centric teams to respond to the buyer queries, competitive pricing, smooth return/ replacement policies, availability of decent discount offers 365 days, and COD, consumers have been gaining confidence to buy from online retailing. “With new digital ways, the D2C model, the mattress industry is seeing a change where the consumer has also gone to become more aware. The online model has seen a sound growth over last few years and is expected to rise even further. The customers also ask complete transparency from factory to distribution,” points Talwar.
Khandelwal also believes that consumers' buying behavior has radically changed over the past few months. "Consumers now prefer to buy products online. The online mattress market is booming thanks to the ease & comfort of purchase, brand/product options, price comparison, delivery at the doorstep, and many more value added services," he adds.
Experts report a 30-50x growth in mattress commerce.
Catering to new consumer demands
With new ways of living and working, consumers are now pivoting to comfort, features and functionality of these products. “We have experienced more customers calling in and talking with our sleep experts in the past few months. There has been an improvement in the customer psyche wherein they demand to know information about mattresses, the foam densities and features for each layer. Priorities have changed from buying a budgeted or a luxurious mattress to buying a good mattress,” observes SV.
Changing consumers needs call for changing ways of marketing. Marketers are now engaging in innovation strategies to ensure complete consumer satisfaction. The biggest marketing and selling point as of today is the Corona Virus. Brands are spending money on advertisements and other marketing campaigns to foster trust in their products. Meanwhile, in the background, brands are exploring new ways to create a trust bubble with certifications that prove that the product is 100% safe to use. This is where the technology comes in as there are specific laboratories in India which are dedicated to make sure that the application of their compounds are safe to use on consumer products.
Experts believe that the sleep industry requires seamless innovation on the new product development front, with R&D centres better equipped with machinery and laboratories. It needs great minds to work on new innovative products- eco-friendly, low cost, zero-emission, and 100% recycled products to go with nature. “Whether it’s a smart mattress that adapts firmness visa sensors and IOT based on your need, or cools down on its own reading your metrics – there are various innovations in the pipeline,” states Talwar.
It is also expected that the already emerging trend of customised and luxury mattresses will continue to grow incessantly. “30-40% of the customers in India go for customised mattresses. Due to the highly fragmented furniture market, size standardisation becomes a challenge to buy. Another factor which adds to the demand for customisations is that most of the metro customers have been going for theme-based or compact bedrooms,” suggests SV.
Lastly, as consumers are getting more aware of the product that they are buying, the unorganised mattress and furniture industry would also get an overhaul, that has rather already started. Most of the cheaper and unhygienic products are off the shelves. Now, the customer demands surety and safety.
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