E-commerce in the mattress industry
According to CSIL (‘E-commerce in the mattress industry‘ Report), the online channel development in the mattress sector has been one of the most disruptive changes across the market in recent years.
With different dynamics and peculiarities in product features, technological advancement in production and transport, retail strategies evolution, and consumer behaviour, the online mattress market runs on parallel tracks compared to the furniture market.
The e-commerce mattress market had already been on a growth trajectory before the pandemic outbreak, which recorded hypergrowth in online sales.
Today the online channel grabs about 22% of the world mattress retail market, reaching a value of about USD 16 billion. In 2022, consumers returned to in-person shopping after relying heavily on online purchasing. Thus, in most countries, a normalisation at 2021 levels of e-commerce incidences is expected.
Particularly in Europe, where the online penetration is relatively lower, brick-and-mortar sales recovered and performed better than online sales in 2022 compared to 2021.
In North America, online sales continued to drive the mattress markets even in 2022.
Across the Asia Pacific, different performances among the largest mattress markets are observed. A general slowdown is recorded in both retail and online sales in China; on the other end, the Indian online mattress market is forecasted to continue to increase at double-digit growth, boosted by an increasingly organised market and a fast-growing online shopper base.
Half of the world’s e-commerce mattress sales are made in the United States and Canada. One of the most significant contributions to the growth of the online US mattress market is the increasing moves of leading e-tailers into the mattress category, with the launch of private-label mattresses or establishing partnerships with online mattress brands. Together with this, online mattress companies continue to grab market share.
Asia Pacific is the second largest area for online mattress sales, with China accounting for the lion’s share. Differences in online incidences, mattress market sizes, and consumer preferences are even more prominent compared to the other geographical areas. South Korea has one of the highest online penetration. India is less relevant in volume; however, the online mattress market has been making solid inroads and is anticipated to grow exponentially in the coming years.
Europe is the third-largest market, with the United Kingdom and Germany being the largest. Italy and Spain are laggard countries for mattresses sold online, showing an incidence below the European average. Leading brick-and-click retail chains significantly increased the incidence of online sales out of their total sales.
THE COMPETITION INTENSIFIES: MULTICHANNEL APPROACH AND NEW OPERATORS ENTERED THE MARKET
In general, the online mattress market is fragmented and highly competitive. The market competition has intensified recently since several operators entered the market with different business models and retail strategies.
Given the increasing interest in the online mattress business by different industry operators, it is reasonable to predict greater competition to be observed in the coming years.
Online mattress companies represent the undisputed disruptive new business model. Today hundreds of these companies compete across both traditional and emerging mattress markets, registering, in some cases, impressive growth rates in sales.
Emma-The Sleep Company is the leading worldwide, with an estimated sales growth of over 30% in 2022 over 2021. Born as pure e-tailers, nowadays, most online mattress companies have gone on the street by opening stores or doing sales agreements with brick-and-mortar retail partners, embracing a multichannel approach.
In this view, the multichannel approach is expanding across the retail mattress market. The increasing demand for boxed mattresses has been an accelerator for the mattress supply industries in manufacturing new types of components (new types of PU foams, micro-springs able to be rolled up, performant fabrics, and new types of mattress machinery).
This technological progress allowed companies selling online mattresses to enlarge their product portfolio, boxed innerspring mattresses, and even more hybrid options.
In a recent survey conducted by CSIL, this is evident. About 55% of the respondents sell both 100% foam mattresses and hybrid/innerspring mattresses. It is worth noting that some industry suppliers are directly entering the bed-in-box / online mattress market by providing private-label finished products, typically to online retailers.
The room for expansion of this business model is in the low to medium price range, and increasing logistic costs are boosting this trend.
Source: ‘E-commerce in the mattress industry’ (ed. October 2022)