1) What Drives Shoppers To Purchase Home Decor & Mattresses Online?
There was a relatively thrifty time when cyclical fashion trends applied only to clothing. And shoppers, in order to stay relevant, purchased a few essential items to mix in with their core wardrobe. However, times have changed.
The practice of recycling seasonal decor has ended. Reusing last year’s table linen, cushion covers and floral decoration is no longer done. Adding a new ornament every Christmas or a glowing porch decor for Halloween does not cut the mustard anymore.
The need to follow trends in fashion has spilled into the realm of interior decor. The bigs of the design industry have come up with ways to inspire the world with trendy ideas for every season, month, or special day.
Lifestyle is now taken a lot more seriously, with purchases of home decor pieces, frequently increasing each season. This is especially true when it comes to soft furnishing.
And the world of eCommerce retail is here to cater to the needs of trend-hungry shoppers. But why do we see an increase in online shopping in the category of home decor and even mattresses over physical stores?
1.1) Image Search
Shoppers often browse for decor ideas on Pinterest. They also are subjected to relevant product info blowing up in their face (hello big data!). Purchases are increasingly made by tracking down and ordering a product through visual search.
You stand to make sales off of the most random occurrences. It could even be something as basic as someone entering a space which features your product. They are more than likely to track the product using Google lens and purchase it if everything suits.
1.2) Convenience & Comparison
Physical stores that house home decor and mattresses are often huge. Most spaces are broken up into different layouts featuring various aesthetics. Shoppers have to walk all over the store to find the right decor for their home.
In comparison, shoppers can identify their needs in an online store from the category filter and browse the products in a single window. This useful feature makes it convenient for them to compare specs and prices and make a quick decision.
1.3) Good Deals
eCommerce businesses always have better deals going at any point compared to their physical counterparts. This holds true in all categories, and especially in home decor.
Online stores churn out more current designs compared to brick and mortar stores. The reason is that every product can remain packaged in their warehouse until dispatch. This enables them to pack in more variety than in a physical store where goods would have to be displayed.
For this very same reason, eCommerce stores also have to move their goods out with all possible haste as warehouse space is highly precious. They need to free up their shelves to stock new inventory. The resultant warehouse clearance opens up offers of sales and discounts.
1.4) Email And Whatsapp CTA
Shoppers can easily window shop at a physical store and leave without purchasing anything. But an online store? Unlikely. They are bound to receive push messaging, Whatsapp, and email regarding their recently browsed items and special prices. This increases the likelihood of conversion.
When shoppers leave a mall and head home, they will likely forget about the product. But what about seeing the product they viewed online, in a sponsored post on a random website they happen to be browsing? Chances are you’ll have made a sale minutes later, especially with CTAs such as last 30 minutes, or last piece left.
It is incredibly easy for customers to do a category search with filters on. If all they are looking for is a blue mirror, your eCommerce store’s app or website will show them all the blue mirrors you have in stock.
From there, it is a matter of choosing which suits their space best and heading for the buy now button.
Your store can also show them products related to previously bought items on the landing or home page. Especially those on special offers. This often prompts the shopper to purchase them if it’s at a reasonable price.
2) Core Reasons For The Return Of Home Decor & Mattresses Purchased Online
Although purchasing home decor and mattresses online are hassle-free for customers, it doesn’t mean their or your post-purchase experience is hassle-free.
You may only have to deal with carefully delivering the goods to the shoppers. But they have to face an assortment of issues such as the ones below, which has them reaching out requesting returns.
2.1) Poor Quality
The future of poor-quality goods isn’t too promising. Premium-priced mattresses could land on doorsteps with inexpensive cotton shells. The fabric could already be tearing around the quilted areas, making them inferior to look at.
Other common issues customers face are improper hanging mechanisms on wall decor or poor joinery. Some pieces of poorly processed wood may also be prone to mould, causing no slight annoyance for the owners.
Another common problem customers face is that the product’s colour is often vastly different from the one they viewed online. Home decor is generally bought considering a particular colour or aesthetic experience.
This makes even a tiny tonal difference matter when it comes to the product’s suitability. The user’s experience when it comes to comfort is equally important. Mattresses and cushions especially may not be as comfortable as promised.
2.3) Doesn’t Function As Promised
All of us are goldilocks and have our own version of a comfortable mattress formulated in our heads. Hundreds of different mattresses on the market are promising to address various issues. Customers may feel what they are promised and receive doesn’t add up.
In most cases, the reason for returns is particular. A common problem is that the mattresses are too firm or too soft and causes pain. They could also have high heat retention which is not pleasant to experience.
Mattresses are also prone to off-gassing, absence of motion isolation, or creaking springs. All of these are of critical importance when it comes to a good night’s sleep.
It is strange how much importance dimension has as a reason for returns in home decor. While it hardly seems significant, any variation in size is often not rectifiable.
One would wonder how it matters, but a difference of 1” will affect the possibility of your shopper’s plump cushion fitting into its cover or the duvet sheet that will go on their bed.
3) Bad Practices That Increase Return Rates For Ecommerce Stores Dealing In Home Decor & Mattresses
3.1) Use Of Stock Images/ Images From Product Catalogs
Vendors often crowd most marketplaces with images received from their suppliers or manufacturers under their various brand names. Shoppers may order a product based on a beautifully rendered 3d image on your website.
There is nothing more irksome for them than to find a poorly manufactured product in their living room. This spikes up the rate of product returns in eCommerce for what a shopper sees online, and what they receive can be as different as day and night.
3.2) Misleading Description To Match Seo Needs
Vendors often plump up their product title or description with juicy SEO words. These may get them traction in terms of purchases. But they are guilty of misleading customers with promises out of the scope of their product.
A non-memory foam mattress being heralded as one can lead to a return. So can an anti-slip rug without the suction base that you promised. In recent times, misleading descriptions have also led merchants to court.
3.3) Improper Filtering Keywords
This can be incredibly confusing for customers who decide to purchase a cotton bedsheet or linen pillow cover. When they add it to their category filter, they might miss the fine print in the product descriptions. The one that mentions that the product is made from microfibre.
What will likely ensue is a very hassled and mistrustful customer egging for a battle along with their returns.
3.4) Poor Storage, Packing & Handling
Another critical issue that has the potential to ramp up returns is when products are poorly stored, packed or handled. Damages ensue when goods are not sufficiently prepared for warehousing and transit activities.
Springs can be broken and foam deformed when it comes to mattresses. Wooden decor products could succumb to moss and mildew. Some could even suffer breakage or misalignment.
4) Working Ways To Cut Down Ecommerce Returns In The Home Decor & Mattress Category
Anyone who has tried to shop for home decor or furniture knows it can be a challenging experience. Not only do shoppers have to find the right style for your home, but they also have to consider various elements.
Is the product in the right size, colour, and texture? And let’s not even get started on trying to navigate a store full of thousands of different items. It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin!
Fortunately, new visual search and AI solutions are making it easier for online businesses and customers. By offering dynamic visual navigation, online stores can make shopping hassle-free for customers. Visual concepts can help better contextualize their shopping experience.
With these tools, shoppers can easily find the items they’re looking for and get inspired to purchase products they may not have even considered. Businesses that take advantage of these technologies will undoubtedly boost sales and customer satisfaction.
Thanks to augmented reality (AR), businesses can now offer their customers a more personalized shopping experience. By using AR technology, companies can suggest home decor products. These can be specifically tailored to the customer’s individual requirements.
When a shopper is looking for new vases or lamps, eCommerce businesses can use AR to make suggestions. They can offer product suggestions in the right size and style. Businesses can also help customers visualize how the product will look in their space.
This makes the shopping experience more enjoyable for the customer and reduces the likelihood of product returns.
4.3) Better Pre-Purchase Processes To Offer Best Product
Businesses need to design better pre-purchase processes. This will help them offer the shoppers suitable products that addresses their needs. A concise questionnaire is enough to identify the essential points to consider in the selection process.
Businesses can then offer shoppers popular products bought by other customers whose requirements were similar. These suggestions can be accompanied with product reviews and ratings.
Initiatives such as this save time for the businesses and the customers. This also minimizes the possibility of a negative shopping experience on either side.
4.4) High-Quality Product Images
High-quality, 360-degree, cross-sectional photography is a must for the home decor and mattress industry.
Shoppers are fed up with the stock catalogue fluff masquerading as original product photos. Rather than looking for picture-perfect product images, customers are now browsing for honest photos that look nothing like their stock cousins.
Edits such as heavy colour correction or brightness have the possibility of changing the colour of the veneer or fabric on your products. It really is highly advisable to shoot your products in good lighting and limit the photoshopping to the bare necessities.
4.5) Accurate Product Information
Juiced-up information, description and textual content are not what shoppers want. Along with false promises, these are so last season. All customers want these days is truthful information about the product they are looking to buy.
In a few lines, describe the product using clear, crisp and non-fussy language. Regarding product information, think minimal - pump in the details and leave out the fuss. Shoppers also look for images to affirm the text on your store’s website or app.
5) Note-Worthy Return Policies Of Top Ecommerce Retailers In The Home Decor & Mattress Category
Starting an ecommerce business can be a great way to reach a wider audience and boost sales. However, returns can be a big challenge for online retailers. Not only do you have to deal with return shipping fees, but you may also incur restocking fees.
Although returns seem like a bad deal, there is potential for good in it. Taking the time to strategize your returns operations is vital to customer experience and loyalty quotients.
Please take a look at these ecommerce giants of the home decor and mattress category and how their returns have built their brand identity.
For a good reason, IKEA is one of the world’s most popular furniture and home decor retailers. This company offers a diverse range of stylish and affordable products and a generous return policy.
Shoppers have 365 days to change their mind about a purchase, and IKEA will refund the delivery fee in case the return is processed within two weeks. This makes IKEA an ideal option for people looking for quality decor pieces but unsure about a specific style or product.
Joybird is a furniture company that operates a little differently than most. They have a full-year return policy; if customers return an item within 14 days, they will pay for the return shipping.
This policy is a game changer because it allows customers to change their mind on aesthetics without having to worry about losing cash on a return. Shipping furniture can be expensive, so this policy eliminates that barrier for customers who may be commitment-phobes.
At first glance, Casper’s return policy might not seem like anything special. But Casper goes above and beyond to give their customers a risk-free way to try out their products. With a 100-night trial period, shoppers have plenty of time to decide if they like their mattress.
And if they don’t, Casper will come and collect the mattress at no cost to the customer. It’s no wonder that Casper has built up such a devoted following. They truly do stand behind their products and put their customers’ needs first.
Nordstrom’s return policy is one of the most generous in the retail industry. With no time limit for returns or exchanges, and the store asks that customers treat them fairly. While Nordstrom may not accept a return from time to time, this policy is still much more lenient than most retailers.
This policy lets customers have peace of mind when making a purchase, knowing that they can always return or exchange it if they are unsatisfied. This makes Nordstrom a go-to destination for many shoppers looking for quality products.
5.5) Land’s End
Lands’ End has an excellent return policy - they offer a 90-day guaranteed return period. Shoppers past this returns window can still get a store credit. The fantastic thing is that Lands’ End will take back products that have been monogrammed. This is one of the few stores that will do that.
This policy shows that Lands’ End stands behind its products and wants its customers to be happy with their purchase. They want shoppers to feel confident about purchase and not worry about returns.
5.6) Bed Bath & Beyond
Returns at Bed Bath & Beyond are simple whether shoppers make their purchase in-store or online. In-store returns only require the item- no receipt and no time limit. However, they offer customers only store credit rather than a refund.
These easy return policies are fantastic for redecorating projects when a customer’s style might change midway through.
6) How ClickPost Can Solve The Product Returns Problem Faced By The Home Decor & Mattress Industry
If you sell home decor or mattresses, you know that returns can be a hassle. Managing return requests over email and phone calls can be time-consuming and difficult. Is there a way to automate your returns process and make it easier for your customers?
Good Earth, Doctor Dreams, Flo Mattress, Nilkamal, Pepperfry, Sleepy Cat, The White Willow - these brands offer some of the most well-received and top-rated products in their category. They are partnered with ClickPost for their returns operations.
ClickPost offers return management solutions for e-commerce companies. This begins with letting customers place return requests. These are sorted based on preset rules that make up your return policy.
Clickpost then automatically assigns a shipping partner based on your programmed inputs. With automated generation and printing labels, the shipping partner is alerted about the pick-up.
If the logistics provider fails to complete the pick-up, ClickPost communicates with the customer to find a solution. The information is then forwarded to the shipping partner to facilitate successful pick-up.
Clickpost also allows you track all of your returns on a single portal. Plus, ClickPost is easy to use and designed to integrate with your existing e-commerce platform seamlessly.
If you’re looking for a easier way to manage returns, ClickPost is your solution. We make the returns process easy and hassle-free, so you can focus on running your business.
Definite indicators may promise sales growth for your eCommerce store. But an increase in purchases will proportionately increase returns. However, there are a few basic measures you can take to nip this possibility in the bud.
While the industry is flooded with bad sales practices, it only takes a few minor details to help you stand apart. Customers appreciate honesty more than fluff; that is all you need to focus on to reduce your store’s return rates.
Take time to check out the best policies of stores in your category and see which principles will suit your store. Work on your returns policy till you achieve the perfect balance of profitability and customer satisfaction.
Partnering with ClickPost’s return solutions will help you automate certain processes and reduce the burden of dealing with escalating returns. This will let you focus more on strategizing and implementing better practices in your eCommerce operations without worrying about returning home decor and mattresses.
1) Can you return a mattress after you buy it?
Most eCommerce businesses that deal with mattress products will allow returns, but the returns eligibility will depend on their returns policy which will differ in terms of return periods, refund, exchange or store credit, and reasons for return.
2) Can you return Christmas home decor?
Most eCommerce stores will accept holiday returns within a specified period if accompanied by a bill of purchase. However, they may offer only exchange or store credit in lieu of a refund.