Review site showrooms online-only brands
A variety of websites offer third-party reviews of consumer electronics, running shoes, beauty and other categories. Many of those items are new, online only and otherwise hard to find at retail. One, Sleepsherpa.com, has opened its first physical store so that customers can test products in person.
Launched in 2014, Sleepsherpa.com, reviews a wide range of mattresses, bedding, pillows and sleep gadgets and draws more than 70,000 unique visitors each month.
The showroom, opened in the Twin Cities region in Edina, MN, is designed to provide a space for customers to try out a selection of online-only brands. Any item can be purchased online from the showroom.
In a statement, Sleep Sherpa noted that many online-only mattress companies such as Leesa, Nest Bedding and Brentwood Home have broken into the category over the last few years by offering generous trial periods, with pricing far below traditional retailers and offering a high level of customer service.
However, many consumers still want to try before they buy. The showroom promises to merge the value of online shopping — informed reviews and the lower prices for online-only brands — with physical retail’s prime advantage of being able to touch and feel the product.
“Comparing great online brands against each other leads to a better fit for customers and the confidence of knowing they made the right choice, which greatly reduces chances of a return,” said Ben Trapskin, founder.
Sleep Sherpa’s showroom investment doesn’t appear to be supported by any funds directly from the mattress makers. Some reviews on the website include “affiliate links,” in whichSleep Sherpa gains a commission if someone clicks through to make purchase. Much of the reviewed product is also provided for free.
Mr. Trapskin, a librarian who developed the site after years of struggling with insomnia, notes on the website that he only recommends products or services “I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.”
- New Mattress Showroom Concept Let’s Consumers Try Out Online Brands Before They Buy – Sleep Sherpa/PR Newswire
- Sleep Sherpa Showroom – Sleep Sherpa
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do showrooms make sense for review websites that are supported by affiliate commissions? Would such showrooms work for other review-driven categories beyond mattresses?