How Resident is extending its D2C success to offline retail

The home goods brand is combining product innovation with data-driven marketing to build on its D2C success

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Digital-native home goods company Resident is adding two premium mattresses to its core Nectar line. In the D2C space, Nectar beds gained wide recognition for their affordability and quality to boost its offline sales through retail partners.

By now adding a mid-level Premier Memory Foam Mattress and Premier Copper Memory Foam Mattress (most premium), Resident expects to provide more options to shoppers at over 2,500 retailers that showcase the mattresses.

Also beginning May 1, as part of the launch, Resident has partnered with Google, offering a new Google Nest Hub with Sleep Sensing, free with the purchase of a new Nectar model mattress (while supplies last).

These product innovations are supported by an in-house, data-driven performance marketing strategy.

Boosting retail with mattress models and Google promotion

This latest product introduction is part of a larger evolution for Resident, which launched as a D2C company in 2017.

According to CMO Gil Efrati, who came to Resident from Google, teaming up with Google’s Nest Hub “is an amazing partnership in the sleep vertical.”

The Nest Hub with Sleep Sensing integrates unique radar technology that helps track sleep and respiratory behavior while maintaining the user’s privacy by not personal identifying information. As a bedside assistant, it can serve as a sleep coach to maximize rest.

The new mattresses are, in part, a response to the differences Efrati has analyzed between in-store and online shopping behavior.

When shoppers take the time to visit a store, they want to see multiple options to choose from. What Efrati heard from retailer partners was that customers who were familiar with the Nectar brand wanted to see more mattresses. Adding the new premium options contributes to a more traditional retail experience in this way.

“We only started building a retail presence in January, 2019,” said Efrati. “As a four-year-old company, to get there in two years is an accomplishment. Among digitally native brands, we probably have the broadest retail reach.”

Retailers like Mattress Firm and Macy’s showed interest in stocking Nectar mattresses because of the D2C company’s awareness levels, which drive foot traffic to store locations.

Efrati understood that retailers are experiencing challenges, with shutdowns during the pandemic over the last fourteen months. Adding premium products to the Nectar line, and the incorporation of a Google partnership with Nest Hub, are strategies that will strengthen the retail experience.

“Retailers want the foot traffic right after stores reopen.,” Efrati explained. “People online like simplicity, seeing one option and buying it. At retail, people come in and want options. They want to be able to go up-market, and they used to ask about Nectar, and there was only one model [to choose from].”

Efrati said he spoke with retailers and asked what they needed in addition to the one model. The response after listening was to make three Nectars available. Later this year, Resident will also add three different models to its DreamCloud hybrid mattress line, following a “good, better, best” strategy.

“As our footprint in retail grows, we want to make sure that our retail experience is the best we can offer,” Efrati stated.

Resident’s in-house data operations

Efrati considers Nectar the performance marketers of the mattress space, which distinguishes them from the competition. “We’re the ones focused on data and performance marketing,” he said. The company started off with a Facebook-oriented marketing strategy, and then supplemented with a Google strategy. The strategy developed around where consumers went to discover and research the bedding category.

By learning more about the customer journey through engagement and surveys, the marketer can then shift the budget where needed. “For every buck we spend we need to see the result,” Efrati said. He added that he also oversees data and analytics at the organization.

“It’s less about the tools,” he said. “We are big believers in having all the core competencies in-house. We have our own data warehouse. That’s how we understand our consumers, with the help of in-house data scientists. In addition, whatever we can’t build, we buy. Data enrichment and competitive tools are used to enrich our own data warehouse, where we discover, for instance, the impact of weather, or household income and other variables, which enrich our models.”

For Resident, Google isn’t just a search enabler, but a partner that builds on the trust Resident and its customers have. “Google is one of the most beloved brands,” Efrati said. “We are always trying to get more trust towards our brands, more positive customer sentiment, those branding goals. When you walk into a store and you see brands you identify, it helps in your decision process.”

About the author

Chris Wood
Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country's first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on "innovation theater" at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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