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Exclusive Q&A: DTC mattress company integrates smart home technology

Resident is linking select Nectar mattresses to the Google Nest Hub solution.

A memory foam bed-in-a-box mattress brand is bundling products with a leading-edge sleep sensing solution.

Chain Store Age recently spoke with Eric Hutchinson, co-founder and co-CEO of Resident, a digitally native omnichannel company whose portfolio includes Nectar and three other mattress brands, a rug brand, and a furniture line. Hutchinson discussed how Resident has launched a partnership with Google to bundle its new Nectar mattresses with the Google Nest Hub smart home system with Sleep Sensing sleep optimization technology.

[Read more: Exclusive Q&A: Fast-growing mattress brand springs to success in DTC retail]

What specific business issues was the Nectar brand facing? 
Nectar’s business has remained strong throughout the past year and continues to grow. During the COVID-19 pandemic, people were seeking safe solutions to buy mattresses and our direct-to-consumer business grew significantly over that period.

That said, to better serve our customers’ evolving needs in the past year, we’ve leaned into several trends to become our customers’ go-to destination for mattresses and home goods no matter how or where they like to shop. While omnichannel is not a new trend, the pandemic has accelerated the need for brands and retailers to reach shoppers across multiple touchpoints.

For example, we know our customers aren’t looking to purchase their next mattress in just one place, but going both in-store and online. To make our customers’ experiences convenient, we recently expanded our retail partnerships to get our brands, including Nectar, DreamCloud, Awara and more, in over 3,000 storefronts across the country.

We also just launched our first-ever, Resident-branded, brick-and-mortar locations. These storefronts in Atlanta and Nashville offer mattresses across Resident brands, including Nectar, DreamCloud and Awara, as well as bed and home accessories. 

We’ve also been closely following wellness trends and the rise of this emerging category, since sleep is critical to health and wellness. While we have seen our consumers become more interested in wellness products, we have also been part of advancing the solutions in this space. We have prioritized building premier mattress models with the most innovative designs to ensure a good night’s rest, introducing new premier Nectar and DreamCloud mattresses.

We also created a partnership with Google to bundle our new Nectar mattresses with the Google Nest Hub with Sleep Sensing, to provide our customers with the most innovative technology to improve sleep. 

What made Resident select Google as a partner for its Nectar brand? At Nectar, we’re all about helping people to achieve great sleep. That’s why when we launched two new Nectar mattresses back in May, we partnered with Google as the company rolled out a new generation of its Google Nest Hub featuring sleep sensing technology to help our customers get the most of their sleep with our new mattress models.

Now, with every purchase of a Nectar Premier Copper or Nectar Premier mattress we offer a free Google Nest Hub with Sleep Sensing, giving our customers the ultimate bundle with the latest and greatest in sleep technology. Through our ongoing partnership, Nectar sleepers can get the ultimate night’s rest and live healthier lives.

What have the results been?
The partnership has performed well to date, as we have seen continued momentum in demand and sales. We see a significant part of our customers choose to upgrade to one of our premium models, and that is in-part due to the additional Google Nest Hub we’re giving away with every purchase.

Are there any future omnichannel plans you can discuss?
We’re continuing to invest in our omnichannel business. As we look to 2022, we will continue expanding into retail and ensuring we can meet our customers right where they prefer to shop.

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