Beds are booming. Here in Canada, mattress sales are forecasted to grow more than five per cent annually through to 2028, according to data compiled by Statista. But, while it’s hard to remember a time when going online didn’t mean seeing endless ads for mattress companies, the internet mattress revolution all began with the kind of bad showroom experience that’s familiar to many.
“It was 2009 and I was in my early 30s, mattress shopping for the first time, really, ever,” recalls Sam Prochazka, founder and CEO of GoodMorning.com. “Through my 20s, I was just using hand-me-downs, but I met the woman who is now my wife and I needed to upgrade. I remember going on a Friday to a mattress store here in Edmonton. What I got was this commission-incentivized, technical jargon-laden sales pitch for a mattress that cost $3,000. It was such a remarkably bad experience I just couldn’t believe it.”
But instead of feeling frustrated, Prochazka was inspired to shake up an entire industry.
“Back then, selling a mattress online was practically unheard of,” Prochazka says. “Mattresses were considered internet-immune because they’re something you have to touch and feel. But the reality is, if the sales experience is so bad and so uncomfortable for the customer, it’s ripe for disruption. So that was Friday and by Monday, together with my sister and twin brother, I’d started what is now GoodMorning.com, Canada’s first online mattress company.” And they launched one of the first bed-in-a-box mattresses, the Novosbed, later that year.
Sleeping is believing
While Prochazka could understand why people might be hesitant to buy a new bed they couldn’t check for comfort, his experience showed him the showroom setting wasn’t the right place to give a new mattress a try either. “It’s really not a place where you’re comfortable and relaxed,” he says. “It’s really hard to assess the key things by which a mattress is measured—things like pressure-point relief, motion isolation and temperature regulation. It’s much more reliable to assess these things in your bedroom.”
But to convince people to buy online, Prochazka knew intuitively that he’d have to eliminate the risks associated with trying a new bed sight unseen. To build Canada’s best mattress company, he introduced GoodMorning.com’s standard-setting 120-night sleep trial, which he would later extend to 365 nights. “Some mattress stores offer money-back guarantees, but those aren’t always as they appear,” he says. “There tend to be strings attached—maybe you have to bring the mattress back to the store, maybe it’s an exchange. Maybe you purchased a floor model, but none of the replacement options are subject to a discount.”
Prochazka knew he had to do better. “Our risk-free trial is simple and straightforward,” he says. “If a customer decides the mattress isn’t for them, they can call us and we pick it up free of charge and issue a full refund, no questions asked.”
Prochazka and his siblings were clearly onto something. Anyone with an internet browser is probably familiar with the onslaught of online mattress companies that followed in GoodMorning.com’s wake, most now offering their own free trials. But GoodMorning.com’s trial policy does more than pave the way to customer satisfaction—it also plays a key role in the company’s quest to deliver the best sleep possible.
“A mattress for every body, bedroom and budget”
“We’re striving to be Canada’s most innovative mattress company,” Prochazka says. “We want to create a mattress for every body, bedroom and budget.”
So while competitors have focused their efforts on one or two different mattresses, GoodMorning.com’s newest release, Octave—a top-of-the-line mattress collection built exclusively with advanced memory foam and cooling fabrics—brings their total number of product lines to eight. Each brand is designed to meet customers’ unique sleeping needs, something GoodMorning.com works rigorously to understand.
“It’s a really informed process. We use hundreds of thousands of data points. We send surveys to all our customers, and while our return rate is low, one thing we really look at is the reason for those returns,” says Prochazka.
“If we want to remain Canada’s best mattress company, we have to keep making these products better and better over time. It’s a sleepy industry,” he jokes, “but we’re obsessing over it night and day.”