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Why D2C mattress brand Sonno expanded into physical retail

Why D2C mattress brand Sonno expanded into physical retail

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Malaysia-based mattress company Sonno, which touts itself to be a digitally native brand, has launched its flagship store in Publika known as the Sonno Sleep House to offer customers the ability to touch and feel its entire collection. The process took about six months from finding the right location, space, and planning to construction.

Founder and CEO Fabio Miceli (pictured below) called this a significant milestone for the company, adding that this represents an important step to providing a seamless omnichannel shopping experience from the website and messaging platforms to its brick-and-mortar store.

“As a digitally native brand, adding an offline footprint allows the company to adapt to evolving consumer preferences as well as finally make the mattress shopping experience more memorable and enjoyable,” he added. 


During his opening ceremony speech, Miceli explained that after five successful years of selling online and two years after the pandemic first hit businesses globally, Sonno noticed that customers were willing to go offline again, adapting to the new normal and evolving consumer preferences. "We monitored our data and decided that it was the right time to offer customers the opportunity to touch and feel our products.

According to him, the Sonno Sleep House store was developed around two key pillars: brand and better experience. It wanted to have a space that could position Sonno as a sleep brand. The company also wanted to offer customers more privacy, more time, and allow for naps. 

"The Sonno Sleep House is thoughtfully designed to provide a comfortable space for a more genuine in-store mattress trial that goes beyond a five-minute standard test and can make the shopping experience enjoyable and memorable. The in-store omnichannel shopping experience will be taken to the next level for the mattress category as customers can now immediately walk away with their purchase. Our customers can try our full range of products and the trial is still valid even for in-store purchases," he added.

The new store includes three large house-shaped nap rooms to provide the comfort needed for consumers to test the mattresses. Additionally, the sleep specialists who serve as Sonno's sales representatives will be dressed in pyjamas to assist in the consumers' purchasing process.

sonno flagship store 1

Meanwhile, he also told A+M that with the flagship store, Sonno can create a much better customer experience and build a valuable and long-lasting relationship with them. Miceli added:

Our data collected from one of our showrooms showed that we can convert to purchase 80% of the traffic we drive online to offline. We expect to keep this conversion rate for O2O traffic and add new walk-in customers from the mall.

Sonno plans to continue leveraging data to improve customers' shopping experience, extend its presence offline and expand the range of its products by introducing new editions to its catalogue during the fourth quarter. Among the list of metrics Sonno looks at include traffic, time spent in store, returning customers, store heatmap, point of sales display engagement and shelf engagement.

As proof that it is a data-driven company that constantly collects customers' feedback, Sonno is launching the Sonno Signature Bed Frame, which is its first product line as it makes its foray into the bedroom furnishing segment. According to Miceli, this is one of the most requested products by its user base.

While digital is still at the core of its marketing strategy, Miceli said Sonno will carry out more experiential brand activations and continuously explore new marketing and sales channels to test, learn and adapt. "The goal is to build a sustainable business constantly," he said.

sonno flagship store 2

Sonno's marketing is currently headed by Juliana Chua who joined earlier this year. As head of marketing, she reports to Miceli and aims to market Sonno as the sleep expert. She told A+M previously that the company has so much growth potential. Fast forward a couple of months later, Chua told A+M that the term "granular" would be the one word she'd use to describe her time at Sonno thus far. "I totally relish how comprehensive performance data and insights are so accessible and in real-time," she said.

Before Sonno, Chua led the marketing teams at Pavilion Bukit Jalil and Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. She also accumulated a wealth of knowledge in the agency scene, having helmed leadership roles at Ignit KL, TBWA\Kuala Lumpur and Zenith. Armed with industry knowledge, Chua said that with every marketing opportunity that comes her way, she wants to see the Sonno brand have fun with consumers. "And it's real easy to do so because the brand was built for fun to change how people buy sleep products," she said.

Although Chua was tight-lipped about the marketing plans for the remainder of the year and for 2023, she told A+M that there will be "some cool brand campaigns" being executed to have consumers fall in love with Sonno.

Related article:
Juliana Chua heads up marketing at Sonno

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