8 Apr, 2022 06:00 PM
Retailing of the future: Why online bed retailer Comfi has launched an unmanned store - NZ Herald
An online-only retailer backed by Jucy co-founder Tim Alpe has launched an unmanned shop in Auckland, which it says is ideal for the current coronavirus pandemic world - and offers a glimpse at the future of retailing.
Comfi, which sells beds and mattresses, is taking bookings to trial its beds at its Auckland CBD location. Described as a mix between a keyless entry hotel room and a bricks-and-mortar showroom, its site was set up for consumers wanting to trial products away from other shoppers and over-attentive salespeople, and outside business hours.
Vicki Eriksen, co-founder of Comfi, said the launch of the shop - which she refers to as the "Comfi hub" - a week ago had already increased the business' sales conversion rate, with almost every physical trial in the location leading to a sale online.
The location was previously used to host events and store its beds.
"We know that for many of us, one of the main barriers to online purchasing is the need to see and feel a product.
"People have enjoyed visiting the site without having anyone there. They've got this private booking where we email them a pin code, booked online on our website. You can book to test drive the bed on your own or book to meet up face-to-face in an appointment, so you go down to the hub and lay on each of the beds," Eriksen told the Herald.
Bookings are for up to one hour, and Comfi encourages shoppers to make full use of the trial time. It has CCTV cameras and an alarm system to ensure the showroom is not used as a hotel room.