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Mattress Startup Casper Is Trying to Become the Amazon for All Things Sleep

Apr 19, 2016

Casper is a mattress company. For now, anyway.

The startup, which sells direct-to-consumer mattresses online and in one style only , is frequently hailed as a high-tech innovator energizing the tired $14 billion mattress industry, which continues to be dominated by old-school players such as Serta, Sealy and Simmons.

Casper’s ambitions, however, extend beyond the mattress. In November, it launched a line of high-tech sheets and pillows. And its co-founder and CEO Philip Krim suggests we can expect more Casper products in the near future.

“If [it] touches sleep, whether it’s tracking sleep or whatever it may be, it’s something we’re interested in, working on and potentially developing products around,” he said in a recent appearance on Fortune Live.

According to Krim, the secret to becoming an online brand that consumers can trust for all their offline sleep needs is simple: stellar customer service.

From the start, the company’s mission was to make purchasing a mattress as painless as possible. In doing so, it turned an ostensible weakness -- that customers couldn’t come to a storefront and test out its mattresses -- into a strength. “One of our big beliefs is that laying on a bed for 15, 30 seconds in a store was not the right way to know if a mattress was good for you,” says Krim. “The only way to know was to sleep on it,” ideally for multiple nights so “your body could readjust to what proper support and spinal alignment.”

To facilitate this, Casper offers a 100-day trail period, in which customers can have the mattress picked up and returned for a full refund.

As the startup expands into other product categories in a bid to become the “go-to brand you trust when you need to get a better night of sleep,” the emphasis on “how we elevate the customer experience” throughout the shopping process will remain, he says.

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