The New Year brings a new look and functionality to The National Bed Federation (NBF) website. The redeveloped online platform now provides information and support in three dedicated sections - trade, members and consumers.

For NBF members and those in the bed trade, a new education and training section has been introduced, linking directly to the NBF’s training courses which have been specifically developed for the UK bed industry - Introduction to Beds and the Sleep Sales Course. There’s also details about the Bed Makers Apprenticeship and the apprenticeship levy, which comes into effect in March 2017.

An easy-to-navigate database of NBF members has been redeveloped which also sits on the consumer section of the website, where, via the Bed Buyer’s Guide, visitors can search for specific bed and bedding products with different features as required. Presenting manufacturers’ logos and contact details rather than specific models, the database aims to help drive consumer traffic to members’ websites.

Guidance on the NBF Code of Practice, packaging colour coding, flammability, recycling and advice on sales incentives is more easily navigated on the new website.

The new website also hosts a portfolio of trade marketing support, whereby manufacturers and retailers can find free marketing tool kits with web banners - both animated and static - artwork for different sized posters and roundels for retailers to print and use in store and online. In addition, downloadable logos, press releases and videos can be taken and used on companies’ websites or through social media channels.

There’s also Information on wider initiatives such as guidance on reporting rogue mattress traders and standards for beds, as well as links to The Bed Show 2017, and a section on key regulations and standards for beds.

Following a strategic decision to more clearly separate the main objectives of The Sleep Council and the NBF, all consumer bed information is now hosted on the new NBF site, whilst sleep-related topics will remain with the predominantly consumer-facing advisory organisation, The Sleep Council.

Simon Williams, marketing manager at the NBF, who led the online redevelopment project, says: “The new site is much more interactive and easier to navigate, providing all the information and guidance the trade – and consumers – may need about beds.

“During the development, we amalgamated information and tools from the now defunct Sleep Biz website - which was aimed predominately at retailers – and updated the content which can now be found on the new NBF website. Our aim was to provide a streamlined hub of information, ensuring both retailers and manufacturers had just one-port-of-call for everything they needed.

“Our updated, password protected, members only area provides a modernised section whereby member organisations can access consumer research reports, industry sales data, trade name register and details of the NBF Spring Forum.

“It’s early days but we’ve had some great feedback on the new website so far, although we’re always looking to make further enhancements to provide our members, the trade and the consumer with the best possible user experience.”