Perhaps not everybody, but a noteworthy amount of people would consider going to Ikea as a legitimate idea for a cute date or a fun day activity with family. How did this emerge? It’s furniture shopping! Arguing over what bedframe to buy is not usually a top recommendation for a romantic evening. But Ikea is special because it is more than a furniture warehouse. It is a well-oiled machine that understands consumer behavior remarkably well and is designed to deliver a quality experience for the customer. Personally, I am one of those individuals who would go to Ikea for fun, and I have made some observations about why the experience is so desirable for me.
1) Ikea plays on the excitement of personalization
If you can, remember back to when you first got your own space to decorate as you please. Think back to your first room. Your first college residence. Your first apartment. Your first office. Your first house. For many, this is a very exciting time because you can make the space your own and manifest yourself into a larger area. Ikea knows this and designs the shopping experience around it. Ikea’s show rooms display wonderful possibilities and opportunities for interior spaces. You can sit in and cherry pick from your options, creating your dream home in your mind. I can attest to the excitement of both planning an ideal residence for ones-self or with a significant other. Perhaps I just got lucky on the compatibility.
2) Ease of exploring and purchasing
A well-organized business is great for reducing stress levels of consumers and keeping them happy. Happy customer’s means better experiences which of course means building a positive brand image. Nobody enjoys being confused, overwhelmed, or anxious. Fortunately, Ikea has taken several walks in the customer’s shoes and has constructed their buildings to move people very efficiently while still giving them the chance to stop and examine whatever they wish to see.
The model is good for Ikea as well because it has them viewing everything rather than just moving to the section they came for. Relating back to the fun of customization, the walk through process becomes an exciting process of seeing interesting things – much like a zoo or gallery! Even the order of what you see is well thought out and designed to be best for both Ikea and the consumer. For example, smaller, more impulse-driven purchases are at the end of the destination where it is easy to find a helpful or interesting gift for yourself or others. Ikea benefits greatly from this position as well, of course. They also have a highly effective packaging and pick-up system for the items you want to buy. The shopping experience is very easy to understand and makes it easier on us all when we decide to buy something. Ikea is also well stocked with customer service attendants just in case any questions arise.
Even the $1 tax included frozen yogurt is made for convenience! No change, no tax, tip, nothing. Just a fast trade of a dollar bill for a cone of yogurt! Easy! They do a fantastic job of reducing stress from the process of purchasing from them which leaves more room for the fun part of buying!
3) Variety of food and snacks
Not only do they have food, which is a huge plus (who doesn’t like food?) but they also have a choice for everybody. They have lots of healthy options, but also some more indulgent dishes. They have low priced snacks as well as some very substantial meals. The food is quality but affordable! Not only this, but they have a variety of options for time and location of purchase. It is also important to notice that the food is fairly unique for the most part.
They have quite a bit that you can’t find too easily elsewhere which is fantastic for their differentiation! Have you had their ice cream? Smooth as silk and a wonderful vanilla taste. For such a popular flavor, this taste is pretty unique! They play this very strategically as well. The smell of cinnamon rolls at checkout is very persuasive and the photos of Kottbullar and Lax Gravad always have me craving a bite. Even as a guy who doesn’t eat out much, I always find myself grabbing something to eat here. Even just a snack.
4) The Savings!
For the quality Ikea delivers with the furniture, food, and experience, you may expect to pay quite a bit for their stuff. Amazingly, they offer high quality without flipping a huge bill! The cost leadership definitely plays into their favor, here. They are reliable and have some great connections. Saving money certainly reduced the stress shopping can bring.
5) Friendly and Welcoming Atmosphere
The overall vibe Ikea gives off is just somewhere pleasant to be, which is great for keeping consumers comfortable. Ikea puts fun and friendly messages of their walls to communicate with customers. It helps give off an open and honest personality for the company and helps to build the connection with the customer. It also helps reduce stress. Think, for example, of the reassurance you get from the open-armed heart in the parking garage that assure you that you can return your items if need be. No more reason to stress about whether or not the shelf will clash with your desk once you see them together.
The staff, in my experiences, has always been very happy and pleasant to interact with which is always a small but highly important factor in the experience. The happy staff also helps build Ikea’s character as a socially responsible and benevolent corporation that takes care of its own and makes for a happy place to work. It is always easier to support a business like that than one where you must question how they treaty their employees. It is very important to remember that the attitude of the employees that interact with the customer most are the ones that are putting out the image of Ikea most of the time, so they must be friendly and happy when they engage with guests.
Ikea has developed a customer experience that is exciting and engaging and supports the consumer throughout the process. It is famous for its customer satisfaction and experience development. Could it be even better?
Do you have ideas for making the experience even better? Is there anything else they do that you think I missed?
Comment with your thoughts!
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