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Why all ecommerce managers should get inspired by IKEA

Apr 8, 2021


  • IKEA stores are designed to inspire
  • Products are shown together, in a showroom, sparking ideas and emotions
  • Ecommerce managers should think about how to replicate this experience online
  • 46% of online shoppers are just browsing. What are you doing to inspire them?

Visiting an IKEA shop is more than just picking up a product and heading for the checkout. It's a shopping experience that sparks emotions - good and bad. IKEA's mindset is inspiration and that has a very tangible effect on business. It's a tactic that should inspire every ecommerce manager.

IKEA is one of the world's best known brands. Not just because of their products. But because shopping at IKEA is a concept that almost every consumer knows and has an opinion about. Some love it, some hate it. But it is arguably one of the best shopping experiences when it comes to selling through inspiration.

A shopping trip to IKEA is not about quickly finding the product you want and head for the checkout queue.

Perhaps logic will tell you that it would be an amazing shopping experience, if you easily were able to find just the product you need and go home. But creating a shopping experience that engages from start to ordered hot dog is an achievement worth getting inspiration from. 

You can try their products, see what they look like, what colors they come in and view them in a lifestyle situation. Whether you call it inspirational selling, visual merchandising or something else, it’s all about getting more visitors to engage with your products. 

And it is not just a mindset for the physical stores. 

Why all ecommerce managers should get inspired by IKEA - CP

But why is IKEA important for all retailers?

When you go to IKEA you most likely have a category or product in mind. But there is a reason why you're not immediately directed to that specific product or category. It's because IKEA actively works with tactics supporting a better customer experience that sparks not only retention but added sales.

You do that by presenting your products in different settings, highlighting specific products and breaking free from the well-known grid view presenting endless rows of products that look somewhat similar. In fact most online stores are just better looking versions of the place in IKEA where you pick up the different cardboard boxes, and head for checkout.

Retailers pride themselves on their in-store experience. They work hard to get it right and offer an inviting environment to shop. That’s why store employees spend time folding clothes or tidying up after their customers. They want the store to always look its best.

And there’s a reason why. Inspiration increases engagement. And engaged customers are more likely to buy - both in physical stores and online.

Take a critical look at your own online store

Marketers and ecommerce managers hear it all the time. Acquiring traffic mainly using paid tactics only has two winners - Facebook and Google.

But where does that leave you?

You need to really focus on getting more value from the traffic you have already acquired. This means that in order to grow your business in a thriving online commerce market space, you need to be able to deliver a second-to-none online store experience that goes above and beyond. You need to create an environment that encourages them to engage with your offering.

Yet, when it comes to online, so many online stores are too focused on getting the sale. They’re too heavily tailored to three steps; search, add to basket and checkout. Shoppers should know exactly what they want, add it to their basket and checkout as soon as possible.

There’s no way for online shoppers to look around and browse, no room to get inspired and no room for impulse buying. It’s straight in, straight out.

And, while this formula might work for some, in fact 46% of all online shoppers are just browsing. There’s a huge market of untapped potential if you focus more on creating an inspiring online experience.

And the best place to start is to imagine you're a new visitor just wanting to browse your online store.

Jesper Wilhelmsen

Jesper Wilhelmsen