The IKEA experience: a case study on how different factors in the retail environment affect customer experience

IKEA is one of the world’s largest retailers in the world. They have managed to make their products and services more popular based not only on price but by creating a unique shopping experience for the customers. The purpose of this study is to provide a better understanding of the “IKEA experience.” In order to reach this purpose research questions focused on which factors affect the customer’s decision to visit IKEA and how the retail environment can be designed to enhance customer experience. Based on the research questions a literature review was conducted, resulting in a conceptual framework that was used to guide the data collection. The study has a qualitative case study approach where the primary data collection was through interviews with IKEA customers. The findings indicate that customers who choose to visit IKEA base their decision mainly on cost- advantages as well as the size of the assortment. The study found that social factors along with social activities also have an impact on the customers. The study also found that the customers plan their shopping at IKEA in advance because of the distance to the store, the size of the store, and the wide product assortment. Regarding the second research question, it was found that IKEA’s retail environment is used to enhance the customer experience. IKEA markets itself as a retailer that offers a large number of products in various designs for low prices. Our study indicates that IKEA is perceived by the customers in this way. IKEA’s customers also feel that there is uniqueness over IKEA and that they can not be compared to any other retailer. Customers are generally satisfied with their experiences at IKEA. Even though certain complications during their shopping experience might occur, customers would not hesitate to revisit the IKEA store.

Author: Isaksson, Rebecka; Suljanovic, Mirela

Source: Luleå University of Technology

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