User Experience – What can we learn from Ikea?

Everyone loves a visit to Ikea. You may only go once a year, or maybe even less. But what IS it about the Swedish flatpack aficionados that means we always end up buying, and what can we learn from it?

Everyone loves a visit to Ikea. You may only go once a year, or maybe even less. But when you do, you’re guaranteed to walk out with a new bit of furniture, a candle, four new plates and, more often than not, a hotdog or two.

What IS it about the Swedish flatpack aficionados that means we always end up buying?

A 2012 study estimated that 60% of Ikea purchases are impulse buys. And Ikea’s very own creative director thinks that only 20% of the store’s purchases are based on the actual requirements of the shopper.

The user experience in Ikea is tailored towards selling, showcasing what they’ve got on offer and positioning themselves as a ‘one-stop-shop for everything to do with your home. And having a cafe chucked in for fun.

What is user experience?

User experience is exactly what it says on the tin. Put simply, it is the process of exploring how a user interacts with a product or service.

This could be analysing the behaviour or shopping patterns of customers and tailoring their experience to increase their satisfaction levels, or simply to generate more sales.

What can we learn from Ikea?

Well, firstly, we’d love to know how they make their meatballs. But that’s not our topic today.

The careful design of their stores means that visitors have to explore sections of the shop they didn’t intend to, before getting to what they actually came for. By having people enter via the top floor, they have to traverse the entire store before they can pay for the item they picked up.

Fortunately, since Ikea is like a Swedish wonderland, people don’t really mind. And, as we’ve said, they tend to find things along the way that they actually end up buying.

The moral of the Ikea story is simple. More often than not, people don’t know what they want – until they see it. And even if they see something they’re not sure they want, they’ll be aware of it.

By forcing product exposure, Ikea is doing its own marketing within its own stores. The best bit? It’s costing them next to nothing.

What’s that got to do with websites?

Similar to a shop, your website is somewhere people come to buy.

Whether they’re itching to buy, actively thinking about it or just having the first quick look – it’s your opportunity to show them what you’ve got.

When we design websites, we put user experience at the forefront of our process. The easier a website is to use, the more inclined people are going to be to use it.

We can carefully place upsells, call to action buttons and product links all over the site to ensure that people are getting the full shopping experience when they check you out online. If they want to get to the checkout, they’ve got to see everything you’ve got to offer first.

Why not go the whole hog? Integrating other features such as live chat messages means you can even have a member of staff managing the digital shop at all times, ready to answer questions from potential customers as they think of them.

Can you build me a website that my customers will want to shop on?


We have designed and developed over 450 fully bespoke, custom-build websites that generate millions of pounds in revenue for our clients every year.

Optimised for your needs and built with your customers in mind, our brochure websites create the perfect platform for growing your business. No meatballs included, however.

Ready to show your customers what you can do? Give us a call on 023 80 000 212.

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