A Marketing Adventure Inside the IKEA Maze

For some time now, I have been seeing stores a little differently. I pay closer attention to their signs, slogans, and ads and really put myself as a customer and think if I would buy just from their in-store marketing. I wanted to share out what I found out about Ikea [now one of my favorite stores!] in a recent visit and my thoughts on how brilliant the layout of the store is in order to maximize sales and returning customers.

A couple of weeks ago my family and I needed to escape the SoCal heat and decided to go to Ikea. I had gone to Ikea once before and I was really impressed of how big the store was and how affordable most of their products were. My family had chosen to go to Ikea because I had received Ikea’s 2013  catalog in the mail and since most of my family had not been there before we chose to make our weekend an adventure!

The IKEA maze Layout

I found out that the layout of most Ikea stores are designed in a one-way layout, making customers go through all of the departments before leaving the store. You would begin the Ikea journey through several furniture showrooms, fully-equipped rooms of Ikea furniture and accessories. These rooms are really beautiful, modern, and it makes you visualize the room in your actual home. What I found really interesting in the showroom section is that the Ikea employees are not there to sell you their products, but rather be more of a help aid in locating the items which are stored at the “Market Hall” section, often located at the end of the store. Most stores follow the same single-exit layout and often have the showroom upstairs with the marketplace and warehouse downstairs. A majority of IKEA stores are located outside of city centers, primarily because of land cost and traffic access.

After spending about two hours seeing all of Ikea’s amazing products we ended up at their Ikea restaurant. Many stores include restaurants serving traditional Swedish food. We ordered their Swedish meatballs and they were really good! I  really find this concept pretty innovative and smart on Ikea’s part in having quality food from their home country and introduce it to their customers, many who have not had thoughts on visiting that country.

You can practically spend a whole day in the store, and at the end of the day you will most likely buy at least one item for your house or apartment.

The Catalog

Since one of the reasons we went to IKEA in the first place was because of their catalog I felt I needed to do some research and find out if it led people to the store. If you have not seen their catalog it is truly engaging and visually appealing. When I was looking to show examples of the catalog, I found our that IKEA hosts their catalog on 2013catalog.com. Not only is this a HUGE SEO boost for their products but also an advantage over their catalog. Aside from their online catalog, IKEA also interacts with their customers by including special QR codes to learn more about a specific set and products.

Social Media

The more I researched on IKEA the more amazing I find this company to be. IKEA has launched a YouTube channel called “How to Build,” the latest in a series of new content marketing initiatives introduced by the company’s IKEAUSA division over the past year.This channel includes videos that give design tips, how-to’s, and style ideas all using IKEA’s products.

Aside from having YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook pages, IKEA embraces their social platforms and lets their customers share their room creations in their Share Space page. The company said that in addition to sharing photos, users have the ability to browse and comment on others’ spaces and save photos of rooms that they like best. They can tag IKEA products, save them in a personalized “wish list” and share photos with friends on social networks.

I really did not know much about IKEA before writing this post and I really admire them as  a company and all of their creative marketing efforts online and offline. What do you guys like/love about IKEA? Do you like their products? Share your comments below! 


I will follow up on IKEA in a later post and also be on the lookout for more posts in the future! ‘Till next time!

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3 thoughts on “A Marketing Adventure Inside the IKEA Maze

  1. Hello Jorge and thanks for including the link here to my blog post called “Four Marketing Tricks That IKEA Uses to Seduce Us”: http://ethicalnag.org/2010/09/05/ikea/

    Like you, the more I learned about the behind-the-scenes strategy behind the IKEA phenomenon while researching my article, the more I liked the company – that is, even MORE than I liked it before.

    Even though I hate Big Box retail with a capital H, there’s just something about IKEA marketing that almost transcends its Big Box experience for me. Is it the innovative design? Engagingly practical room set-ups? That ultra Swedish sense of cool? Whatever it is, I never seem to be able to spend as much time at IKEA as I really want to!

  2. “This video has been removed by the user.” What the heck?

    So what major chain would IKEA be compared to in the grocery part? Is it like Costco which is the friendly version of wal mart or is it more like Food 4 Less?

    Is it like Albertsons where prices are sky high?

    • Oh, that’s wierd… I’ll try to embed a working video… Maybe their video strategy changed……

      IKEA would more be like Fresh and Easy I would say where they try to market packages first rather than your typical groceries…

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