A Unique Customer Experience
But perhaps the most ingenious part of IKEA’s model is the final stage: the purchase and assembly of its products. During a visit to the showroom floor of an IKEA store, customers are able to choose products for themselves and place them on a trolley, very much as they would in a grocery store.
The “do-it-yourself” mentality that underscores the IKEA shopping experience is summed up best by one of their advertising slogans: “You do your part, we do our part, together we save money.” The company’s warehouse-style stores are stocked with compactly packaged products to ensure that customers can easily transport their purchases home. This has the added benefit of allowing each IKEA store to stock a larger inventory with reduced shipping costs.
Finally, there’s the most famous (and to some, frustrating) part of IKEA’s business model: the DIY assembly of nearly every piece of furniture they sell. Thankfully, for customers who don’t want to spend their precious weekend assembling a sofa, the store does offer an in-house assembly service. It’s only the finishing touch on a long, eccentric, and deeply innovative supply chain that has helped what was once a tiny Swedish furniture maker grow into one of the most recognizable brands in the world.