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How we can enhance the customer experience at IKEA



How we can enhance the customer experience at IKEA

Recently IKEA has opened its first store in India and the craze for having unlimited coffee & food is higher than buying the products from the store. So everyone rushed to the store and ended up buying a beverage and got back on sipping it.


What’s difficult?

  • Finding the product required
  • Internal navigation to reach the right destination.
  • Buying the product that we saw in the showcase or the ad.
  • Finding unlimited coffee.


When we start the journey to the most creative store, the first thing they offer is a big bag and they made it amazing by filling the escalator with the bags and while standing there we can pick it up and there are few more products as a display as well which are cheap and useful that we can drop in the bag.

When we step into the store, there are different showcase rooms to explore and each room has different products displayed that we can check and if we like, we can buy it, but here’s the pain. I cannot add the product directly into my cart in any way as there are different styled tags and we should understand all of that


The red section shows the unique 8 digit product number and where to pick up the product, basically the rack and location it’s available and also gives the information to note down the code. 


This is something that we should understand, we should note down the number and we should take it to the executive and he’ll assist us in the order, at times it’ll be out of stock for us to purchase.

Now that we have the information on the overall store experience. To buy the product you like in showcase is always a pain and there are some simple solutions that can enhance customer experience.

Here’s the process on how to shop at IKEA store, so they are already aware that there’s a problem shopping at the store and they are teaching the crowed on how it works. you can find it here in detail. 


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  • Why any user would see a manual to go shopping?
  • What we should know & why?
  • How do we know this process? 
  • And how will we remember the code? 
  • How can we note down or capture the code? 
  • How can the app be used to do the same exercise?

Execution Strategy 1

We can find the same product in the IKEA mobile app with its availability, if it’s available we can add it to the cart and go directly to the executive to pull that product out but most of the customers would like to try, see and feel before buying it. So this approach is not so convenient and hence not so often taken by any customer.

As a customer, you look at the product and once you are convinced to buy it, then you look further on how to buy it and look for someone to help you, the executives at IKEA tell you softly that you need to take a snap of the product tag (only if it’s red) or note down the product code and collect it from the self-service section/market place or warehouse. Of course, there are again executives who will help you pull out the stuff for you.

Aligning with user behaviour

We didn’t know this behavior either we have to go back to take snaps of some of the missed products or we thought of buying it the next time we visit and we never visit again shortly so we end up buying the same thing somewhere else.


Although the information is written on the tag, to take a snap, that’s not visible enough for a customer to notice, and our research suggested that more than 75% of people would reach to IKEA executive for help on how to buy the product which is in showcase.


Tag with a note to take down the name and number for reference. 

Execution Strategy 2

Of course, we can’t take the product tag by separating it from the product, maybe there’s another idea where they can get multiple tags printed for the same product and can be placed to the product where a customer can pick that and give it to the representative to help pull the product out and while billing the executive can put back the tag and reuse it, I don’t think there would be any revamp needed in the process here as it’s just the duplication of the code.

Overall, I feel this is a bad idea 🙁 What do you think?

Take this tag along and give it to the executive.

Execution Strategy 3

The other is to have a scan code on the tag, upon scanning, the user can be visually shown in which self-service area the chosen product is available and all the items could be added to the cart and respective product self-service area can be navigated internally with the help of Internal positioning system or just a basic route map also would do.

It’s kind of a good idea, what do you think?

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As there’s already existing code scanner in the app I asked the executive, is there any facility to scan the code of the product and add the product to my shopping list in the app, he said no there’s nothing as such, there’s nothing on the tag too.



IKEA has a great brand value and with a little focus on customer experience at the store would make the user’s life easy, any first-time shopper without any guide wouldn’t understand anything on how to shop there unless we are pro shoppers or someone who does try to understand the process.


“To design a desk which costs $1,000 is easy for a furniture designer, but to design a functional and good desk which costs $50 can only be done by the very best.”

Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA


Although more of the shoppers would come there to do window shopping than buying, especially on weekends. If we introduce the app to them and make them rely on it to buying what they like at the showcase section itself it’ll be of great shopping experience and maybe we can do better engagement with the users. 

I understand that there’s so much of Supply chain revamp needed for this exercise but I feel if we start implementing this from here on we can add more value to the product and solve the huge problem of finding the right product at the right time by the user. And the scale at which IKEA has been operating it should not be a challenge. 



We are an experience design studio and we were not commissioned by IKEA to do this exercise we just put this based on the experience and insights we got from the IKEA Hyderabad, India store. 


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