IKEA, Sweden’s Jewel
IKEA not only enables consumers to find great ideas, but it’s a treasure trove for catalogers, too.
Actionable Tips from IKEA
• Use environmental shots: Many shoppers have a hard time imagining what a product will look like in their homes. Rather than straight cut-and-copy design, IKEA shows several products together in their natural settings, for example, a bedroom, kitchen or office. They circle each of the products, give each a number and then describe them elsewhere on the page.
• Keep costs and prices in check. IKEA designers work hard to shave costs and pass the savings along to consumers. The company’s signature technique is to discern how to cut shipping costs by getting more items on a pallet. Are your suppliers shipping merchandise to you in the most cost-efficient manner?
• Stock efficiently. It’s company policy to ensure that each item in the IKEA catalog is in every store. Out-of-stock SKUs make customers cranky, and back orders are expensive. How precise is your inventory control?
• Keep the ordering process for customers simple. The IKEA order form is positively rudimentary. “The order form should be so simple that an idiot can understand it,” writes freelancer Malcolm Decker. What makes IKEA’s so simple is it contains no tiny type or complex chart of shipping charges. Instead, customers give IKEA their phone numbers, and reps call to confirm orders, shipping charges and taxes. While IKEA executives admit it’s challenging to call every customer, they note that it also is a nice thing to do and offers the opportunity for an upsell. Worth a test in your catalog operation?
About This Company
U.S. Headquarters: Plymouth Meeting, PA
Products: home furnishings
Number of catalogs mailed
annually: 110 million worldwide;
42 editions in 24 languages distributed in 32 countries
Number of retail outlets worldwide: 171 in 31 countries