“Sixty percent of IKEA purchases are impulse buys. And IKEA’s own creative director has said that only 20% of the store’s purchases are based on actual logic and needs.
How does IKEA trick you into buying more stuff? (1) Store layout. Inside, customers are led through a preordained, one-way path that winds through 50-plus room settings. The average IKEA store is 300k sq. ft.—the equivalent of about five football fields—and their typical shopper ends up walking almost a mile. This forces wider product exposure, creates a false sense of scarcity and creates mystery. (2) Low prices. IKEA often follows a “price first, design later” philosophy: It starts with a price target—say $6.99 for a new stool—then reverse-engineers the design process to meet that goal. IKEA seems to adhere to a “survival of the fittest” pricing model: If a product’s price can’t be reduced over time, it tends to get discontinued. (3) The IKEA Effect. We have a cognitive bias wherein we place a higher value on items we build ourselves, regardless of the quality of the end result. (4) Cafeteria. A survey of 700 shoppers found that those who ate at the food court spent an average of more than two times more on home furnishings than those who didn’t.”