IKEA Leaving Money on the Table…

What if you had a business that did billions in revenue would you still want more?

I recently went to IKEA in New Jersey to purchase a wall unit.  As many are aware IKEA has been the champion of low cost nicely designed furniture for the home and small office.  8 years ago I furnished an entire business with their office furniture and the quality has held up well.  However in recent years I found their quality and designs declining.

We now needed a wall unit at home and we’ve been looking for the last 8 months to find a well designed and reasonably priced option.  Well we have found it in a recently introduced design at IKEA.  We spent about 7 hours at the NJ store this week to design and purchase the unit.

However they could have sold us lots more but they didn’t appear to care either way.

IKEA thrives on the self serve concept and as such dislikes too much personal service.  I think they begrudgingly offer a design service for customers (which they actually used to charge for).

Now how could they have sold us and others more?  1. They do not have Computer Aided Design (CAD) software for most of their furniture-a wall unit is most easily desigined online however our designer used a pen and paper. 2. We had no way of seeing what it was going to look like-we just could only imagine it. 

Imagine a software program that, not only had a Computer Aided Design (CAD) element but one that also knew which inventoried items would compliment our wall unit?  They might have sold us lots more–pictures, vases, small tables etc.

IKEA is truly a store of choice stocking some astronomical number of items; we went to the lighting department and were overwhelmed with the choices.

How about a Designer Alliance where customers could just call a designer and they would use all IKEA items to design your home?  In NYC people love being served…I can only imagine the significant additional volume IKEA could do in NYC if they opened a NYC showroom staffed with Interior Designers.

The "store designer" that helped us could have spent 1/3 of the time with us and sold us lots more if she had a computer program to help her.  IKEA could generate substantially higher revenues and profits with a Designer Alliance-this is kind of like restaurants offering delivery and take out–they extend the sale of their product without having to add physical space—higher margins and higher sales.

What are you doing with your business to extend the reach?  Are there key market players like a designer for IKEA that could not only get you more sales but do so in a way that maximizes the value of your product?  Just think how IKEA customer satisfaction could be increased substantially if their home was professionally designed with stylish furniture and accessories.