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Top 12 stuffs IKEA can teach small businesses

July 18, 2013 Adrian Oh Category : , , , ,


IKEA, founded by Ingvar Kamprad, has always been one of our all time favorite retailers. A tour at the IKEA showroom can always inspire new ideas. These are the top 12 stuffs all small businesses can learn from IKEA.



1) Brand Matters

Brand matters in differentiating from competitors, and the foundation of a winning brand starts with nicely done logo. Don't try to DIY your own logo, instead, hire a professional to design your logo, it will pay off!

IKEA's big brand presence


2) Members Only Deal 

Put up a membership program for your loyal customers, make them feel special by rewarding them with special privileges such as exclusive access to limited edition merchandises, member only deal etc!

Special deals for IKEA FAMILY

IKEA FAMILY - IKEA fans club, loyalty program


3) Flaunt Your Sale

Don't be shy, be out and loud about your sale and the savings you are bringing on the table for customers. Feature the deals prominently on your store or website, use wording like "SALE", "SAVINGS" etc on the products you are promoting.

Big IKEA sale poster


4) Slash Your Normal Price

Running a sale? Label it by showing normal pricing, then slash it! Even better? tell and show how much they save too!

Attractive IKEA price slash


5) State Your Refund Policy

State your return or refund policy clearly. When you do a refund, instead of cash, try settle in credit so they will spend on you again, too!

Clear IKEA shipping & return policy

IKEA: If you change your mind?


6) More Colors Please

Offer more colors for your merchandise! It works very well especially for interior decors or fashionable items!

Colorful display at IKEA showroom


7) Smart Merchandising

Tell stories about your products, share how it benefits the customers, show who's behind the product. Present all the information in an elegant and simple manner, starts with a Header, a Sub-header and then a short paragraph of 2 to 3 lines for your products. Never miss out any details that will help customers make better purchase decision (like warranty period)!

Who is behind the product design?

Wow! 25 years guarantee!


8) Be approachable

Be approachable, be real, be transparent! Trust is hard to build, even more so if you sell online!

Friendly shopping assistant @ IKEA


9) Sell Gift Cards

If your products can be gifted, then you have to sell gift cards! Notice how IKEA Malaysia upsell their gift cards at the checkout counter?

Gift card available at IKEA

How does IKEA gift card works?


10) Support Multiple Payment Options

Let customers have more ways to pay, and never rely on a single credit card payment provider. If you are selling online, never rely on a single credit card payment gateway, sign up two or more!

Multiple payment mode support at IKEA


11) Easy Payment Plan

Easy payment plan (installment) is one of Malaysians' favorite ways to shop. Offer this for higher price items and see your sales soar!

Easy payment available at IKEA


12) Mobile Commerce

With mobile taking center stage of every consumers life, how can you not having a mobile-optimized site or mobile app enabling your customers browse anytime, anywhere?

Download IKEA mobile app


Last but not least, the importance of having a CULTURE (the intangible!). Successful merchants are not just about trading, they care a great deal about their products and strive hard to bring only the best to their customers.

In 1976, IKEA Founder Ingvar Kamprad wrote about the ideology of IKEA business model and culture, it's know as “A Furniture Dealer’s Testament”, sort of like a "IKEA Bible" for all IKEA employees. This, for me, is the real secret sauce of success of IKEA all small businesses can learn from, be inspired!


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