Why we over shop at Ikea

It's true, we over-shop at Ikea. I do for sure. While this Time Magazine story reveals the reasons why and what you can do to limit your spending, there's a valuable lesson here for business and for marketing.

Why do you over-shop? Well according to researchers, it's all about delayed gratification, a meandering story-telling set up and your innate desire to deal with your issues by buying more stuff.

What can retailers and other businesses learn about this and deploy in their own marketing to garner the same effect?

Here are my ideas.

1) Don't tell everything in one place. Keep it simple and relatable. Your menu need not be overstuffed and your advertising should be clear, compelling and simple.

2) Keep the story-telling going before someone even makes a purchase. Restaurants: remember every s before the waiter comes to the table is the pre-sale. From the greeting to the space itself to the expressions on other diner's faces. You are selling before you even sell.

3) When somone is ready to purchase, make sure everything is neat, bright and the way forward and way backward is clear. No over-complicated shopping carts and reinforce the story even in the shopping cart. Selling a piece of art? Why not show the art in a frame and then a photo showing the art in context, in a room ... on the shopping page. The point: reinforce the story even at the point of purchase.

4) Tap into consumer's desires to know how your things will fit into their lives and how the end result will help them feel more organized and safe.

We need to feel safe and organized in a chaotic world. If you can find a way to tell that story in the context of your product or service you may find consumers willing to spend more with you than ever before.

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