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Decoding the customer journey to improve business results


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Furniture retail (World's largest furniture retailer since 2008)

Facts & Figures

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Global stores


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$41.3bn (2021)


The research offers many starting points that we can act upon. It provides confirmation of areas where we have experienced challenges for some time and will help us address these areas. In addition, everyone is really impressed that the results are tangible, so we can act upon them.”

IKEA Netherlands

Consumer and Customer Insights Leader

A detailed analysis of an IKEA customer journey

IKEA Netherlands is one of our partnership clients, and we’ve worked together for more than a decade. As part of our close working relationship, the Consumer & Customer Insights team at IKEA Netherlands approached us to help them understand their customers’ journeys to improve the shopper experience and sales. They wanted to understand the reasons people choose to shop at IKEA, their willingness to pay, and the obstacles preventing them from purchasing home furnishings from the retailer in the areas of Living Room, Kitchen and Bedroom. These three areas are core to the retailer’s business and therefore understanding the true detail of people’s journey in each was essential.

Insights to encourage customers to buy in other departments

By understanding what elements customers consider as the most important and what drives them to make a certain purchase, the research identified how IKEA could act on it to attract more customers. At IKEA, customer penetration is high, so this project pinpointed how to encourage shoppers to buy in other departments to increase sales in other departments. As a Business Leader from Workspaces told us; “This is one of the best pieces of research we’ve ever done because we can really do a lot with the insights.”

Actionable insights to support the business plan

The results of the survey were converted into actionable plans organized by category. IKEA had asked for detailed action points to progress once the research was completed. In particular, GfK’s team focused on identifying barriers and drivers for IKEA and its competitors; breaking down the specific customer journeys of different customer types based on income and lifestyle and evaluating willingness to pay at IKEA versus the competition.

The detailed output and resulting guidance were well received: “The research confirmed assumptions we already had about our customers and also supported our efforts in implementing our new business plan” is a sentiment echoed by Core Area Managers in the three key areas of Bedroom, Kitchen and Living Room.

A strong working partnership

GfK has worked with IKEA Netherlands for more than a decade. Over this time, GfK’s account management team has built a close working relationship with the different teams in IKEA and has a solid understanding of the business so can anticipate and fulfil insight and data needs. IKEA uses a range of solutions from GfK including Consumer research and Market Intelligence.

Download the success story as pdf

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