When you’re in IKEA, you’ll feel like having a nibble after some heavy-duty shopping, freshen up at its IKEA Bistro. While there are several food offerings to choose from (should you have that sweating chicken hotdog or go for the familiar yet delicious curry puff), there is one treat that you’ll always go for, the smooth vanilla ice-cream. But have you ever wonder how is IKEA sustaining its business with such low prices? For example, an ice cream cone will only cost you as low as RM0.70 only! What is the idea behind this?
The Peak-End Rule was formulated by Daniel Kahneman, a 2002 Nobel Prize winner in Economics, in 1993. According to him, there are two factors that shape the memory we have of an experience. The first is how we feel at the high-point (the peak), irrespective of whether it is good or bad. The second is how the experience ends. He further explains that the rule shapes the feelings that are mentally stored in our subconscious and drives the view we have of an overall experience.
However, in order for it to work relies heavily on the gap between the peak and the less important touch points. The goal should be to maximise the “pleasure-pain gap” (PPG) with the caveat that the “pain” has to be within the bounds of acceptability to the customer. There are the three common “pain points” shared by the IKEA customers across the globe:
Pain Point #1 Forced Round Tour – the shop layout is designed to force you to maximise unnecessary browsing and make it difficult for you to get to the desired area directly
Pain Point #2 Availability of staff for on-site support can add to your frustration when you want to locate an item in a huge warehouse decked with confusing signage
Pain Point #3 Queuing time at check-out counters are generally long compared to other stores
It is this realisation that has led IKEA to end the customer’s experience on a high through the provision of RM0.70 ice cream to award yourself after going through all three pain points or placate the children who may well be screaming by the time their parents get to the end of their lengthy shopping trip. Although you know IKEA strategy now, it should not stop you and your family from completing the IKEA shopping experience with some wonderful sweet treats. Cheers!