“What if we could cut out all the inefficiencies of the furniture industry and deliver designer furniture that’s easy to assemble at a fraction of the cost?”
So yeah…the opposite of IKEA™.
IKEA™ is essentially a colossal distribution of warehouses placed strategically around the world. Their goal? Reach as many people as possible with products sold as cheap as possible. This is a great value, however, such specific goals become limiting in other aspects of their business.
Companies who prioritize price often sacrifice quality, service, return policies, accessibility and uniqueness. Although IKEA™ still holds on to some of these, their main shortcoming is customer service or the entire service built around the business in general. Companies like Ryan Air are a great comparison. You want cheap flights? You got them! But don’t expect service with a smile, and be prepared to pay for water, the toilet and every pound of baggage.
They deserve some credit though because they save costs in new ways, like flying into airports that charge fewer fees which are otherwise carried over to the customer. In the same way, you won't find an IKEA™ on fifth ave NY, but instead, you need to take the ferry over to Red Hook, Brooklyn, where the rent is cheaper. But then how do you get all your furniture back? Be prepared to spend all day walking around a giant warehouse, grabbing and carrying your own boxes off the shelves and somehow lugging it all back home and into your apartment. People set out entire weekends or even take off work for this, and with a modern buyer, that’s just not good enough.
IKEA™ does not choose to give you a hard time, per se, but they built their model around cost efficiency, and that doesn’t include the best service. If IKEA™ now wants to add good customer service to their business they have to redesign their entire distribution network, their actual product design, their packaging, their logistics, their workforce and so much more. For a company of this size, that’s basically impossible.
Why redesign an entire product? Let’s explore. Take an IKEA™ bed. It packs flat so that it fits as many boxes into a single container as possible. This is not for your ease, but for a decrease in freight shipping fees. once you get it you’ll have to assemble a thousand screws one by one just to put it together, and don’t even think about moving it out because you know they’ll come loose and everything will fall apart.
People are impatient and demand ease when shopping. An “easy” experience today is seen as one that makes the decision making process easy “I want that bed” then makes the buying process easy “click click, while sitting at home in my pajamas with no lines to wait in” and then of course the delivery and assembly “the bed ships to your door and you assemble the entire thing in just minutes!” now that’s a modern furniture company.