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How IKEA ‘Tricks’ Your Mind Into Getting More Stuff Than You Planned To

By Mikelle Leow, 04 Dec 2017


Image via Vadiar / Shutterstock

You drove to IKEA to get a sturdy cabinet—yet here you are with an extra rug, table lamp, and colander. For one reason or another, this seems to be a habitual occurrence and you can’t put your finger around it.

Before you bruise yourself from scratching your head with one of IKEA’s free pencils, you might want to take note of these tactics the furniture giant might have pulled to entice customers into purchasing more products.

An article penned by consumer psychology expert Tim Zuidgeest on The Next Web reveals that IKEA thoroughly studies patrons’ behavior patterns and tweaks its stores’ environments accordingly.

Read about three possible “tricks” the flat-pack pro might be using and check out four more over at The Next Web.


IKEA’s playgrounds

IKEA’s considerate addition of ‘Småland’, the kiddie paradise, is more calculated than you might expect. “Kids tend to get bored easily,” Zuidgeest writes. “Bored children in turn focus their endless energy on their closest entertainment: their parents.”

By planting ‘Smålands’ at the start of the stores’ unwinding mazes, IKEA lets you focus more on your purchases and less on handling grumpy kids. “Less nagging, higher margins.”

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Wait—what time is it already?

There are no windows in IKEA. In place of natural sunlight, walls are dotted with fake clocks that interject your perception of time. It’s apparently “a smart trick borrowed from casinos.”


Putting your decisions to paper

Notice the free pencils and shopping lists that line your walkway? This “smells like Cialdini’s reciprocity (you give something to me, so I want to give you something back: my money),” says Zuidgeest, though it also hides an agenda for you to make commitments.

By jotting down the things you intend to buy, you’re committing yourself to purchasing them.

“Compare this to a situation where you don’t have that list. Now you’re not committed to buy that bag of chips, because you didn’t really need it after all,” adds the consumer psychologist expert.

Further, since you’ve been such a pro at handling adult decisions, why not reward yourself with ridiculously affordable items like kitchen sponges and candle lights, which IKEA stocks so many of?


Want to learn more consumer tricks? Head over to The Next Web for the full article.


[via The Next Web, cover image via Vadiar / Shutterstock]
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