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The Customer Buying Process

A tediuos affair or a pleasant experience?

Written by M. Marcelius, M. Neubauer

Paper category

Bachelor Thesis


Business Administration>Marketing & Sales




Thesis: Customers ask customers at the door of IKEA if they are willing to accompany them during the tour and accept interviews later. This does not seem to be a good idea. If a complete stranger follows them, they may feel pressured. Besides, they will have to spend an hour or more in the interview. Instead, they asked people in the researcher's circle of acquaintances. The fact that there is already a connection between the researcher and these people is a good thing that makes the situation feel more comfortable and "normal." Five clients were observed and interviewed on four different occasions. As mentioned earlier, the observation time ranges from forty minutes to two hours. The next interview took about an hour. By joining the customer’s shopping process, you can ask questions about what has happened and their thoughts and experience about these things afterwards. This makes it easier to have meaningful discussions, because everyone has the same experience. In order to make the interviews informal and relaxed, all interviews were conducted in IKEA restaurants except for one interview. The one that was not held at IKEA was done in the customer's home. The fact that employee interviews are conducted first makes it easier to ask relevant questions to customers. As with employees, there are a series of topics to discuss: Preparation before visit • Difficulties • Incentives • Time spent in the store (planned and actual) • Frequency of visits • Product purchases • New stores • Aisles • Employees • Self-service concept • Technical assistance • It is interesting to know if and how customers prepare at home, ie if they browse the web or catalog and if they have made a shopping list. Another interest is to understand what kind of problems customers may encounter and how they find their way in the store. It is also important to understand what is doing well and what they like about IKEA to ensure that these aspects will not change or be affected by the new service. One common thread in all customer interviews is about wayfinding in the store. This is suitable for those who like to walk a long way and browse the entire store, and those who just want to go in, get the goods and then go. After the interviews with employees and customers are over, all the things of interest are listed. Customers like everything from IKEA and should not be affected, but the things they support are listed first. Then add the problems or difficulties the customers encountered and what they don’t like about IKEA. These checklists help solve the key issues of the design proposal. 4.5 Roles and scenarios When designing products or services, a common tool in the design process is to create roles. They should make designers feel that they are designed for specific people, not just "users" who are easily distorted for any purpose. Roles should be modeled by talking and observing real users (Cooper, 2003). IKEA wants to attract a wide range of people, it is difficult to create something suitable for "everyone". During the observation process, several types of customers are often observed. The roles to be designed are created from these customer roles. These ideas were tested on four different roles. The first role, pensioners, represents customers over 65 years of age. This group tends to visit IKEA infrequently. This person is used as a negative persona-reminds who the service is not designed for. The second character, the mother, has three children. She is interested in her home, efficient, and likes smart storage solutions, but the schedule is tight. According to an IKEA representative, this is also the type of customer that IKEA regards as its main target group. The solution shouldn't upset her! Therefore, she is the main character. The third person likes interior decoration and often comes to IKEA just to walk around and find inspiration. She is a stroller. This is a walking path that may have no problem and people who don't mind if it takes a long time to shop. In other words, she (in this case) is satisfied with the status quo of the matter, and the solution should not interfere too much with her expectations. The fourth role, craftsman, is the carpenter who came to IKEA on behalf of the customer. He took a shortcut from the cash register and went directly to the self-service warehouse to get what he wanted. He knew exactly what to buy, and there was no time to waste. This customer is well known around the employees, and many different craftsmen have been observed in all the shops visited. The last two roles are secondary roles, and their needs can be met mainly by focusing on the primary role (Cooper, 2003). In order to be able to explain this concept to others, a scene was created. A scenario is similar to a simple story about what it would be like to use the service. Through the scenes of different roles, designers can have a good understanding of how and whether the concept is effective and whether something is missing (Saffer, 2007). Due to the input of interviews and observations, the scene of the new service changes over time. This is the last version: "Before going to the IKEA store, the customer is viewing the product on the IKEA homepage. She is adding the product to the personal shopping list on the page. When she enters the IKEA store, she walks to the digital map at the entrance Before. She swiped her family card in the slot on the side of the map. Read Less