IKEA, the Swedish home goods megastore, placed customers the forefront of their marketing strategy and revolutionized the shopping experience for today’s consumers. But how does a home goods store relate to custom software and innovation?
Companies from all types of industries can take note on what IKEA is doing to improve its customer experience:
- The company emphasized the shopper’s experience by including features in their store that customers could not find anywhere else: babysitting, restaurants and relationships saving stations.
- IKEA’ s iPhone and Android app uses the sensors on devices to create 3-D images of furniture that are then placed in the rooms of a customer’s house through the phone screen. IKEA is, therefore, making furniture shopping online, an otherwise risky purchase decision for consumers, more convenient and reliable, an innovation within itself. In 2012 alone, the IKEA app had been downloaded by 8.5 million users validating the usefulness of their technology.
- IKEA invites entrepreneurs from all over the world to participate in IKEA Bootcamp, a program that offers startups a chance to find new innovative solutions to everyday problems. This three-month program will mentor young companies on IKEA’s values and strategic vision.
The effort that IKEA puts towards making their customers a number one priority is something to be admired and sought after in terms of innovation. IKEA saw the aspect of furniture shopping that customers hated most and found a solution to it by using technology and creative thinking.
Software development can follow suit in their own ways. At your company, you should look for opportunities to innovate and expand. Complacency in the development game is how companies lose credibility fast because (especially in technology) no one wants an outdated product.
To manage client and customer relationships many companies are using a CRM (customer relationship management) system to organize customer relationships and sales efforts. This route of innovation optimizes interactions with customers and leads to more productive and personalized relationships. This system has the potential to improve: sales, the customer experience, analytics, marketing strategies and collaboration efforts.
By creating applications for the web and mobile devices, any company can stay ahead of the curve and not be bogged down by generic software that doesn’t fit their needs. Efficiency and productivity are vital to innovation, but being creative and different, like IKEA, can set companies apart and establish a lasting impact on customers.