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The DIY Giant’s Entry in India: A Marketing Strategy Case Study on Ikea

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IKEA is a multinational enterprise that manufactures and distributes ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances, and home furnishings, as well as other useful household items and services. 

For the IKEA marketing strategy case study, the students at IIDE take a hard look at the company’s present digital marketing strategy and identify the problem areas to come up with practical solutions.

At IIDE, every student learns through working on brand assignments on some of the largest businesses in the world, as a part of their thesis report. Our training ethos impart the skills as well as the analytical tools for students to conduct their independent research.

This case study is created from the research, analysis, and solutions of the student team from our Post-Graduation Programme in Digital Marketing, consisting of Swetank Sharma, Anand Shinde, and Ritu Bhoite. Let’s dive right into it.

Digital-Marketing-MasterClass

About Ikea

Ikea is a Swedish-founded, Dutch company that offers a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at very low prices. This is to ensure that a maximum number of people can afford and experience their offerings.

The company’s stand-out feature is its DIY(Do-It-Yourself) products, meaning that the furniture comes with guides to be assembled by the customers themselves. This is a fun activity that became really popular as a trend on YouTube and other social media platforms, as Ikea assembling challenges.

The company recently opened doors in India and has since garnered a lot of interest in the market. Although the company only has 2 physical stores in the country as of now, customers are hopeful in anticipation of more. Its present store locations are one in Navi Mumbai, and the other in Hyderabad. They do offer online shopping and delivery services in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Surat, and Vadodara for now.

Now that we have learnt about Ikea, let us begin the first step of the case study- Research and Analysis. Let us learn about their target audience. 

 

Ikea’s Target Audience in India

 

A target audience is the intended audience of a business and its offerings. This is the segment of people that the company targets and markets to. Each target audience has a unique set of characteristics and functional needs.

The following is the customer profile of Ikea’s target audience in India-

  • Demographics:

  • Goals: Work from home, decoration, kids bedroom upgrade, kitchen supplies
  • Challenges: Safety is of utmost importance, working 8+ hours, lack of creative thinking for kids, minimalist living
  • Characteristics: Active on all social platforms, closely follow western culture, very organised, love OTT shows
  • Preferred Mediums: Websites/Apps, Social Media, Google, Quora, SMS, Email, Whatsapp 

This is the unique customer profile of IKEA’s target market. An even better customer analysis can be offered by decoding the target audience’s digital journey:

Now that we completely understand IKEA’s business and its target audience inside-out, let’s move on to defining our problem statement for today.

 

Problem Identification

 

The students studied IKEA’s current Indian digital marketing strategy in-depth and identified that they could work on improving its conversion rate by optimising it to be most efficient in terms of results. 

The percentage of users to your website who fulfill a targeted goal (a conversion) out of the total number of visitors is known as the conversion rate. A high conversion rate indicates that your marketing efforts are successful. It is an important metric in determining the efficacy of a company’s digital marketing strategy.

In the next segment of the blog, we shall thus look at each aspect of the company’s current digital marketing strategy and then understand the solutions provided by the students. Let’s get started.

 

Ikea Marketing Strategy- Analysis and Solutions

 

We will be analysing the various strategies of Ikea’s marketing efforts step by step here and simultaneously taking a look at our students’ suggestions and recommendations. 

 

1. IKEA’s Website Analysis

 

  • Website Speed Test

For a positive user experience, website speed is critical. Conversion rates are likely to decrease if your website’s speed isn’t up to the mark. If your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, nearly 40% of visitors will flee.

Upon testing IKEA India’s mobile website’s speed, it was found by the students that the score was quite below average at 31. Their desktop website speed was also found to be average at a score of 50. This only leads to an increase in the number of people abandoning the site, technically known as a high bounce rate. This is quite detrimental to the business. The following can thus be implemented to improve the site speed on mobile by 7.62 seconds:

Source: Pagespeed Insights

 

And these are some other pointers that will improve the site speed on desktop by 2 seconds:

Source: Pagespeed Insights

 

  • Website UI/UX

The controls customers use to engage with a website or app, such as button displays and gesture controls, are referred to as the user interface (UI). User Experience (UX) refers to how consumers behave and feel while using a website or app. Both of these are extremely important in retaining and attracting individuals to the site.

The UI/UX of IKEA’s website is quite decent. It also has an enquiry-based chatbot. This can although be improved by making the chatbot objective. It should provide pre-set options to users. It should also be personal, having a touch of human elements like a name or a picture. 

The students also suggest having pop-up ads on the website that generate leads. Some sample creatives made by the team are as follows:

The website should also include more reviews, product suggestions and highlight the best-selling categories for a better consumer experience. 

 

2. Mobile Application

Ikea’s app here offers home furnishing products in categories of- product, room, collections, etc. The user interface & user experience of their application is great as discussed before. But they can definitely improve upon pointers such as:

  • The app should send notifications for new offers, discounts, promotions, etc.
  • The app should also send notifications for products left in the cart (unpurchased)
  • The app should send updates for new workshop events.
  • It needs better keyword optimization to increase app installs

Another suggestion by the students was that IKEA needs to introduce its in-app augmented reality feature on its Indian application too. This feature allows people to see the furniture they’re interested in buying, in their own spaces up to scale. This allows customers to experience and envision the products.

 

3. IKEA’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

 

The process of enhancing your site’s visibility for relevant searches is referred to as SEO. The higher your pages’ visibility in search results, the more likely you are to attract attention and draw new and existing customers to your company.

IKEA can improve its SEO by focusing on brand and product-specific high intent, purchase keywords like:

  • Buy furniture online: 8100
  • Buy furniture: 1600
  • Best place to buy furniture: 390
  • Ikea furniture reviews:140
  • Buy Ikea furniture online: 10

The numbers above are the search volumes for each keyword, which basically means that it shows how many people are searching for these phrases. Ikea can also publish blogs on the following topics based on the keywords: 

  • Apps to buy furniture online
  • How to buy furniture online
  • Where to buy good furniture online
  • How to order furniture online
  • Should you buy furniture online

Apart from this, IKEA must optimize its content by conducting on-page and off-page SEO activities to rank higher.

 

4. IKEA’s SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

 

Search engine marketing is a digital marketing strategy used for increasing a website’s visibility in the search engine results pages. The term almost entirely refers to paid search advertising.

Paid search advertising and Pay Per Click (PPC) are other terms for search engine marketing. With an increasing number of people conducting product research and purchasing online, SEM is crucial in beating competition.

For this, IKEA can make use of the following competitor-specific, high intent and purchase keywords:

  • Amazon Furniture Offers – 480
  • Pepperfry Offers – 3,600
  • Pepperfry Reviews – 1,000

The students also came up with these blog ideas to target the most-searched-for topics by customers:

  • Ikea vs Pepperfry vs Amazon: Best Place to buy furniture online
  • Is it safe to buy furniture online
  • What is the best place to buy furniture online?

These blogs will not only improve SEO and SEM but also provide value to the readers and build brand trust and image.

It was also found that IKEA was not ranking for ads on certain high-volume keywords. To tackle this they must optimise by increasing bids on high intent and purchase keywords.

 

5. IKEA’s SMM (Social Media Marketing)

 

IKEA’s Indian handles are very active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube. Their digital presence is impressive, to say the least. Let’s look at a quick summary of their social media marketing practices.

  • It has 30 Million likes on Facebook, 350 Thousand followers on Instagram, 5.3 Thousand followers on Twitter, and 41.2 Thousand subscribers on YouTube.
  • IKEA’s Instagram bio links to its website. The website is also linked thoroughly over all of their social media posts.
  • The ‘view shop’ option is available, which leads to a list of IKEA’s product catalogues.
  • The ‘call’ option is also available for direct assistance via customer service.
  • The company makes excellent use of highlights with visually appealing and informative content.
  • The use of ‘swipe-up’ stories to bring website traffic is also common which is a good practice.

  • IKEA has been conducting free online workshops that draw in lots of enthusiastic customers, in turn resulting in gaining leads.

  • Relevant ads are put out on all social media with compelling CTAs. (Calls to Action)

So Ikea has clearly got their social media game down. They are acing it on all fronts with their social media marketing strategy. The one suggestion that the students had, however, was making use of the newly added ‘guides’ feature on Instagram. These can be used in creating visual blogs that lead to purchase straight from the Instagram posts.

 

6. Remarketing

 

Remarketing is a method of connecting to people who have previously visited your website or downloaded your mobile app. It enables you to carefully place your adverts in front of these audiences while they explore Google or its partner websites, either increasing brand awareness or reminding them to make a purchase.

Remarketing a series of 15-second relatable video ads to people who have visited IKEA’s website would be the ideal strategy here in luring people back.

 

Another remarketing method could be showing 1-minute video ads of customer testimonials to people who checked the ‘design your home’ section on IKEA’s website. This is directing efforts towards the people who are already interested in their services by nudging them to act further.

 

 

7. Google and Quora Reviews

 

Upon evaluating IKEA’s pages on Google and Quora, it was observed that the company does not reply to the questions on the GMB (Google My Business) Q&A Section. This is not a good ORM (Online Reputation Management) practice.

 

This is far from ideal as it is very important to address the issues of customers. In order to have a positive brand image, IKEA must reply to these questions and display it as an example of dialogue between the consumer and the brand.

It is imperative to have a good brand image on Google, as customers almost always check the reviews before buying.

Having good ORM results in satisfied customers, thus increasing conversions in the long term, if not in the short term.

There are also many highly searched questions regarding IKEA on Quora that do not have satisfactory answers. It is important to tackle such questions which rank on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) and have a good search volume, as these are high intent-based. This practice ensures the building of brand trust and earns more conversions in the long run.

 

8. WebEngage: Email, SMS, and Whatsapp Marketing

 

WebEngage is a full-stack marketing automation tool that helps consumer businesses grow by allowing them to engage customers through a variety of channels, including Push, In-app, SMS, On-site Notifications, Web Push, Email, Facebook-Instagram, and WhatsApp.

IKEA should make use of this tool and curate its own email, SMS, and Whatsapp campaigns. This is an extremely useful instrument that automates relevant and necessary communication with customers.

 

9. Telecalling

 

Another suggestion for conversions is telecalling. Telecalling is a cost-effective and efficient method of disseminating information and marketing products and services to both new and already existing customers.

It enables direct selling wherein the salesperson of a company converses directly with an interested customer. This strategy is only advisable for very high-priced products and customised services in the case of IKEA.

All these solutions and strategies combined together form the ‘integrated marketing solution’ that new-age brands and companies are looking for while they increase their presence in the customers’ minds. Our student team has left no aspect of digital marketing unturned and presented a wonderfully well-planned strategy to help Ikea market itself and gain ground in the Indian furniture market.

Digital-Marketing-MasterClass

 

Conclusion

 

IKEA is a unique company in a country like India. It has so far understood its target audience well and positioned itself accordingly in the ideal digital and physical locations. Their marketing strategy is clearly at par for a brand of its repute and size. 

After extensively researching and inspecting their digital marketing strategy- which already was pretty holistically impressive- our students provided solutions and suggestions to take it to the next level by improving their conversion rates. The expected result from implementing all of our solutions to IKEA’s existing marketing strategy is a growth of 1.5% to the original 1% rate of conversion, leading to a score of 2.5% which is consistent with the industry average. This will only aid IKEA in its upward path in the Indian market.

If you wish to learn the skills to analyse and decode digital marketing strategies like our students have demonstrated here today, get in touch with us and start your digital marketing journey right away.

Thank you for reading this case study. If you liked our solutions and content, be sure to let us know in the comments below!

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]

Aditya Shastri

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