Do you find yourself walking around a big furniture store again and looking at various interior design
s and furniture options even though you were just meant to get one specific lamp? It happens to me all the time. I find myself walking through different departments by dreaming of redecorating our perfectly well-decorated home. Suddenly I notice that I have spent lots of time in the store. Something that I hadn’t planned at all and actually I would not have the time for either. However, it doesn’t bother me; I just keep walking around and dreaming on.
It’s completely another story when I go to a grocery store to buy milk and I have to walk into the furthest corner through the entire store. I immediately get irritated when passing all the book, clothes, toys etc. departments. I came to the shop just to get one thing – a carton of milk – and I’m not willing to spend any extra time in the store. I’m a busy business woman and I want to get my shopping done quickly.
Why do we react so differently on the product layouts in Ikea and Prisma? The goal of the product layout is exactly the same in both stores: to get me to buy more than I had planned in the first place. But why does it work for me in Ikea but not in Prisma? Why am I happy in Ikea, but getting almost angry in Prisma, when walking along long corridors?
I believe that in Ikea I can be a dreamer! In Ikea I hope to get something wonderful to my everyday life with a small amount of money. I look at different kinds of closets and dream how to get my hundreds of pairs of shoes into my one square meter hallway – hidden behind doors – like in Ikea. I dream of getting my hectic life reorganized with the help of Ikea’s promises of better-organized homes. I hope to find something new and nice to refresh my home.
A visit in Prisma in turn is a part of everyday life – it’s a necessity I have to do. I go to the grocery store to get the food in order to survive. There is no glamour involved in buying my groceries. It’s something I simply have to do regularly. I want to buy the food quickly. I don’t have any attention or desire to look around for any other items. All my thoughts are already in cooking and getting the dinner ready for the family.
Product placement is an essential part of the stores in attracting consumers and influencing our purchasing decisions. There are a huge amounts of studies made of consumer behaviour and what makes us do impulse purchases. Like Professor Arto Lindblom from Aalto University states, this is also the real purpose of the stores. But can the same rules be implemented in a furniture store as well as in a grocery store? I feel it doesn’t work like that. I’m not behaving in the same way in Ikea as I do in Prisma. This kind of product placement may work for Ikea, but certainly not for Prisma. Not in my case anyway. I find myself buying all kinds of products from Ikea, even though I went there only for one specific lamp. But when there is a need for a milk, I find myself looking for a smaller market instead of doing my shopping in a big Prisma.
Is the future bringing us back to smaller local shops for food shopping and visiting big stores for more relaxed browsing and shopping experience? I believe so!