IKEA has varieties of items, and therefore I can hardly find any direct competitor of IKEA. However, I can still find several less direct competitors of IKEA, they are Japanhome, Pricerite and DSC. Japanhome provides housewares only, it has a comprehensive range of housewares. The varieties of housewares it sold are more than that of IKEA. IKEA sells utensils, cookwares and clothes-racks, but no moisture proof bag and washing-up liquid can be found at IKEA. Actually, some of the IKEA’s utensils have better design than those of Japanhome, and therefore, are more expensive than those of Japanhome.
However, some of the IKEA utensils are rather cheap, even cheaper than those of Japanhome. Priceritare and DSC two of the largest furniture retailers in HK besides IKEA, but they do not have some of the items which IKEA have, such as furniture, housewares, and even home decorations (e. g. , photo frames, pictures, house plants) DSC focus on the low-end market, selling low-price furniture and electronic goods. However, quality of their goods is rather low, customers always find their furniture has some problem after using a short period of time.
DSC’s service is also problematic, late delivery is common. Many DSC’s customer complain about DSC’s customer service hotline because the hotline is actually helpless. Pricerite‘s goods have better quality than DSC, but both Pricerite and IKEA share several weaknesses First, varieties of goods sold in Priceritare and DSC are much lesser than that of IKEA? Second, IKEA allows customers to choose the furniture sizes they want and materials they like among several default sizes and few materials designated, while Pricerite and DSC don’t give customers such options.
Third, designs of Pricerite and DSC’s furniture are less attractive than that of IKEA. The design, quality and varieties of products sold at IKEA are better than those of Pricerite, Japanhome and DSC. However, Japanhome, DSC and Pricerite have more branches than IKEA, their branches are also closer to the residential area, therefore, they are able to attract customers who prefer convenient to product design. This is an important advantage of the above retail stores over IKEA. 2. Small furniture Retailers
Small furniture retailers are one of the important competitors of IKEA, especially those Mainland furniture retailers which provide custom made services. Mainland furniture retailers manufacture cheap tailor made furniture according to the designs designated by customers, but IKEA doesn’t provide such service, and this is the largest weakness of IKEA when compared with those small furniture retailers. However, product quality is not guaranteed if you purchase from small retailers. Some people who has made purchase from small furniture retailers complain that the furniture delivered is in wrong size or even broken.
If you buy anything from IKEA, and find that the the item has been broken or has any problem, you must be able to return the broken item and get a new one from IKEA. Besides, some items of IKEA provide 5 year quality guarantee. On the contrary, if you buy from Mainland small retailers and find any problem, you can do nothing if the retailers do not handle your complain. To return the broken item, get a refund and lodge a complain would be more costly and time consuming than buying furniture from a local retailer like IKEA.
This is why many people still buy from IKEA even though prices charged by Mainland furniture retailers are actually rather low. Suggestion for improvement of ikea 1. Distribute information sheets to teach customers how to care their furniture Many people complain that IKEA’s furniture is not durable enough. Actually, IKEA has varieties of furniture, even for storage furniture, there are different series, such as BILLY, BESTA and PAX. Some of the series are sold in low price, but some of the series are more expensive than others. The materials used explain the differences of prices among different series.
The series made with plank are more expensive and durable, but the series made with fibreboard and particle board are less expensive and less durable, can’t afford too much weight from the items put on it. I suggest IKEA to remind their customers the maximum weight of each piece of shelf can afford, becasue if customers ignore themaximum load of the shelves , the shelves would be broken easily. This would give customers an impression that IKEA’s furniture is fragile. IKEA can also distribute some information sheets to teach customers how to care their furniture.
For example, secure shelves which are taller than 75cm on the wall, choose thinner shelves if the shelves would be used to store heavy items. 2. Staff can pay more attention to customer’s buying signal IKEA?is?a?self-service?store,?but?Ithink IKEA’s?staff?can?pay?more?attention?to?their customers,?approaching?customers actively?if?they?find?any?buying?signal?from?customers? If?customers?spend?much time?to?look?at?one?product?or?one?type?of?product,?they?are?showing?their?buying?signal?implictly??IKEA’s staff?should?therefore approach?the customers , giving?them a?brief?introduction?of?the?product,?or ask them if they need any assistance . Distribute information sheets to give customers ideas of how to choose the products which are suitable to them IKEA has many series of furniture . I think customers might find it difficult to choose between so many series, and therefore,?might be?easy?to?purchase a wrong?piece of furniture. I suggest IKEA to distribute some information sheets, teaching customers to choose the right?series which fit their needs. Take storage furniture as an example, if you foresee that you will have more?items to store?in?the?future, STOLMEN would be your choice,?as?you?can?adapt?or?extend?STOLMEN storage according?to?your?need.
If you want to use your storage furniture as an dividerbetween your front door and corridor, EFFEKTIV?is?the?best?choice?of?you,?because?there?is?veneer?at?the?back?of?the?EFFEKTIV storage? 4. Ask customers the uses of the furniture they purchased Every time before taking an order, IKEA ‘s staff should ask customers how will they use their furniture after buying it, because the piece of furniture customer chosen may not actually suit their need, for example, the storage unit customers want to buy cannot be used as a divider between dining room and living room, or the table they are going to buy is not suitable to use at outdoor area.
It is important to understand how customers are going to use the purchased item. If customers buy a piece of furniture which doesn’t suit their need, they may feel dissatisfy and may complain that IKEA’s staff do not tell them the limitation of the furniture they purchased. 5. More promotion to IKEA’s services IKEA can promote it’s assembly service, furniture disposal service and home furnishing consulting service more strongly, as many people do not know that IKEA provides such services. People may find that IKEA is much better than other furniture retailers if they know that IKEA provides such services.