How Ikea Is Like A Video Game

October 6, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Jamin Warren writes that Ikea’s success is, in part, due to the lessons it has learnt from video games:

  • Ikea stores look like they allow you a lot of freedom to explore, but really there’s just a singular path through the store that everybody ultimately ends up on.
  • This is similar to games like Grand Theft Auto – they are ostensibly open world games, but there’s a central narrative that players are meant to follow that ties everything together.
  • That feeling of freedom and sense of accomplishment when you “find” your own way to the end of the store puts shoppers in a happy mood. 60% of Ikea purchases are made unintentionally.
  • In keeping with good video game level design, Ikea ensures that the path curves every 15 meters, because long open walkways are boring. Bends are interesting.
  • Ikea also forces you to build your own furniture. It’s challenging – like video games can be – but there’s a clear and tangible reward at the end that makes you feel good about the product.
  • Having you make your own furniture has the further advantage of giving it a more artisanal feel and making you appreciate its build. Just like how the most delicious meals are often those you make for yourself from scratch.
  • And Ikea has its strange Nordic naming convention – which is essentially its own language, but one that people are able to understand anyway. Video games too, often have their own in-world language that helps deepen immersion.

Read more at Kill Screen.