Do you want to guess? I did and I was wrong. As it turns out, IKEA’s best-selling product is their meatballs.

IKEA sells 150 million meatballs per year, dwarfing the sales of its top furniture product, the “Billy” bookcase. The meatball story started from the belief of its founder, Ingvar Kamprad, that hungry customers are distracted customers. If they offered them meals, they would stay longer, discuss their decisions in the store, and make purchasing decisions there.

There is also a secondary benefit. IKEA sells its meals at loss. The strategy is to enforce a low cost leader in customer’s mind. It also helps encourage yet-to-be customers to visit IKEA for lunch. As those non-customers walk pass IKEA products, some of them would make the first purchase eventually.

As people are moving to buy products online, it’s the time that retail stores or even hotels to think creatively. Many businesses already incorporate complimenting services to their stores.

Staying on top of customer’s mind, encouraging them to start buying you non-core products is not a bad idea.

Apivut @ SiB

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