How IKEA gets you to impulsively buy more

čas přidán 17. 10. 2018
IKEA has mastered the “Gruen effect.”
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Researchers estimate that 50 percent of purchases are unplanned. These purchases, especially impulse buys, present an opportunity for retailers who can entice consumers to deviate from their shopping lists.
One of the most effective ways to influence this is through a store’s architecture. In the 20th century, the architect Victor Gruen, who pioneered the first American shopping malls, used light and space to dramatically stage goods in storefront windows. His designs were meant to capture the attention of passersby - and convert them into customers. This conversion became known as the “Gruen effect.”
Watch the video above to learn how Ikea has mastered the Gruen effect with a carefully designed store layout that gets customers to travel further distances… and buy more.
For the curious, here are a few links:
Read Jeffrey Inman’s research on unplanned spending:
Watch a video from University College London Professor Alan Penn, who breaks down Ms. Kazim’s research in greater detail:
And finally, I recommend reading Victor Gruen’s biography, “Mallmaker” by Jeffrey Hardwick. You can also learn more by listening to this 99% Invisible podcast episode that features Hardwick and details the history of the Gruen effect:
The Goods by Vox explains what we buy, why we buy it, and why it matters.
Watch the rest of The Goods videos on CS-tv: is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out
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  • Victor Gruen's early work was prolific. Some consider his indoor shopping mall the greatest building design of the 20th century. You can learn about the mall's history as a social space, and why Gruen ultimately turned against his grand vision in this video: _Carlos W.

  • At ikea they make you walk through so much furniture to get to the self serve

  • If you want to save money at IKEA, just go straight downstairs. This is coming from a Swedish person.

  • I don't even know why I'm here. I haven't been to a IKEA in literal years.

  • Lol i never been to Ikea

  • I don't go to Ikea. Ikea's maze gives me major anxiety.

  • very interesting but for me i just buy what i need. the layout not gonna fool me.

  • IKEA Ad on IKEA Video!

  • Don’t make eye contact with anyone except security cameras, help kiosks, your cashier and the debt machine.

  • the short-cut doors in ikea are meant to look like 'staff only' doors so youre tricked into looking at everything in the store

  • I only go to ikea to get frozen meatballs and cheap pop

  • For ikea, you can just sneak through the cash register line to get in the back. Walking that whole thing takes wayyyyyyy too long.

  • I wonder how some countries try so hard in things you wont notice

  • lol, all these years I went to Ikea, they have never been manipulate me into impulsive buying because I have mindset. I controls everything I want to buy

  • When I worked as a retail bookseller in the second half of the 90s, we were told about the '50% impulse purchase' figure. What that seemed to mean was that the entire UK bookselling industry would have become instantly unviable if all customers had stuck to their intentions when entering the stores. That seemed a pretty flakey basis for a business whose net annual profit was only about 4% at the time. However, it wasn't the case that literally every customer was entering the store for one book and leaving with two. The missing factor was that a minority of customers were actually responsible for most of the 'extra' sales. Display and merchandising were really catering to the customers making lots of inessential purchases, not for the average customer, because those heavy buyers made the difference between profit and loss. Whether we like it or not, the 'retail experience' is optimized for those with lots of money to spend, not the average customer.

  • Richard La Graauw sounds like a dutch guy

  • This is why I don't go to Ikea - I feel like I'm being led through a cattle chute and being in a warehouse that long makes me start to panic.

  • Hey everyone! Go check out my Get ready with me in Ikea!! It’s a quick simple look and the support is always appreciated ❤️❤️

  • I only go for meatballs and to sit in all the display rooms.

  • I went to Ikea once and I couldn’t find the damn exit.

  • IKEA is a cult

  • How SCP-3008 gets you to impulsively buy more

    • I immediately remembered a SCP-3008 reading made by Eastside Steve when i saw the video. One of my favorites, along with 294 and 507.

  • The meatballs are so good thoooo

  • IKEA also has those little playing corners for children which parents can leave them in, or as I called them “Child prisons”...

  • In my case, I use a cool trick that some people can benefit from, and that trick is: I'm poor. Works every time.

  • window shopping? I do that a lot bc I have no money

  • Why does this guy sound like Saul Khan from Khan Academy... I need answers

  • Ikea just makes me feel good though. It feels like home. I voluntarily and intentionally go through the longest path just because their exhibits are so nice to see.

  • It actually might be exactly about plants and [veggie] meatballs 😸

  • Oh I remember how annoyed I was as a child when my mom said “oh let’s pop in the store ‘cause we’re low on bread” and then we got stuck there for hour buying groceries... 🙈🙈

  • The meatballs are the best part of IKEA

  • On the Internet most people don’t normally speak a verbal response but when I saw this I said “oooh yes tell me” because I’m literally going there in a few days for a desk

  • "Think about the last time you went to IKEA" "ok, never, now what."

  • If you live in NY stew Lenard’s does the same thing

  • Ikea hack - park in loading zone, go through exit and buy your item. In and out in 5 mins

  • I always plan for Swedish meatballs ;P

  • As a Swede living in Barcelona for over two years, me and my Swedish fellas visit Ikea every quarter or so just to have ourself some meatballs and get away from all the tapas and lousy pizza we otherwise eat in this beautiful city.

  • Lol the meatballs

  • Vox, I regret to inform you that, you have been diagnosed with massive GAY.

  • At least they own up to it. Points for honesty.

  • I can vouch for this. I went from never having been to Ikea to buying every single piece of furniture I own from Ikea in a week.

  • Well hey, IKEA has good products.

  • Idiot! If you do not have better control over yourself, stay at home.

  • unless you're a man, you just buy what you need and gtfo asap

  • Pull up to IKEA in the Kia Flip phone, Nokia

  • 3:21 I was the victim of their bästis 😅

  • I've never been to Ikea :C

    • It looks like somewhere you would go in a dream. The showrooms seem to never end, and there are rooms upon rooms of things you can buy. The self-serve area (for big furniture) is quite the sight to behold.

  • I once went to ikea and bought a bed, A WHOLE BED I DONT EVEN NEED

  • Losing my mom in ikea is by far the scariest thing ever

  • lmao that dutch accent

  • Slant Ikea sell furniture?

  • I go to Ikea mostly for the meatballs though...

  • "How IKEA gets you to impulsively buy more" Challenge accepted.

  • Is It hard? I simple go and get what I want the faster I can and go back to my home

  • I say”IKEA” But some people says”IKEA” I don’t know which is right

  • I have never been to IKEA before

  • bring back borders

  • If you want to feel strange, walk through an Ikea backwards. It's strange going against the flow of people

  • I spend hours at ikea and I love it!

  • I just got a ikea ad

  • That’s why I always want that wooden mannequin figure thing

  • I tend to put a lot of stuff in my cart implusively but, one way in which I prevent impluse purchases is by looking at my cart and thinking 'do I need all these things?' once before lining up for the cashier. I always take so much stuff out at the end. 😂😂

  • Thats true i just boght a lot of stuff and assembled.

  • _*not actual size_

  • Whatever layout they or any other store might use to distract ain't gonna work on Asians. They just know what to get and what to ignore at stores and Buffets.


  • we don't have ikea in south africa............

  • I mighjt have the opposite of the gruen effect. The longer I hold an item the more i want to put it down.

  • But why is IKEA food so good tho

  • Watching this makes me feel like they're treating us like cattle. I'm deeply uncomfortable.

  • *When the closest IKEA is 100 miles away*

  • Every time I went to Ikea for just 4 some meatballs, but everysingle time I come with with some kind of a lighting device/phone stand and other product. Ikea, you got me~

  • I com from sweden that is where Ikea is from🤗

  • Richard La Graauw is definitely dutch. 🇳🇱

  • We must fight Trump he is using these tactics on America.

  • Thanks for another amazing series and this particular episode! P.S. You can`t buy more than you need if you don`t have money 😅 One of the suggestions to save and not buy impulsively - check online store prices and take the exact same amount of cash which you are going to use.

  • "Hi, I am not a professional actress. I am a real person like yourself. I'm not here to sell you a product but to give you some good consumer advice. Some of us when confronted with a choice of material goods act a little like junkies. If yo a're the type of person who goes to the market for a quart of milk and a loaf of bread and comes back with a Teflon tea kettle, a popcorn popper, a gym suit, toothpicks, pot holders, a mop, and some bean dip, chances are you are an impulse buyer...especially if you got these items and forgot the milk and bread. It's nothing to be ashamed of but something to be concerned about. I know. I was an impulse shopper the worst kind. I would buy anything on the shelf at eye level. I would even buy day-old and fresh bread the same day. Then we have to hurry and eat the day-old break while it was still semi-soft. That meant the fresh bread was two days old before we got to it. I was just not using good sense. Like the time I bought a box of Pampers. Our son Billy was six years old and had been house broke more than a year. When my husband question the purchase I had to think quickly. I said was I was pregnant. Luckily, it slipped his mind and it never came up again. But it was a close call. Remember, impulse buying is a bad habit. It can break you if you don't break it."

  • I know a friend who starts to salivate and her face lights up whenever you mention IKEA to her. So I tell everyone her G-spot is at IKEA.

  • If you are broke, you can't impulsively buy something.

  • they got us

  • Funny how you warn against the retailers floor plans and at the same time advertise for creditcards, which exacerbate spending for people that can't afford it.

  • Carlos!

  • I don't like Shopping that much, but i LOVE Ikea so much. What is more Beautiful than making your home more Beautiful?

  • The only thing I remember in IKEA is a restaurant that serves meatballs and a small grocery store that sells cinnamon rolls.

  • 1:41 he sounds dutch. Is he dutch?

  • I've never understood the appeal of buying things that are cheap, fake, everyone in the world have it... Like, the silverware dryer can with the holes, I'm pretty sure everyone had the picture flash in their heads, the plane white dishes, the wine cups, the beer mugs, everyone who went to IKEA has those, and those are the same all over the world... What I'm saying is, ikea is boring

  • It's really not hard to stick to a shopping list when you're a Mr. Krabs cheapo like me. I like the feeling of saving better than spending

  • Is it sad that I’ve never been ti ikea?

  • IKEA can have my money

  • Idky but I feel used

  • I have gone to IKEA countless times and bought absolutely nothing. IKEA is an inspirational art museum for the simple minded (me).

  • People are responsible for their own money. Impulsive buyers will be punished by their own impulsive buying behaviours. I guess it’s evolution at work.

  • There are so many retail tricks, such as putting milk as far away as possible so you have to go through all other aisles to get there.

  • 1. I hate shops like IKEA where you can't go straight were you want - thus I don't shop there. 2. If I really need something from IKEA - I will check it on-line and go through cashier desks straight to storage area.

  • How useless youtube videos get you to watch them...


  • What if you go shopping to see if tere is anything interesting? I did that recently when making a birthday wshlist.

  • I have nothing from IKEA. It's too low quality. Life is too short to buy so low quality items .

  • Wait "Why is it hard to stick to a shopping list" ? It is much easier to stick to it than endure going through Ikea. I never could understand why people tolerate being forced through a maze like lab rats..

  • One drawback to IKEAs lay out I know many many people with anxiety including myself that find IKEAs layouts Couse panic attacks.