The Gruen Transfer

Understand Your Buyer > How to Engage > The Gruen Transfer


What is it?

The Gruen Transfer is the reason IKEA stores are so hard to navigate. Everything is laid out to confuse your path and ensure you see as much merchandise as possible.


Why does it work?

It works because you are literally exposed to more merchandise than you intended to be. It’s a tricky thing to use as it can annoy buyers, certainly IKEA are famous for it and people share “shortcuts” to avoid seeing everything in the store. It works simply because it “discombobulates” you so you have to follow a set path to find your way out the store. You can’t just nip in and out of an IKEA for the specific thing you want.


How can you use it?

This ONLY works for physical spaces. On a website having such confusing navigation would drive your visitors away at breakneck speed.

If you own a physical space, how could you curate the buyers’ physical journey so they see everything you have, but that it’s as curated as possible to be beneficial (and not annoying) to that person. IKEA is curated into the parts of the home, how could you curate your offering in a similar, logical fashion?


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