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Packaging for the many people: A study of customer friendliness
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This report describes the process and result of a master thesis project in the subject of Industrial design engineering at Luleå University of Technology, performed during 20 weeks in spring to autumn, 2011. The focus of the project was to identify how the constituent of the project IKEA of Sweden, might improve the product development process regarding the products packages in respect of customer friendliness. A customer survey in several IKEA stores in 2010 showed that one of the issues for Store & Organize customers was handling and transport of consumer packages.Therefore this study was initiated. This thesis is an investigation of the customer perception about the packaging, and possible means to improve it. It started with an analysis of the present situation, in order to understand how the customers carry out shopping and their experience at IKEA. This was done through customer surveys, store visits and interviews. In the current project, the focus was on one of IKEAs icon products, the well-known IKEA bookshelf “BILLY”. In collaboration with a cross-functional team, it was decided to use Billy 80x202cm as a case study. Two packaging prototypes were created, both solutions splitted up the current packaging from one to two boxes. The current and the two new solutions were shown to the customers, while a survey was performed. The result was that all customers preferred the two new packaging solutions. Furthermore, the customer wants to be able to transport the products home by himself. It also seems that the packaging and transport is not the most important factor when the customer decides whether to buy furniture at IKEA or not. If the customers have found a product they want, they solve the transport and handling either way. However, improving the packaging and transport, to enable more customers to handle the products by their own, could contribute to enhance the customer experience and thus support IKEA to have satisfied and loyal customers. The customer response did not show any clear preference for any of the two prototypes, and therefore which packaging solution would fit the customers best. Therefore an ergonomic analysis was performed to see if any of the two packaging prototypes was better in terms of bodily postures during lift. Both packaging prototypes did however give poor ergonomic results. These solutions could anyhow facilitate one person handling better than current packaging solution. The result of this study indicates that all packages over the weight of 25 kg could benefit of being split in two packages, according to the interviewed customers. According to the results of this thesis IKEA should conduct investigation and rank which factors that drives the customer experience in sense of packaging. In economically terms it has to be investigated which products that can be beneficial to split, together with the suppliers. Since the packaging is an important issue for IKEA, factors for customer friendly packaging were decided, and a guide for development of customer friendly packaging was created. A risk and consequence analysis of splitting product packages was delivered to IKEA. The project outcome hence includes good and bad examples of how to develop a product package at IKEA and some important factors to have in mind to develop a customer-handling test.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 70 p.
Keyword [en]
Keyword [sv]
Teknik, Produktutveckling, Förpackning, IKEA of Sweden
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-45214Local ID: 2ef2f81b-e0d0-4f7c-b62c-58cbab96fabaOAI: diva2:1018500
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Industrial Design Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20111228 (anonymous)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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