What is the IKEA Effect?
The IKEA Effect is a cognitive bias that leads people to place more importance on products they have built themselves.
In a series of four studies, conducted and published in 2012, Michael Norton, Daniel Mochon and Dan Ariely demonstrated that participants who built or assembled an object themselves were willing to pay more for it than they would for items of similar quality to which they had no connection.
When subjects were invited to assemble IKEA furniture, origami or Lego structures, they saw their own amateurish products as equivalent in value to those of professionals. They also expected other people to value them similarly. The researchers did note that the IKEA Effect only took effect after the construction phase.
According to a 2010 study of “Mass Customisation” products, those in which the consumer designs or customises their purchase, an element of creative input increases the perceived value of a product. Offering advanced customisation options also increases customer satisfaction. However, researchers highlighted the fact that such process could also have negative consequences if the additional choice increased cognitive load or caused choice paralysis.
The IKEA Effect can enhance the perceived value of an object and increase customer satisfaction. Using the IKEA Effect in eCommerce can help improve conversion rates and customer retention.