Meeting the Customer When, Where, and How They Shop with Mary Lunghi, Sr. VP of Consumer Insights & Analytics at IKEA

On this episode, Mary discusses how she uses quantitative insights to influence decision making, the importance of adopting an omni-channel mindset, and what they at Ikea call “the red thread.”
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ABOUT THE GUEST

Mary Lunghi has over 30 years of experience in advertising, marketing, market research and strategic planning. She is the Sr. VP, Customer and Consumer Insights and Analytics for IKEA U.S. and has headed this function since 2009. As a core member of the Commercial Leadership team, she provides key consumer and business insights that lay the foundation for strategic planning and contribute to driving the IKEA business.

This episode features an interview with Mary Lunghi, Senior Vice President of Consumer Insights and Analytics at Ikea. As the “Voice of the Consumer,” Mary has spent over 25 years distilling data into compelling narratives that drive results, and has been instrumental in Ikea’s recent expansion into urban centers.

On this episode, Mary discusses how she uses quantitative insights to influence decision making, the importance of adopting an omni-channel mindset, and what they at Ikea call “the red thread.”

 

3 Takeaways:

  • Research must be actionable. Start by asking yourself, what is the actionability here? What is the question you’re seeking to answer? Or the problem you’re trying to solve? The unmet need? Then, take that data and connect the dots to find a narrative that is short, succinct, and compelling.
  • Omni-channel is more than simply throwing up a website. It requires a magnitudinal shift that, for Ikea, began in 2016 with advancements and investments in technology, infrastructure, web, logistics, automation, and more. It is also a mindset that differentiates itself from multichannel, which is several different experiences versus one seamlessly-integrated experience.
  • The customer experience is not a “one size fits all” approach. It varies by city and degree. The challenge is understanding the source of the demand and meeting the customer where, when, and how they shop.

 

Key Quotes: 

  • “It’s not just about sharing data and numbers. You have to find the meaning behind the numbers, because ultimately at the end of the day, if you’re not influencing, if you’re not helping to inform those decisions that are happening, it’s all for naught.”
  • “We were already an omni-channel player. We already had E-commerce. But it wasn’t to the degree and keeping up at the pace at which the consumer was adapting to the behavior.”
  • “Walk the walk, and that means really questioning the way you’re used to doing things, questioning if you find yourself falling back on, ‘well, this is how we used to do things.’”
  • “I think time and time again it has been proven that if you put the customer in the center – truly the consumer in the center – and really prioritize and start there, you will have success.”
  • “We’re really trying to adapt and meet the customer when, where, and how they shop us. It is a journey and we are still on it.”

 

This podcast is presented by Dell Technologies and Intel. Together they help you realize digital transformation across retail by driving IT innovation to better engage with today’s connected consumer. Learn more at DellTechnologies.com/retail and Intel.com/retail.

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