Co-creating on the shop floor with customers in Shanghai

On Tuesday morning IKEA customers discovered a new addition to the Shanghai store. Walking down the stairs from the restaurant after their morning meal they were met by signs inviting people to test prototypes of possible future products.

Development teams from the IKEA Product Development Centre in Shanghai took the short walk from their office and claimed a space in the store to get immediate input from our customers on concept ideas in the making to solve everyday challenges to life at home in China. This time connected to activities around cooking, eating, and cleaning.

The ideas, sketches and some rough modelling were made just days before and now explored together with our customers.

“At first we were a bit hesitant. But now we feel we got valuable input that will improve our ideas. Also, from this experience, we learnt a lot and will be able to improve the interaction next time.”

Jennifer Wu and Eric Chen, Product Design Developers, IKEA Product Development Centre, Shanghai

This is one of many ways the Shanghai-based development teams are starting to interact with customers early in product development. More interactions are planned, there will be pop-ups where they continue to engage with people living in Shanghai and other cities, as well as exploring digital interactions to create opportunities for people all across China to join in.

The Shanghai development teams are determined to become better and faster in serving the people in their market with even more relevant, beautiful and affordable solutions. In the past two weeks, they have been practising, supported by members of the IKEA co-creation team from IKEA of Sweden. And now as the first development unit in IKEA begins to fully adopt a new way of working, methods and tools where people living in the market and suppliers are invited to co-create the products of the future.

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