IKEA is gearing up to roll out a new retail app that will enable consumers to shop online for products they can use in their homes. According to Reuters, the move is a departure for the furniture retailer that had long driven customers into its stores. Making it easier to shop online is a new strategy for IKEA.
“It is a completely new experience,” said Barbara Martin Coppola, chief digital officer at IKEA. “The app is combined with the store experience, with the online experience.”
Reuters reported that the mobile app will roll out in France first, then in the Netherlands. It will eventually roll out in IKEA’s eight leading retail markets, including Germany, the U.S. and China.
With the retail app, users can visualize how different furniture will look in their homes. Users can input room dimensions into the mobile app, and choose from products and styles based on life stages. Customers are also able to order the products through the app, which will enable customers to point to a piece of furniture, see the fabric and color choices, and view how it would look with similar products.
In 2017, IKEA rolled out an augmented reality app that enables customers to visualize 2,000-plus items, and add them to a shopping list for when they come to the store. Customers could only order online via its website, not the mobile app. The report noted that the new app complements its new strategy of smaller retail stores, located in downtown areas with fewer products. It opened one of these smaller stores in Paris earlier in May.
“People who go to the stores might want to access the full range of IKEA, and that is when digital innovations come in handy,” Martin Coppola told Reuters.