News Feature | August 13, 2014

IKEA's New App Creates Omni-Channel Shopping Experience

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Ikea's New Mobile App

New mobile app allows users to favorite and share items from new mobile catalog

IKEA’s new mobile catalog app is embracing omni-channel shopping with new mobile functionality that allows users to save their favorite items as a shopping list to be used on the website or in-store, and also allows for the creation of shopping lists compiled from multiple publications issued by the home-furnishings retailer.

The new app was unveiled in conjunction with the release of its 2015 catalog, and although the new list functions are relatively easy to use on a smartphone, the richer content seems better suited to the larger screens of tablets.

IKEA’s new 2015 IKEA U.S. catalog, filled with design inspiration and new products for every area of the home, is themed “Where the Everyday Begins and Ends,” and highlights the bedroom and the bathroom. The catalog helps readers learn how IKEA can help make these rooms the beginning and end of their days more comfortable, calm, and organized.

To gain a better understanding of how the start of the day impacts a person’s well-being, IKEA recently released its first global Report, which includes an interactive “Data Mixing Board,” and examined how people’s morning routines affect their days.

“Everyone goes to sleep and wakes up, but everything in between those moments is very personal. We all have individual needs when it comes to our morning and evening routines,” says Patty Lobell, Sales Manager, IKEA U.S. “IKEA understands how people live and we use that knowledge to create solutions to help you make the most of your personal spaces so you can make the most of you.”

The downloadable Catalog App for smartphones and tablets iOS and Android gives users access to extended catalog content by scanning designated pages of the printed catalog. Users must register with IKEA to access the extended content, which includes: an augmented reality “Place in Your Room” feature which allows users to virtually place and view nearly 300 IKEA products in their own homes; shareable videos featuring quick DIY tips and stories behind IKEA products; 360º views that allow users to look all the way around a whole room; and image galleries. Select content will also be available in the digital catalog.

The pages of the catalog, whether viewed through the app or via desktop, include prompts to “discover more” that link to product beauty shots and other content. The content is shareable, and IKEA is promoting the posting of the catalog’s offerings via various social media, including Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #IkeaCatalog. Recipients of the catalog appeared for the most part to be enthusiastic in their posts on Twitter and Facebook, including many who have been sharing photos and videos.

Ikea’s addition of mobile functionality to the shopping experience comes as other retailers have leveraged the technology now available through smartphones and tablets, particularly as it relates to photography. Minneapolis-based Target Corp., has created an image-recognition mobile app to provide instant access – including purchasing capabilities – to products appearing in print ads, catalogs and on in-store signage.