Ikea shows us how they are leading the retail revolution

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The behaviors and mindset sorrounding the retail experience have changed quite significantly with the growth of online shopping. Meanwhile the emotions associated with shopping remain, on judgement, similar to how they were ten years ago. The pleasure of exploration, finding what is perfect for you, discovering something unique, stumbling on a bargain, to this day put a smile on your face and make you walk home content. The thing that has changed is where the parts of the shopping journey take place. Beforehand it was all in the store, and now it may very well take place online. As Ebay CEO John Donahoe has repeatedly said, the lines between online and offline retail has blurred and will only continue to do so.

Ikea has been on the forefront of the retail revolution, embracing the new shopping journeys but being religious about satisfying the emotions that make shopping fun (and encourage more shopping!). The inside of their stores have historically been about exploration, immersion, and providing context (see here). You may walk into an Ikea with an idea of the object you want but may not have figured out how best to set it up in your apartment or home. To remedy this, Ikea has many room set-ups using their furniture so that you can see and feel, even touch, your item in context. This will generate ideas and, likely, excitement. Another output of this is that you get inspired to buy other items that work with your new “idea”. The challenge in the new shopping reality is to be able to replicate this experience online.

Their solution to the new retail reality is to pepper the shopper consideration ecosystem with mini experiences and tools that allow Ikea to be top-of-mind at all times while fueling the shopper with feelings of fun, excitement, and comfort. There are multiple examples of this that have been launched over the past few years: Their discount hunting app on Facebook (see here), their online films revealing their product through entertainment (see here), their online banner that turns their catalogue into a game (see here), their real-world installations where regular streets get turned into Ikea rooms (see here), and so on.

This week I have discovered two more examples of this strategy: an online scrapbook idea (a la Pinterest) from Australia, and an online cookbook idea from Holland. Each of these ideas allow for the creativity of Ikea shoppers to be ignited using platforms that they are already using for other personal activities. Have a look below.

Australian Scrapbook visit site here

Dutch Cookbook visit site here

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