This week the Swedish furniture retailer launched a new app for the US market. The app allows customers to access their Ikea Family digital card to pay for purchases and request either home delivery or roadside pickup. It also offers product recommendations as inspiration.
"At Ikea we are on the way to transforming the way we meet our customers. The Ikea app is an important step that we have taken to become more accessible and convenient for many," said Umesh Sripad , Chief Digital Officer of Ikea in the US, in a statement.
Sripad told Adweek that Ikea's latest mobile offering features extensive end-to-end shopping, a departure from its earlier approach to mobile shopping. The new app combines the functions of separate apps that Ikea previously offered: one for stores, one for payments and one for searching for products.
"We made a decision that we didn't need to be fragmented and we can put all of these functions in one app," said Sripad.
The new app also includes functions never before offered, e.g. B. the ability to return products and control private data.
Fulfilling user control over their information fulfills a promise Ikea made almost a year ago, letting customers decide whether the retailer can use information like their browsing history and previous purchases. "We give the customers back the power," he said.
Transition to click-and-brick
While the app was in development before the pandemic, it's rollout in the US was accelerated due to Covid-19, according to Sripad. It was originally launched in Sweden, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Canada and Japan in July 2019 and has been downloaded by 4.9 million users to date.
"Click-and-brick has become more common as consumers switch between the physical and mobile environments," he said.
Not only is the new app a solution for home buyers that allows users to decide their purchases while physically in the room they want to set up, it is also a companion device for the store, Sripad said. The stationary experience is subject to its own changes as Ikea is evolving its store environment to be more compatible with the new app, which is still in the works.
An emerging trend for retailers in 2021, after accelerating their digital offerings due to Covid-19 last year, will likely be to redesign their physical spaces to complement the online or mobile experience, a change that is already is underway at Walmart.
Initially, Ikea plans to market the app to in-store customers and visitors to its mobile website. The app was designed and developed in collaboration with Work & Co, Ikea's digital product partner, and is available in the app stores for iPhone iOS and Android.
The app is just the last significant investment Ikea USA made to transform its business. Smaller stores will be built in downtown centers that are now open in Manhattan and Queens, New York City, as well as cheaper shipping and delivery options, plus click-and-collect and TaskRabbit assembly services.