When IKEA announced the end of their iconic catalog last month, I'll admit there weren’t tears shed. But the furnishing company also promised that new digital experiences were on the horizon. And today, IKEA aficionados were given their first look at the company’s new digital-first shift: a completely refreshed app with a revamped user experience.
Shop From Your Sofa
Since IKEA launched their app in July 2019, it's been downloaded by 4.9 million users in countries including Sweden, France, Japan and the U.S. Until now it mostly served as an “in-store companion app,” aka an item-by-item listing of products for sale.
The update, which launched Jan. 13, added new (and some would say much-needed) features. The biggest change to the platform: customers will now be able to purchase products directly through the app—a service that wasn’t available before.
“At IKEA, we are on a journey to transform the way we meet our customers, and the IKEA app is an important step we’ve taken to become more accessible and convenient to the many,” Umesh Sripad, chief digital officer of IKEA U.S., said in a press release. “One of the reasons customers enjoy visiting IKEA is to get shopping ideas and inspiration, and the shoppable app makes it possible for them to get inspired and complete their purchase from the convenience of their mobile device.”
With the app, customers can easily purchase the iconic Ektorp sofas, Bergpalm bedding and Billy bookcases to ship directly to their home or pick up in store. While a shoppable app experience would be a major win at any time, this news is especially great during this era of social distancing and safer-at-home orders. Just think: with this new interface, you can completely redo your home to meet the latest trends, all without stepping foot outside. A dream!
A Source of Inspiration
Along with in-app purchases and a fresh design facelift, the updated app also emphasizes inspiration through a feed of “product recommendations, engaging content and campaigns,” according to the press release.
When you download the app (iPhone iOS and Android OS), the first thing you’ll see is the “explore and get inspired” tab, filled with Pinterest-style posts of beautifully staged rooms and products. Click an image that speaks to you, and you’ll get product information you can easily add to your cart or save for later in a “favorites” tab. It’s actually pretty similar to viewing IKEA’s digital catalog—and, dare I say it, much more interactive and user-friendly.
Customers will also be encouraged to create a profile and select their favorite products to personalize their feed. Those with an IKEA Family card will also be able to access it through the app.
As exciting as this new launch is, according to the press release the app will be updated over time to introduce even more features. We’ll be staying tuned!