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IKEA: In-Store Review

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Ikea’s proposition is still very much multiple channel vs. omni-channel. Although pockets of good customer experience exist across web, store and mobile there is limited interaction and communication of omni-channel missions, particularly in store.

The stores themselves have good and prominent use of digital technology throughout with the presence of terminals and large touchscreen TVs in almost every department to enhance the shopping experience. In the bedroom department, Q&A software on a touch screen TV helps customers pick the right mattress by acting as a form of guided navigation. Customers can also configure wardrobes on large screens using the same planner functionality as available online. In the kitchen department, an easy to use ‘kitchen builder’ app based on pre-configured design templates is available on a touch-TV for customers to get inspired. This is supplemented by rows of desktop terminals in a dedicated staff assisted “planning area” where it is possible to build and save a bespoke design (which is also available for subsequent access via any internet connected point in store) as well as print the shopping list. It’s technically possible for customers to use the PCs to access their pre-saved online designs via their internet login (as again, both channels use the same planning tool) and discuss these with staff, although this type of cross channel interaction is not promoted anywhere online or in store.

As customers enter the self-pick-up warehouse area, fast, user friendly touch terminals enable you to search or navigate for a specific product and then view its aisle and pick bay location. Ikea actually has some really useful mobile web functionality which could be more actively encouraged for use in its stores (but sadly isn’t) – log on to the mobile site and you can pick your store and search for products to add to your shopping list. The mobile site then provides the actual store stock cover (down to the # items available) and the aisle/pick bay location at your fingertips. Ikea’s mobile app is currently only linked to its catalogue but what could be more helpful is a barcode scanning / NFC technology which helps you build your shopping list as you walk round the store by scanning product labels. If coupled with in-store wifi (currently not offered) this type of integration could be quite powerful while also enabling Ikea to get view of customer behaviour across channel.

“Ikea family points”, touch screen kiosks where it’s possible to sign up for a loyalty card or log-in to see family club exclusive offers are plentiful. Currently all family club content is generic but over time, as Ikea builds up its customer data it would be good to see these points distribute personalised offers and product recommendations.

In addition to these core initiatives Ikea also have digital queue management in busy parts of the store, digital price checker points, video product displays in stores and an interactive customer satisfaction survey points on exit.

In our view, although the use of digital terminals offer effective product selection support and merchandising, more could be done to help customers navigate toward and ultimately purchase the desired products once they had been selected using in store technology, for example: by providing details of exact location in warehouse of items printed on wardrobe planner screen – or allowing customers to buy the items there and then and choose to have the items delivered (although this isn’t always possible since the stores carry a much fuller range than the web, and Ikeas home delivery proposition is expensive and items can often take a long time to arrive). In this sense the use of digital in store is only designed to enhance the in-store immediate purchase experience and not to offer the customer the means to purchasing a product in the most convenient way for them, while mobile is currently missing from the in-store digital mix.

Ikea Wembley store – Score 17/25

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Javelin Group is Europe’s leading ecommerce & Omni-channel retail consultancy. Our multichannel proposition evaluation is based on our proprietary scorecard which assesses multichannel functionality & execution across 8 key customer centric areas.

Reeta Junankar, Manager, Javelin

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