Ikea Looks Beyond Physical Stores To Virtual And Augmented Reality To Increase Sales
Ikea is working to shore up its digital business in an effort to expand its reach and drive more traffic to physical stores.
While its big-box locations still drive sales, its online business has grown exponentially and saw 2.3 billion virtual visits last year compared to the 936 million shoppers that visited physical stores, Fast Company reports.
To account for the increase in online interest and push the brand even further, Ikea has been actively investing in augmented and virtual reality apps that will help consumers explore how furniture and other product items might look in their home without ever having to step foot in an Ikea store. The furniture retailer has hinted that within three to five years, its business model is likely to be a mix of brick-and-mortar and virtual reality apps, according to Fast Company.
One of the VR apps even allows users to make pancakes in a virtual Ikea kitchen, while others like Ikea Place use AR to allow shoppers to drop a piece of digital furniture into their room in order to test the product before buying it.
The company has said it plans to consolidate some of the apps depending on which ones perform well and prove to enhance the customer's journey.