Furniture retail behemoth Ikea is launching a new shoppable augmented reality app called Place in an effort to broaden its e-commerce presence. “It is a completely new experience,” said Barbara Martin Coppola, Chief Digital Officer at IKEA. “The app combines the store experience, with the online experience.”
In an interview with international news source Reuters, Ikea said it originally launched its AR app in 2017 to allow customers to see how thousands of items would fit into their homes, but they could not shop from the app. The new app allows users to visualize how new furnishings would look in their homes after they input room dimensions and choose from different styles. Customers can then order items directly from the app after being able to see the furnishings in their space using AR.
The retailer’s original app featured all of the company’s products, allowing customers to add them to a shopping list for use during an in-store visit, but online shopping could only be done through the Ikea website.
“People who go to the stores might want to access the full range of Ikea, and that is when digital innovations come in handy,” added Martin Coppola. She said the app will allow shoppers to point their phone at a chair to see other textures or colours, visualize it in the context of a room or see it alongside similar products in the same price range. Initially, the app will launch in The Netherlands and France, but there are plans to roll it out in the retailer’s top eight markets, including the US and China, by the end of the year.