Need to Know
- As part of an expanding digital strategy, Ikea’s new web feature replicates the in-store shopping experiences for Russian customers, allowing them to design and personalize home layouts.
- Nearly 60% of Russians live in standardized apartment blocks with limited designs and floor plans.
- The web service, called Kvartiroteka—“selection of apartments” in Russian—first launched in June and has brought over 2.8 million visits to Ikea’s website.
- The service offers visitors a choice of 14 common apartment layouts designed in Ikea’s signature space-saving style with direct links to purchase the items shown.
- The new tool has directly caused a 17% jump in online sales.
In an attempt to battle aggressive online retailers, Ikea is often skipping the typical brick and mortar approach and opting instead for virtual shopping experiences.
The latest example: Ikea launched Kvartiroteka in its Russian market in June of 2019 and has since seen it bring over 2.8 million mostly-new visits to its site. The service allows visitors to choose from 14 common apartment layouts, all of which have received a virtual makeover and have been decorated in Ikea’s signature showroom style. Customers are able to shop the rooms by clicking on the items, furnishing their entire apartment from the comfort of their homes without getting lost in a single Ikea showroom maze. In total, the new feature has contributed to a 17% jump in sales.
With over 60% of Russians living in standard, Soviet-era apartment blocks that have a limited number of designs and floor plans, Ikea’s virtual makeover tool aims to inspire and help its customers make the most of their limited living space.
“Many people couldn’t believe that they could do anything good out of this standard typical planning,” said Pontus Erntell, head of Ikea’s Russia business to Bloomberg Businessweek. “The idea was to show that there can be lots of different things to do and to inspire people to do something to change their lives in their homes.”
Ikea’s push for digital dominance has been a global effort. Just last month, the retailer announced the launch of an e-commerce store in Pune, India ahead of its brick and mortar build-out. For North American consumers, the furniture giant recently made changes to its data collection practices, allowing users to control what information they collect and how they use it. The retailer also announced numerous digital supply chain automation features in its stores aimed at improving efficiency in its restaurants.
Although traditional stores account for almost 90% of Ikea sales worldwide, digital sales are drastically increasing. With its online-focused sales approach, Ikea has managed to grow its North American online sales by nearly 50%. Hoping for similar results in its Asian-Pacific market, the launch of Kvartiroteka has the retailer’s sales heading in the right direction.