Ikea’s Virtual Furniture App


Shopping for furniture is always a hassle, but what if you could see how the furniture would look in your space without measuring and going to the store? Ikea makes it easier to make a decision with their AR Ikea Catalogue App. 


All users have to do is scan the product from the paper catalogue, put the catalogue on the floor to adjust for scale and hold the phone up. They app places the furniture in the room and users can see if the furniture will fit, if the colors work, and how it would work with their lifestyle. 


Why I’m Curious

AR has usually been an entertainment feature — think Starbucks’ AR holiday app:



But this app not only provides entertainment, it also provides utility. It solves for a major pain point and is sure to drive increased traffic to their online site and drive online orders. At first glance, this AR app is in line with Ikea’s overall business strategy, serving a time-strapped budget consumer in that it allows the user to provide some self-service consultation at home. Traditionally, Ikea’s cost advantage is achieved by requiring the consumer to self-serve by selecting the design of the furniture, picking it up from the warehouse and shipping the furniture home themselves via car. Thus, Ikea’s margins are traditionally driven by in-store purchases, where they save on shipping costs. Because this is driving online purchases, costs associated with shipping may offset total revenue by increasing cost of of goods sold. Therefore I question, whether this will actually be a good move for the home furnishings giant. 


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