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IKEA exec: Selling through Instagram creates personalized user experience

NEW YORK – An IKEA executive at the 2015 Mobile Marketing Association Forum New York revealed that focusing locally and selling through Instagram are  key to the retailer’s mobile strategy.

During the “Why Does Major Big Box Marketer IKEA Need an App?” session, the executive explained that the furniture retailer focuses on what is important for each demographic on a local level but also keeps in mind that anything mobile is instantly on a global level. This was displayed when the United States division of IKEA sold merchandise through its Instagram.

“For us, for brands and retailers, this is allowing us to reach most of the time anywhere anytime,” said Victor Bayata, head of mobile solutions at IKEA Group, Lund, Sweden. “For us at IKEA, it’s not just about the experience. It’s about creating a unique, relevant and the key word here is integrated experience.”

IKEA is one of the world’s largest furniture retailers, known for its affordable flat-packs.

Globally viral content
The ikeausa Instagram account displayed a picture of a kitchen sink with the caption offering the entire kitchen on sale for 20 percent off and a link to purchase the set.

Pictures of décor inspiration with links to articles can also be seen on the Instagram page such as a makeover idea for one of IKEA’s extendable tables also being used as a desk.

Although these are posted on the brand’s U.S. account, IKEA keeps in mind that this will be viewed on a global level and exhibits it as such.

A perfect example of this is the Singapore-based video advertisement showcasing the IKEA catalog while spoofing Apple commercials. It quickly went viral on a global level and currently has over 16 million views.

Research has shown that the IKEA costumer in that area is a younger demographic and would therefore engage with an ad like this.

However, due to the global wide value of the content and its ability to get consumers attention, it was able to go viral spanning multiple markets.

Reviving the catalog
Mr. Bayata also said that once the world went digital the only option was to readjust its catalog for mobile. IKEA’s original catalog format was forgotten and ignored once marketing shifted towards mobile.

After realizing this, the retailer released an application where users download and browse the most recent catalog.

The main app for IKEA is slightly different. It offers customers a personalized experience with various features.

Users can locate stores in their area, search for products, create a shopping list and also download the catalogs here as well. It even displays different Swedish phrases such as Hej, which means hello.

“We understand and we know that every time we product develop, we must go into people’s homes in every culture and do service, interview, we really want to understand how people live,” Mr. Bayata said. “It is the same principle for developing and at the same time how we digitally expand.

“We understand that people are inspired by real life examples,” he said. “You can see that many of our customers go into our stores with digital tools, they create content and even in markets like China they sleep in our showrooms.

“So it’s very important for us to understand these behaviors because that is how we start supporting them and bringing relevant communication. Our ambition as a company is all about, again, bringing the customer a unique, relevant and integrated experience that can allow us to engage.”

Final Take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer, New York