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IKEA pilots shopping app to improve customer experience

Swedish furniture retailer IKEA is piloting a new mobile shopping application in several countries, including Canada, as a way to enhance the customer experience by enabling users to check stock availability, create shopping lists and access a store map.

The home furnishings retailer reports that 10 percent of all traffic to the Web sites came from mobile in March, an annual increase of 250 percent. IKEA recognizes that smartphones are changing consumer behavior, with customers increasingly relying on mobile phones to access the information they need, and launched the app in response.

“Our primary goal is to improve our customers’ shopping experience,” said Madeleine Löwenborg-Frick, public relations manager at IKEA Canada, Burlington, Canada. “We want to help them prepare for their store visit.

“The IKEA Mobile Shopping Application will enable customers to browse IKEA’s product range, check product information and stock availability,” she said.

“We also want to make their visit to the store more streamlined once they are in the building.”

Mobile progresses
The IKEA Mobile Shopping Application enables users to browse the retailer’s product range, check product information and stock availability. Additionally, users can create shopping lists that include a product’s location for pick up in a store and access a store map for navigating around a store.

Customers will not be able to make purchases via the app.

The app is available for iPhone and Android.

IKEA Canada is one of three pilot countries offering the app, with both French and English versions of the app available.

The app is the latest example of how IKEA is embracing mobile to enhance the customer experience.

The home furnishings retailer also recently introduced a new mobile-friendly Web site.

Additionally, IKEA offers the IKEA Catalogue app, which enables users to download the latest edition of the retailer’s catalog and was first introduced in 2009. The app was updated earlier this year to include a store locator.

Mobile ads
IKEA continues to experiment with mobile advertising as well.

For example, the retailer recently ran a targeted mobile ad campaign in Pandora’s iPhone app that combined that location, deals and opt-in programs for consumers (see story).

Last year, IKEA ran iAd ads to drive downloads for its Catalogue app (see story).

IKEA is a leading home furnishings retailer with 325 stores in 40 countries worldwide. Last year, the Web sites attracted 904 million visitors.

“We recognize that smartphones are changing consumer behavior and our customers are increasingly relying on their mobile phones to get the information they need,” Ms. Löwenborg-Frick said. “Ten per cent of all traffic to the Web sites in March 2012 was from a mobile, which translates into an annual increase of 250 percent.”