IKEA Place was launched in September 2017 with the release of iOS 11. The app was built on Apple’s
ARKit, a framework that allows developers to create augmented reality apps for iPhone and iPad.
ARKit will play a critical role in ushering in the era of AR by introducing the technology to millions of
iOS users. IKEA Place, which exists to make shopping with the brand easier and more fool proof than
ever before, is proving popular with users as well.
With IKEA Place users can see how IKEA products will look in their homes before they actually go to
the trouble to purchase and assemble the products. The app is easy to use - simply choose from over
2,000 IKEA products and hold up your device to see how the product will look in the space. image
are rendered in 3D and, according to IKEA, scale to space with 98% accuracy, so users can feel
confident using the app to determine if a product will fit within the dimensions of a given space.
Textures of products are also visible and respond to light and shade conditions within a space.
The AR applications that get the most attention are usually the ones designed mostly for
entertainment value. IKEA’s application of AR technology might seem relatively mundane at first
glance, it’s actually a sophisticated and genuinely useful consumer tool which has major implications
for the future of retail. The IKEA Place app demonstrates 3 key benefits available to retailers who
invest in developing AR experiences for their consumers.
AR helps close the Omni-channel gap
These days, virtually every business is looking for ways to make their marketing approach a more
Omni-channel. Unifying consumer experience across digital and traditional channels, and finding
ways to link one to the other, is a major challenge. Augmented reality apps are part of the solution.
In the case of IKEA Place, AR places the brand’s products in the consumer’s home. It’s a blending of
the digital world and the real one, and it makes IKEA incredibly relevant on mobile. The mobile app
drives users both to brick-and-mortar IKEA stores and to the website where many products can be
AR can improve the in-store experience
Knowing which ones will look and fit best in a space is a challenge for shoppers. Taking a product
home without being sure how it will look is a risk because returning a sofa or a bed frame can be
timing consuming and users may not like the idea. IKEA Place improves the in-store experience by
helping users narrow down their shopping lists from the comfort of their own home. Users can then
go into the store armed with a list of product options that they think will fit in their homes. Making
the final decision a matter of choosing between a handful options, as opposed to hundreds of
untested ones, IKEA Place can help get users in and out of the store faster and with greater levels of
satisfaction with the shopping experience.
AR boosts e-commerce sales
AR can help boost e-commerce by breaking down barriers to purchase. It answers customer
questions about how things might look in real life, reducing uncertainties and making them more
likely to complete a purchase. It’s especially useful for big-ticket items that cost a lot to ship and may
be difficult to return.
Where Is AR Headed?
Augmented reality has many potential applications in the retail sector. It’s already being used by
beauty retailers to allow users to see how different products will look on them. It can be used to
create virtual fitting rooms, where users can see how clothes and accessories will look before they
place an online order. It’s even relevant in store, where it can demonstrate use cases for packaged
products. AR is more accessible than ever, and as consumers become more accustomed to seeing it
integrated into the apps they use, we can expect the demand for the technology to grow.