Digital Marketing

The Future of Retail: How IKEA AR’s Place App Used to Engage Users


By using AR (Augmented Reality) to market their product more effectively, IKEA has proven that the uses of this powerful technology go way beyond fun and games. It can literally create liveable experiences and help clients solve practical problems. But we’re ahead of ourselves, let’s start with the basics.

What is AR and how can it be useful in marketing?

Augmented Reality (AR) is the technology that creates an interactive experience of a specific aspect of the real environment so that consumers can get a feel for how each scenario will play out in real environments. AR enhanced multiple sensory modalities such as visual, acoustic, haptic, olfactory, etc. to make the experience as “real” as possible.

With the help of AR, marketers can increase the experience of their potential as well as existing customers in the following ways:

  • It helps customers try a product before buying it. Not only does this help increase the number of sales, but it also ensures that the customer has no doubts about a product.
  • By scanning a specific product or item, customers can get an AR experience created in a way that is tailored to their needs and based on the product they have selected. In addition, they receive additional information and even offer an additional brand-centric experience.
  • Incorporating AR into the marketing strategy automatically creates a buzz about the brand as the technology goes beyond the traditional tools used by marketers – it offers an experience that is as close to reality as possible.

What is IKEA Place?

Even though this app was launched by the Swedish retail giant in 2017, it is still considered a remarkable feat as it was the first to bring the augmented reality experience to furniture purchases.

The IKEA Place app, created with Apple’s ARKit, is a godsend for anyone who understands how confusing furniture shopping can really be. One of the biggest challenges for people looking to buy furniture is determining if a particular piece will fit in the room and what it will look like.

To make the entire concept of buying furniture more entertaining than exhausting, the company launched this app. All customers have to do is point, click, select, and that’s it! You can then see exactly how a particular armchair, side table or sofa set will look like in your home.

Called the “future of retail” at the time of its inception, this technology is clearly there to stay and with its advent has revolutionized the entire buying process. What makes this app so efficient isn’t just because of its fun and cool vibe, but also the fact that it’s easy to use, fascinating, and clean.

How does IKEA Place increase the user experience?

As mentioned earlier, by simply pointing your phone at the area where you want a particular item or product to be placed and selecting an item from the IKEA catalog to see what it will look like in that area. As simple as that.

Immersive shopping

When choosing products, use the catalog (broken down by category) that the company offers and it is even easier to access some others that they highlight. Users can easily save products, take pictures, and even share them with others.

Ikea Place App Store

Source: Tech Crunch

The entire furnishing and navigation system is designed in such a way that it replaces all the stress that often comes with choosing furniture with fun. The company has taken an important step towards futuristic trends that create not only an immersive but also a dynamic user experience as it adapts to the needs of the user in question.

“Try before buy” became a reality with the introduction of this app, and users can test the functionality of each product without leaving their home. Now that it has made the buying process so much easier for customers, it has of course resulted in an increase in sales too.

Simple navigation system

What unites the entire experience of using the Place app is the simple navigation system. Know the whole process, from viewing furniture options to taking pictures to going through the entire list of options, is easier than uploading a picture to Instagram? Which, by the way, is another thing that the app can do.

Ikea Place App Products

They also built a chatbot into the app that guides users to navigate and make the most of the experience. It shows users where to aim and even gently corrects them if not done correctly.

The bot adds itself in like a guide and makes the user experience a lot easier. They know the bot will help them correct it, even if they somehow end up making a mistake. It keeps popping up with suggestions and questions to help them make the best decision for them.

Flawless integration with social media

Another great feature of this app is that it allows users to easily share pictures on their social media profiles and this only adds to the fun factor as they can easily get the opinions and thoughts of their friends and family.

Ikea App Social Media Sharing

Source: Ikea

The large and high quality images provided in the app make it easy for them to make decisions as they can quickly search and find what they are looking for. With just a few simple swipes, you can also easily share the pictures with loved ones.

Final thoughts

Using sophisticated technology, IKEA’s Place app has simplified the shopping process for users so that they don’t have to step out of their homes to buy furniture. The design of the ecommerce app is designed to take care of every step of the user’s journey and make sure they don’t leave the app without buying something.

Augmented Reality made this possible and this is just one of the endless ways it can be applied to marketing and enriched the user experience.

Don’t forget to visit our blog section for more content. In addition, you can also take the various digital marketing courses we offer and take your first step towards becoming a digital marketer.


Jeffrey Rabinowitz