The Future of Retail: How IKEA's Place App Uses AR to Delight Users
By using AR (Augmented Reality) in an effort to market its product more effectively, IKEA has proven that the uses of this powerful technology go far beyond play and fun. It can literally create livable experiences and help customers solve practical problems. But we're overtaking 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 world so that consumers can get a feel for how each scenario will play out in real world 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. This not only helps to increase sales, but also ensures that customers have no doubts about a product.
- By scanning a specific product or item, customers can get an AR experience tailored to their needs based on the product they have chosen. 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.
So 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 buying.
The IKEA Place app created with Apple's ARKit is a godsend for anyone who understands how confusing buying furniture 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.
In order to make the whole 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 revolutionize the entire buying process as it emerges. What makes this app so efficient can not only be attributed to its fun and cool atmosphere, but also to the fact that it is easy to use, fascinating, and clean.
How does IKEA Place increase the user experience?
As explained earlier, they can see what it will look like in this area by simply pointing their phones at the area where a specific item or product is to go and selecting an item from the IKEA catalog. As simple as that.
When choosing products, the catalog provided by the company (broken down by categories) is extremely used, 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.
Source: Tech Crunch
The entire setup and navigation system was designed in such a way that it absorbs the stress that often comes with choosing furniture and replaces it 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 each user.
With the launch of this app, “Try Before You Buy” became a reality, and users can test the functionality of any product without stepping out of their homes. Since it has now made shopping so much easier for customers, it has of course also led to an increase in sales.
Simple navigation system
What unites the entire experience of using the Place app is the simple navigation system. Have you known the entire process, from viewing furniture options to taking pictures to going through the entire list of options, easier than uploading a picture to Instagram? Which, by the way, is also possible with the app.
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 like a guide and makes the user experience a lot easier. They know the bot will help them correct it, even if they somehow make a mistake. Suggestions and questions keep popping up to help you make the best decision for you.
Flawless social media integration
Another great feature of this app is that the users can easily share pictures on their social media profiles. This only enhances the element of fun as it makes it easy for them to get the opinions and thoughts of their friends and family.
The large and high quality images provided in the app make it easy for them to make decisions as they can quickly browse and find what they are looking for. With just a few simple swipes, you can also easily share the pictures with loved ones.
With sophisticated technology, the IKEA Place app has simplified the buying process for users so that they don't have to leave their home 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.
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