[App Friday] IKEA attempts to draw in more consumers with its app

The app, launched in May 2021, has already racked up over 10 million downloads on Google Play Store. The minimalist design is quite soothing but the app still needs to fix a few things.
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Swedish furniture giant IKEA entered the Indian market back in 2018, with a swanky 400,000 sq ft store in Hyderabad. However, the DIY furniture giant has had to face many challenges, including the COVID-19 induced lockdowns that hindered its expansion plans.  

To cope with these unpredictable delays, the furniture major – which usually invites consumers to visit their stores, browse through their collection, and spend time in their cafeterias — has taken on a mixed strategy to expand in India. It plans to open small-format stores in Mumbai, other than the store in Navi Mumbai, so people can avoid travelling long distances and shop from the convenience of their homes instead. 

To encourage sales during the pandemic, IKEA also launched an app to provide an online shopping platform to people across India. 

The app was launched for iOS and Android in May 2021. It currently has over 10 million downloads and has a 4.2 rating on Google Play Store. 

How does it work

Once you download the app from Google Play Store, the app pre-selects the country of location from where it is being downloaded. After clicking on the large blue icon ‘Continue’ — the first page gives a sense of what all a user can do on the app. 

It showcases images presenting different interior styles, enabling you to shop according to the kind of furniture you might be looking for. As you scroll and browse, you can add your favourite items to your shopping list. Customers who already have an IKEA Family Card can use it on the app to get discounts. The app also gives a disclaimer about the user data they are collecting.

IKEA's initial pages

At the end of the page, you click on the ‘Start Shopping’ button, which leads you to the products page and now you can finally start shopping. 

The top of the page has a search bar, where you can type out the products you need. Below the bar, you will find a ‘Browse Products’ section, which features images of different product categories including furniture, beds and mattresses, kitchen appliances, and storage and organisers. 

If you scroll right, the app reveals more categories or you can click on ‘view all’ at the top right corner, which brings out a new bar showing all the product categories. Many apps usually keep this feature on the left side. Also, scroll right seems to be a new type of user interface for a shopping app. 

On the same page, if you scroll down further, you can shop by browsing collections such as ‘Get Organised’, which showcases different types of boxes, ‘Giving waste a new life’ showcases waste bins, ‘Keep it clean’ has bags and gloves, among other hygiene-related products, and at ‘Home cooking’ you can buy jugs, spoons and coasters, among others.

While the app does not ask the user to create as long as you are just browsing the products, the process of signing up is fairly simple. You can create an account after entering your name, email address, and mobile number. 

IKEA's login page (left) with interior design suggestions (center and right)

The app also provides icons on the bottom right which enable users to juggle between the homepage, search section, shopping list, and cart. 

Shopping on the app is very similar to any other shopping app. Users can select their products either by clicking on products either on the home page, which also offers interior styling options, or by going to the search page. 

After selecting the products, you also have an option of getting them delivered from IKEA Warehouse or collect from their stores in Mumbai and Hyderabad by clicking on the cart icon on the bottom-most bar. The cart shows your selected items and the final shopping amount. Click on ‘Go to Checkout’ and choose if you’d like your products to be delivered or collect them from IKEA’s Mumbai or Hyderabad store. 

As of now, home delivery is only available in Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, and Bengaluru.  

IKEA's delivery page

Verdict

Overall, the app did not have any glitches but as soon as this writer entered her or a few other pin codes, it started showing an error. 

Since IKEA has only recently introduced the app to enable online ordering and home delivery, the company might not be delivering the products to all pin codes. Due to this, products could not be ordered. 

The layout is very minimalistic, with a white and blue colour combination. Even the pictures featured on the app have neutral tones, similar to IKEA’s products. This makes the overall viewing experience quite good. Users can also get home decor ideas from the app. 

But the right swipe instead of just scrolling up and down is something users might have to get used to.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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