[disclaimer: I really like IKEA, their in-store experience is second to none. To be honest, their webstore might even be considered better than most, but it is lagging miles behind the physical customer experience]
Last month the friendly blue/yellow giant introduced a new liquor cabinet that I just had to have, preferably before next week's birthday party. Spoiler alert: I succeeded, despite IKEA's best effort to confuse and befuddle me, by going to the physical store.
I first saw the Fabrikör on a billboard while walking home, so to Google I went and what do you know, it'll fit right between my fridge and the window. Hurray, my kitchen can once more be enriched to look like an IKEA-showroom!
I want it, I want it now!So let's push that "add to list" button and order!
Not so fast, you've added it to your digital shopping list, not your cart; "Shop Online" is unavailable on the mobile site! Unfortunately, this is never explicitly mentioned.
I'll try the app
Which one though? IKEA has two apps, one called "IKEA" and one "IKEA Catalogue", the catalogue is a digital version of the paper catalogue. I can even swipe between pages, wow!
It won't actually allow any real interaction though; if I find something I like I can click on it and be redirected to the mobile site..
I'll try the other appNo, sorry, it is basically an app-version of the mobile site, you can add things onto your personal shopping list though.
iPad to the rescue?Luckily the desktop version of the site works on the iPad, and an actual order button is staring at me in all of its glory. Buying time!
Hmm, it looks like the webshop has a warehouse in Middle-Earth, delivery time is 12 days and costs 45 Euro.
Never mind, I'll go to the storeAt around 2 p.m. I had enough of the whole "Shop Online" experience, luckily for IKEA my previous experiences with the company were very good, so I took a subway (it was raining, so no biking). After standing in line at the info-point for an order-ticket, standing in line at the register to pay and standing in line at the transport service I left without ever having touched my purchase.
I was back home at 4, but the furniture did arrive the same day, as promised, at 9 p.m.
Want some advice?I ♥ IKEA, so let me dispense with some uninvited advice:
The customer experience at IKEA stores is famous for a reason, it is the result of a relentless strive for perfection where every detail has been meticulously thought through.
The digital experience on the other hand feels like it has been thought up perfunctory, "we have to be digital now?"
Digital is realTreat your web store with at least as much respect and diligence as you would a normal brick&mortar store. So, same budget, same amount of people, same strive for customer excellence (same day delivery? YES PLEASE!)
There is a tremendous customer loyalty towards IKEA, you don't really face competition, this is the reason you were able to postpone the move to digital for so long. Somehow you've made people personally identify with a budget furniture store. If you use your vision and embrace the digital transition your customers will follow you, if you don't however, they will start to see you as yet another cheap furniture store.
Still, I'm now the happy owner of the Fabrikör! :-)