By Bouaziz Dalila | THE
In its strategy of conquering city centres, Ikea is inaugurating a design workshop in the 12e Parisian district. A world first, an immersive experience in virtual reality – over 9m2 – provides access to the brand’s entire catalogue. Reporting.
At 135 avenue Daumesnil in the 12e Parisian arrondissement, barely 300 meters from its pop-up store where the concept was tested in July 2021, and near a Leroy Merlin department store, Ikea inaugurated a design and order workshop on Thursday April 13. The store is bigger with a commercial area of 740 m2, compared to 300 previously. We find the different atmospheres of the furnishing and decoration brand. 31 to be precise featuring the assortment of the Swedish giant.
Design, customization and inspiration
In this Workshop, there is no cash register, nothing is to be taken away because all orders are delivered. A peculiarity of the concept. The objective is towelcome customers in the development of their projects for the kitchen, their bedroom, bathroom or to find storage solutions. The key words are: design, personalization and inspiration.
“We learned a lot during our exchanges with our Parisian clients, explain Arslan Ali, store manager. Today we offer them 45 appointments per day one hour to help them plan their project. » This number of slots is twice as high as a classic store around “15 to 20”. The waiting time has thus been shortened, going from 24 to 48 hours where it is usually between 2 to 4 days with 22 “expert” employees in the store. This design aid is invoiced at €29 for aid in the design of a kitchen, and at €9 for that of a storage or dressing room, reimbursed in the form of vouchers for Ikea Family members. A dozen planning stations and order terminals with free access also allow customers to make their purchases independently or with the support of employees.
The immersive room to offer an extension of ranges
For even more inspiration, the Atelier offers a new immersive experience, tested for a year in Perpignan. “This “immersive room” is a world first within the group, underline Christophe Cadic, digital director of Ikea France. The concept was developed with the French virtual reality start-up Ugla. »
This 9m2 space allows you to recreate the inspiration of a large Ikea store.
This space of 9m2 allows recreate the inspiration of an Ikea department store as a virtual showroom. “The customer can take control of the atmospheres by moving from a kitchen to a bathroom, in total immersion, without virtual reality, explains Christophe Cadic. I‘objective is to offer inspiration to our customers, allowing them to perceive products not available in this store in a more realistic way than on a computer screen with theequivalent of 40,000 m² of atmospheres, products and accessories, available for purchase. »
A great opportunity to increase the consumer basket by proposing an extension of the necessarily very limited offer given the surface area of the Atelier and to project oneself more easily into a potential purchase of products not present in the store.
A virtual showroom
The technical installation is simple. Concretely, thanks to virtual reality technology, customers can interact via a tablet with 80 examples of atmospheres projected on three walls, using three projectors, and display the information of the product of their choice (price, materials, QR code referring to the product sheet, etc.) then add them to their basket using their smartphone and the Ikea application. “Emotional” elements have been added to gain realism : trees moving with the wind, children playing in a garden…
The buyer can also visualize in real size a piece of furniture, a sofa, a table, etc. and choose the color, view it from different angles. Globally, 10,000 references are available (i.e. 80% of the current assortment).
” Ikea France believes in the emotional and sensory power of immersion to help customers project themselves and be inspired, points out the digital director. We are thinking about deploying this experience in other contact points. » This summer, a new module will offer the possibility of recreating the surface of a room in its habitat with more perspectives, like “in a video game”.
A new feature on the site
This experience allows the brand to improve the customer experience by gradually erasing the boundaries between physical and digital touchpoints. Also, in mid-May, the e-commerce site will also offer a new feature “Ikea creative” (after the acquisition of the American start-up Geomagical Labs), where the customer can take a photo of a room of his interior and with a click all the furniture will be erased in order to allow its reorganization. A service already underway in the United States.
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