Future of IKEA: Augmented Reality
Have you ever bought a product from IKEA and wondered why you bought it. Or worse, it doesn’t meet your expectation at all. The couch you really wanted is either too big, too ugly or it doesn’t totally match your newly bought curtains. Fear no more! While technology is changing every day, IKEA has found a way to be at your service and fix the above mentioned problem. This blog elaborates on a new technology which will become more mature in the near future: Augmented Reality.
As new disruptive technology, we took Microsoft’s Hololens an augmented reality (AR) enabling device and analyzed how it fits within the business model of the world’s largest furniture and home appliances retailer: IKEA. The Hololens is a new Head Mounted Display which enables its users to augment new objects in the real world. For example, customers can virtually try out whether an IKEA product will fit in their room and which color or customization fits their interior and preferences the best. With augmented reality, you see how the objects would look like in the real world instead of a virtual world.
When Augmented Reality is implemented in IKEA’s current business model, it is expected that it will allow for increased sales through offline and online channels, improved customer experience, and customer support. In addition, IKEA can realise cost reductions due to reduced showroom space, lower prototyping costs, and speed up the design processes.
… improved customer experience, and customer support…
The use of Augmented Reality technology and the Hololens fits very well within IKEA’s current business model as well in its current information system strategy. In general, IKEA is perceived as a modern and innovative company, but they have currently made insufficient effort in the move to e-commerce. Most of the technology as well as information systems which are crucial to successfully implement AR technology are already present within the company, giving them a competitive advantage for the future of online retailing. The information systems in place are their webshop, 3D models of its products, 3D building tools and a basic mobile Augmented Reality application for phones and tablets.
Additionally, IKEA has always been focussed at lowering costs in all aspects of the business, as their price/quality attracts the major part of its customers. The Hololens will provide opportunities to further push costs down in varios aspects of the business, making the company more profitable.
.. opportunities to further push costs down…
Implementation of the Hololens is possible without too much alteration of the current structure and systems: it is financially, technically, legally and operationally feasible. However, it will still be a future challenge for IKEA to meet the demands generated by remote shopping over mobile applications and the Internet. But in the end, implementing and using the Hololens will provide IKEA as well as its customers with lots of benefits.
As a team, we can’t wait for this implementation. We hope you are thrilled too…
H. Gouiza – 322226
K.H. Schaap – 358985
G.S.G.M. de Jong – 357570
T.R. Jordan – 400986
J.S. Langbroek – 336822