As assortment of Ikea products from lamps, furniture and a mix of homewares are now available for sale on Amazon, with most of its merchandise available to Prime members with two-day free shipping.
While the Swedish furniture giant has been slow to adopt e-commerce into its business strategy, the company seems to have swiftly gone from an idea phase, to now selling on the world’s largest e-commerce retailer’s website. It’s not clear, however, whether Ikea and Amazon’s tie up is an exclusive one at this stage.
The idea of the flatpack is what make Ikea a global phenomenon – flatpacked furniture that fits neatly in your car – was ironically in aid of having the customer take care of the last mile. How things have changed.
This sweet spot may be precisely the reason why Ikea has been so slow to adopt e-commerce. While many retailers relied on catalogues to drive home delivery, Ikea on the other hand has used its catalogues to build a brand that makes it easy for customers to navigate across its massive stores, most likely due to the large cost to deliver furniture.
The cheap-chic furniture company now operates over 300 stores in over 27 countries, including Australia, where only late last year it began the very early roll out of its e-commerce operations, which it’s now revving it up.
Only yesterday, Ikea Australia launched its first Virtual Reality Store, providing a unique digital experience that allows customers to ‘walk’ the iconic Ikea store and browse products online, with the use of a VR device and a desktop.
This most recent initiative, along with its partnership with Amazon, helps further Ikea’s aims to strengthen its e-commerce sales, which comes at an opportune time. Online furniture sales have emerged as a top growth category in e-commerce, rising by 18% in 2015, coming in second only to grocery.