Ikea stores are essentially giant showrooms with shops attached to the end of them. This is where the magic starts to lose its sparkle – a great visual experience, full of thoughtful interior design ideas, suddenly turns sour (especially on weekends) with hard to find products, long wait lines, tired, grumpy customers and delivery times that don’t fit around your schedule. In choosing to reimagine the Ikea customer experience, we recognised an opportunity to take a good customer experience and make it great.
Augmented Home Shopping
By utilising augmented reality, an Ikea app that allows you to preview Ikea furniture in your home (such as that created by Tylko) before venturing out to the store, will create the ability to shop with more intention and potentially shorten your time in the store. To take that a step further, we can envision a time within the very near future where you will walk into a Virtual Reality model of your house, add new furniture and move it around just be waving your hand in space – like dragging images around a tablet. If you like what you see you click the ‘Buy Now’ button for either home delivery or pick up.
‘Better Living Through Better Living Spaces’ Initiative
High-Density housing is a feature of all modern cities. Space and effective management of that space becomes more and more important as families migrate to cities for better opportunities. Ikea is in an extraordinary position to build a community around the concept of ‘Better Living Through Better Living Spaces’. By encouraging efficient, sustainable and more beautiful living spaces, Ikea could create a movement within their audience that is bigger than just selling more furniture. Helping consumers learn and understand good interior design techniques, and about sustainability, could help form part of a larger loyalty program. This could take the form of courses held in store or streamed live online, short-form content for social media and in-store collateral.
Ikea-fe’ (Ikea Cafe)
Ikea stores are often on the outskirts of the city, a trip to Ikea can be a long day and is never complete without a visit to the cafe for a plate of Swedish meatballs. What if we flip the whole experience and make the Ikea cafe the destination? The cafes would be centrally located and could serve as miniature showrooms that promote the product (chairs, tables, cutlery etc), serve great food and a tablet that enables you to order product for home delivery (or pick up). Not to mention sell a ton of meatballs in the process.
To encourage repeat visits to the store and increased dwell times, a partnership with a wireless charging platform, such as Powermat, would be a welcome addition. Starbucks are the first to jump onto this technology buoyed not just by increased sales, but also by the ability to connect (via mobile app) to customers as they move through the city, but also by the data available via the platform.
As mentioned earlier, Ikea stores tend to lose some of the magic when you get to the point of purchase. Part of Apples magic is that the ugly part of the customer experience, the transaction, is removed (to a certain extent). Ikea could take a leaf out of the Apple Store ‘playbook’ and make it easy to scan and purchase a product, under $100 in value, via an app to reduce checkout lines and introduce a bit of magic back into the experience.
Some of these concepts may seem outlandish, but they aren’t ‘future tech’ they’re all technologies we, at Digital Mass, work with on a daily basis. As consumers begin to migrate more of their time to mobile, retailers need to get smarter about how they capture their customer data and attention, how they use that technology to create a better customer experience and to build deeper relationships with their customers. For us, that starts with data and utilising that data to build community, brand and great customer experiences. How Ikea looks to upgrade its customer journey over the next eighteen months will be interesting to watch. Will they lead or will they follow?
Apple recently released a new battery smart case for the iPhone. This is surprising for two reasons. 1. Apple is receiving more negative feedback for the design of its new battery case than perhaps any product released by anyone in a long time. 2. The addition of a battery case to the Apple product line is a rare admission that smartphone battery life will not improve anytime soon. Thankfully, the Powermat wireless charging solution is providing an alternative to solution battery anxiety, whilst simultaneously increasing dwell times and customer spend for its hospitality partners.
2015 has been a great year for the innovative company, recent survey results showed having the ability to wirelessly charge your phone on the go appears to be an attractive value-add for consumers, with 79 percent of consumers agreeing that it would positively influence their decision to visit a venue.
Here is a brief summary of some of the key highlights Powermat has enjoyed this year.
November brought about the one year anniversary of the Starbucks relationship in the USA. A partnership which initially began in select stores across tech-friendly San Francisco and then rapidly grew to a nationwide roll out after showing the wireless charging solution more than delivered on its ROI. Also, Starbucks stores in the UK are now enjoying Powermat’s solution. You can now find Powermat in over 1,400 locations.
“We were pleased with the customer response and we’re now expanding this offering nationally to provide our customers a quality and reliable experience as they use our stores as their respite, their office away from home or as a gathering place with their friends and family.”
– Adam Brotman, Chief Digital Officer at Starbucks
Having the ability to wirelessly charge your phone on the go appears to be an attractive value-add for consumers, with 79% of consumers agreeing that it would positively influence their decision to visit a venue.
This partnership makes complete sense, Powermat helps complete Starbucks vision of becoming ‘the third place’. Receive an offer from Starbucks on your phone, drop in, order a coffee, charge your phone while you wait. Battery anxiety relieved. This model can be applied to any hospitality or retail business.
Universities: Just months after California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) became the world’s first university to offer wireless power on campus, Powermat announced that Florida State University (FSU) has also installed Powermat Charging Spots, giving their students the ability to stay connected to the information and learning resources they need on-the-go.
FSU integrated Powermat technology into high-traffic common areas in the Strozier and Dirac Science Libraries, transforming them into fully enhanced mobile optimised venues. Both libraries are extremely popular with FSU students, and the student body had been requesting the school provide them with more ways to charge their phones, as well as more ways to get up-to-date University news.
In addition to giving students the ability to charge their phones wirelessly without having to find a wall outlet or remember their power cord, Powermat wireless charging technology is the only solution that allows FSU to send targeted and contextual information and updates to students as they charge or when they’re on the move — this unique ability to monitor the charging spots, take full advantage of usage trends, and engage students with University-sponsored information via the Powermat application was a big selling point for FSU.
Canada & Australia:
Canadians no longer need to ask what wireless charging is all about, as Powermat has surfaced (or in this case, sub-surfaced) in the land of free healthcare, unrivalled nature and hunky world leaders.
After already rolling out in Starbucks across the United States and in the United Kingdom locations, wireless power is now available in Canada after Powermat Charging Spots were recently installed at the new Settlement Co. coffee house in the city of Waterloo, Ontario.
Aussies, we’re excited to announce that Powermat will also be coming to a location near you in 2016. Stay tuned!
Wireless Charging for Your Car:
Finally, an interesting use case to emerge this year is the addition of wireless charging in cars. The 2016 Buick LaCrosse is the first model to receive Powermat wireless charging technology. This removes the hassle of annoying cords, just place your phone on the charging mat and away you go.
To learn how Powermat can help your customers to live life at 100%, call Matt Hall on +61 432 565 754 or email [email protected].