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Ikea expands on e-commerce launch with virtual reality store

Ikea Australia has today launched a virtual reality store, calling it an Australian-first among large format retailers.

Designed to enhance the online shopping experience, the technology allows customers to ‘walk’ through an Ikea store and browse products.

Customers in some parts of Australia can also make purchases through the virtual store on a desktop computer.

These orders are fulfilled through Ikea’s Canberra store and available for pick-up at 10 collection points around the country.  (See below for details.)

Malcolm Haylett, multichannel specialist for Ikea Australia, said the virtual reality store is about bringing online shopping to life in a new, interactive way.

“The Ikea virtual reality store has been developed to support our online shopping service. We know that it’s important for customers to see and experience our home furnishings range.

“Ikea has recently made a move towards online retailing, but we want to offer the full Ikea store experience to our online shoppers,” Haylett said.

Since opening its first online store in Tasmania last year, the Swedish furniture retailer now has an e-commerce presence in the ACT and surrounds, North Queensland and the NT.

Virtual reality technology will help it connect its growing network of online and physical stores.

“We know that Ikea customers like to look online for inspiration before making a purchase. The Ikea virtual reality store is simply a different and more immersive tool that allows you to do that.

“Through the innovative tool you can stand in a room-set and visualise it as if you were there in person, and you can for example, see our full range of sofas or beds at a glance.

The Ikea virtual reality store will be officially launched in Townsville this weekend. Locals can experience the technology at a pop-up at Strand Esplanade in Townsville on 17 June 2017.

“Online shopping at Ikea is all about giving more accessibility to customers who want to shop with us wherever, whenever,” said Haylett.

“Our unique virtual reality experience will support our current online shopping offering through our Canberra store and 10 collection points around the country.”

Locations where customers can make a purchase through the virtual reality store:

  • ACT: Canberra
  • Regional NSW and VIC: Albury, Wodonga, Batemans Bay, Nowra, Cooma, Wagga Wagga, Griffith, Young
  • TAS: Hobart, Launceston
  • North Queensland: Gladstone, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns
  • NT: Darwin, Alice Springs
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