Minds Behind IKEA’s Interactive Catalog Share The Keys To Retail Success

Minds Behind IKEA’s Interactive Catalog Share The Keys To Retail Success

PSFK spoke to the brand's Global Communication Manager to learn more about how IKEA brought print to life through augmented reality.

Allie Walker
  • 23 july 2012

IKEA recently launched the 62nd edition of its annual catalog, causing a stir by announcing that this one would be different from any of the other 61 the retailer had ever put out- it is interactive, allowing consumers to access additional content through smartphones and tablets. PSFK had the opportunity to speak with Lena Simonsson-Berge, Global Communication Manager for IKEA, about the new catalog:

What was the motivation/inspiration behind creating an interactive catalog? 

The whole IDEA was presented to us by Linus Karlsson and his team from McCann. We got inspired and motivated by their initiative because it [made] so much sense!

 How does the scanning technology work?

Once you have downloaded the IKEA app and selected the scanning feature, you look for pages in the catalogue holding a small smart phone symbol which says ‘scan to unlock extra content.’ The technique used is image recognition (no QR codes, they just clutter the images!). Hold your smartphone or tablet 20-30 cm above the page/image and instantly get a film, photo gallery, or additional extra content.

How many pages/elements will readers be able to interact with in the catalog?

40-45 items will be interactive.

Beyond an interactive experience, will readers be able to purchase any items they see in the catalog directly from the app? 

No.  Not all IKEA markets offer e-commerce and for the one’s that do, it all happens through the web-site Rather, the purpose of the extended content through the scanning function is inspirational.

Do you envision a future where IKEA customers can order and purchase furniture anywhere they can use their phones? The street, the store, etc?

Today, you can access via a mobile phone (as an alternative device to a computer) and thereby also shop [by phone] where IKEA on-line shopping is offered. Technology is developing fast…for IKEA, however, the IKEA Store is still the most important shopping destination! Nothing is like touch, feel and try in reality!

Thanks Lena! 

Pick up your copy of the 2013 IKEA catalog in-store or order one here, and start interacting on July 31!


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