Through December, Ikea is operating virtual reality shopping booths in pop-up shops in Kuwait, Jordan and Morocco. Intended to increase foot traffic at nearby full-size Ikea stores, the pop-up shops occupy small store spaces within large shopping malls.
Within the pop-up shops, which average around 100 square meters, the 4-by-4-meter virtual reality zones offer shoppers the chance to choose a living room floor plan and virtually furnish it from more than 450 Ikea items that range from wall accessories and rugs to sofas, tables and TV stands.
When finished, shoppers receive an email and printout of their plans, and they can purchase smaller items from the limited selection on hand in the pop-up, and either order the other items or get them from the nearby full-size Ikea store.
From October 5 through November 10, Takeleap set up the pop-ups with virtual reality zones in Kuwait, Jordan and Morocco. The first pop-up to open was in Amman, Jordan.
So far foot traffic to Ikea’s full size store is up 19% to the Kuwait City store, the one thus far for which data is available. Ikea has not yet released to Takeleap sales figures and metrics for the other stores.
The experience begins when customers encounter a touch screen at the entrance to the virtual zone. To gain access to the virtual reality experience, they enter their full name and email address.
To experience the virtual reality, customers don an HTC Vive headset and grasp its hand controllers. The 450-item selection numbers in the thousands once it is multiplied by the variations of upholstery and finishes.
A TV mounted to the outside of the virtual reality zone shows bystanders what the customers sees as she navigates and furnishes her virtual living room, visible to her in the VR headset. Takeleap meets with Ikea later this month to discuss more virtual reality shopping experiences.