IKEA Makes Website Available in Store

  • Type: Case Study
  • Author: Stephanie Kropkowski
  • Date: April 2006
  • Download PDF
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The kiosks display the IKEA UK website and “Anna”.

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The kiosks are also available to disabled customers.

Imagine having the product knowledge of every retail store employee at your fingertips. Imagine no longer, this has now become reality as many retailers turn to product information kiosks to supplement busy sales associate staff.

One retailer taking advantage of this trend is IKEA Gateshead in the UK, part of the worldwide home furnishing retail that operates in 44 countries. IKEA Gateshead has decided to enhance the customer experience by displaying the IKEA UK’s retail website on in-store kiosks placed in an “Internet Café” scenario.

The kiosks allow customers to browse the IKEA UK website free of charge, closing the gap between browsing a retail website at home and accessing the website while visiting the store in person. If customers have a question, they can utilize an Interactive Customer Service assistant called “Anna”, displayed an adjacent frame, allowing customers to ask questions and receive immediate replies without the need for human presence.

In order to secure the kiosks, IKEA Gateshead relies on KioWare kiosk software to lock down and allow access only the IKEA UK website and “Anna”. IKEA Gateshead needed software that would run reliably during all of its business hours and not pose a risk to its Information Systems or corporate network. KioWare accomplishes this by acting as a shell that wraps around the IKEA UK website preventing users from accessing company sensitive information.

In addition to assisting customer service, the kiosks focus on how small businesses can utilize IKEA UK’s office furnishing expertise. The kiosks use KioWare attract screens to flash a slideshow of inspirational images of home furnishings in small business settings, prompting users to press a key or move the mouse to reach “Anna” and the IKEA UK website. When users do press a key or move the mouse, IKEA UK has KioWare configured to return to the start page, the IKEA UK website.

The kiosks are also utilizing a feature that allows managers to easily configure multiple kiosks with the same KioWare configuration settings. IKEA Gateshead saved the configuration settings of one machine, exported to an XML file, and stored on a network share to configure multiple kiosks.

Placed in a high traffic area of the store, adjacent to the sales floor and restaurant, the kiosks are estimated to be available to 30,000 visitors per week. With this amount of usage, IKEA UK depends on KioWare’s restart on error and start-up on boot features to ensure the kiosk is always running and always secure.

The physical use of the kiosks is also not limited to standing customers alone. IKEA Gateshead ensured use from disabled customers, as the kiosks are lower and in an area accessible to all customers.

In a society evolving towards self-service, customers now expect to find products in-store as easily as they can online. Providing retail store websites in-store is a natural choice for retailers looking to complement customer service.

ABOUT KIOWARE

KioWare kiosk software wraps around existing browser-based applications, securing the OS and browser, and allowing users to access only your application. KioWare is fully customizable with a product line ranging from basic browser-lockdown to server based remote monitoring.

ABOUT IKEA

Ikea is a worldwide home furnishing retail that operates in 44 countries.

NEED MORE HELP? If you’re looking for innovative ways to have your store visitors interact with your products and content on kiosks, check out Columbia Interactive Retail Storefront Window, Retail Kiosk Software - Opportunities for Retailers, and Interactive Kiosk Uses - 15 Odd, Ordinary & Obvious Kiosk Uses.