Ikea, in collaboration with Accenture, presented its store formula of the future at the Mobile World Congress. It was remarkable to see that it is a small inner-city store with (obviously) a lot of technology.
Entire catalog in small space
Ikea’s demo store of the future still gives consumers its entire catalog, but in a virtual setting. The Swedish furniture retailer uses augmented reality to create a digital experience in a physical world.
The fictitious tore is a “new store inner-city store formula”, according to Accenture team Hybrid Spaces’ Gonzalo Marcos. “It is about smaller stores where we need to create new experiences, which will help Ikea to present its entire catalog in a confined space.” The store’s walls double as screens, filled with product information. The famous Ikea pencil also acts as a scanner, thanks to RFID technology. You only need to tap a product label to add it to your shopping cart.
Scan and checkout with magic pencil
The magic pencil will also present different colours or patterns in some products, projecting them onto it. The futuristic store will have sensors hidden away in the shelves and those detect the pencil’s signals to create this effect. The Ikea urban store of the future will let you check out with your pencil at an unmanned, touch-screen cash register. Your order will then be prepared for pick-up or home delivery.
There are no plans to actually build a store like this: the presentation was merely an example for the technology convention Mobile World Congress. Accenture wants to show what is possible in retail, but it could be that Accenture and Ikea launch a kitchen demo in Seville soon, where the walls will have product information projected onto them.