“There is a permanent shift towards ecommerce”: Ikea CDO

“There is a permanent shift towards ecommerce”: Ikea CDO

June 30, 2020 Off By administrator

The coronavirus has forever transformed many aspects of our lives, not least the way we shop, and if the experience of Swedish furniture giant Ikea is any measure, we are seeing a marked switch to ecommerce that is set to stay long after the pandemic has subsided.

According to Ikea chief digital officer (CDO) Barbara Martin Coppola, the company saw ecommerce surge during lockdowns around the world, but now that stores are re-opening, the switch back to bricks-and-mortar – or rather the giant blue boxes where shoppers traditionally bought their flat-packed furniture – is nowhere near as pronounced.

“We have seen an incredible uptake of ecommerce globally for Ikea, especially as the shops were closed in many, many countries. And it’s been incredible because this uptake, now that the shops are being reopened, the level of ecommerce is actually sustained,” she said, speaking at a talk at online technology conference Collision from Home.

“So it seems that there is a permanent shift towards ecommerce and it’s convenience.”

Shopping habits during the coronavirus

While there has been a boom in ecommerce, what consumers have been purchasing at Ikea has very much reflected the reality they find themselves in.

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“It’s interesting because the items purchased by consumers mirror the life that we’re having right now,” said Coppola.

“Many of us are working from home with kids and homeschooling, and so there’s an increased demand for home office products such as desks. And there is also a lot of home organisation products such as storage solutions and decorations.

“We have also [seen] an increase of children’s IKEA products with everything from children’s furniture, to toys, books, crafts; so very much an expression of our life right now during Covid times.”

Ikea: Riding the ecommerce boom

Ikea isn’t alone in this ecommerce surge: many have witnessed a boom in online shopping as consumers adapt to life in lockdown.

Notably, however, Coppola identified that consumers were not only shopping more online, but were engaging in “really, really quick decision making”.

“It’s been almost like what we used to see and decide in months, it would be done in in a matter of days,” she said.

“It’s been [a] learning [experience] for all of us to go through this period to be honest, as we see the income levels being sustained and fantastic behaviour shifts from consumers overall, globally.”

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