Bringing the Ikea experience home through AI

Retail Gets Real Episode 286: Thomas Fenrich on Ikea Kreativ and the customer journey

Everyone who’s ever been to Ikea knows just walking around the store is an experience. The world’s largest furniture retailer with its big blue buildings and yellow signage has been an icon of the industry since 1943.

Now, the company is using cutting-edge technology to let customers visualize Ikea products in their own homes – minus the meatballs. On this week’s Retail Gets Real podcast, Thomas Fenrich, Ikea’s vice president of digital product U.S., discusses the customer journey and the company’s latest immersive technology.

Ikea Kreativ uses virtual and mixed reality room design technology to let customers use the app to scan and design their space and bring products into their home. Once the customer is happy with the design, they can add everything to their online cart and check out. Or, they can save everything to a shopping list and go to the store for pickup.

“Ikea Kreativ brings machine learning and 3D technology into something that's immediately applicable and helpful for customers,” Fenrich says. “In 2022, technology and retail are synonymous. You’ve got to be really good in the technology space if you want to be a successful retailer.”

The core tenet that drives a lot of the capabilities in retail technology today is data, Fenrich says, and understanding how data relates to the business and the customer. “You need to have the capabilities to understand what the data tells you, and then it's really being able to map things together,” he says.

Listen to the full podcast to hear Fenrich’s take on understanding the customer journey, using data to inform customer interactions and whether Ikea will get into the metaverse.

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