Once known for it’s chunky catalogs, IKEA is shifting over to the digital side—with a social media spin. The brand is integrating its print magazines into Pinterest. Committing to digital might seem like a big step, but here’s why it could be the most solid move for the brand right now.
Instead of revamping its site or introducing a new one, IKEA has opted to create a shoppable version of its catalog for Pinterest, which populates through product pins in personalized user boards based on a questionnaire around item and style preferences. The effort is meant to extend reach to Pinterest’s prime users—”DIYers and how-to-ers and customizers“. Once users take IKEA’s product questionnaire (which is built into Pinterest), they could either allow IKEA to fill an automated board based on their responses or flip though recommended products to make their own, which can be shopped in a few clicks.
IKEA thrives on social media with impressive YouTube video views and high engagement on Instagram, according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Big Box. However, things are a bit shakier on its mobile site, which lacks key merchandising features such as tap-to-zoom on product images. Additionally, on average, customers search for brands less frequently than they did last year. Along with apparel and watches & jewelry, the home & gift category experienced a decline in branded search volume over the last year, according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail. That said, the brand could stand to either spruce up its mobile site or simply, offer shoppers another easy way to shop. Because IKEA’s new catalog is housed on Pinterest, a site that boasts 291 million monthly active users, it could come off as a fresh, fun, but still familiar take on the traditional mobile site.
With traffic to desktop and mobile sites decreasing by 21% since 2017, plus the threat of Amazon and direct-to-consumer disruptor brands, experimentation with ready-made apps like Pinterest might be an easy way to present your brand’s digital self. Brands stuck in a mobile rut should look to IKEA’s collaboration for inspiration and the potential of picking up on a new audience.