Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Future is Here IKEA, anyway. I was surfing around on Lileks and stumbled across this link to an interesting advertising microsite for IKEA. The download takes a bit of time but is worthwhile. Once it is complete, navigate around within the image by rolling over it and clicking.

The microsite is an advertising unit which demonstrates not only IKEA's design sensibilities, but a clever use of technology which hints at the long-term potential of the Internet as an e-commerce channel. I agree with Jim that while visually stunning, the microsite doesn't necessarily do much to make you want to buy. It certainly presents IKEA products in an attractive manner and within a context. The use of music and the integration of people and "scenes" intensifies brand image. But from a pure sales standpoint, the "call-to-action" is weak. Simply showing products and listing prices remains "old economy." However, one can see where this revolutionary technology can be not only visually arresting but also a closer of sales.

When married with other IKEA standards like the ability to put in room dimensions and include existing furniture, one might have the ability to see their own kitchen with the new products in place. Or with a greater use of rollover, one might be able to glean more information about products and product dimensions. Or to open a drawer and survey its interior. Or when enough data is input by (or appended to) customers, that personalized offers or installation information might be generated. In other words, if the technology is empowered to anticipate and address customer concerns as they arise, the skids can be greased to close the sale.

Nonetheless, quite something to see.

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