Today I went to Ikea to get new furniture for our loft, and I brought my iPhone and iPad. The iPhone battery was at 20% when we walked in, despite sitting on the charger the entire car ride from SOMA to Emeryville. Fortunately, my iPad was a little more up for the game.
We wandered the store, discussing colors and motifs that would work with our post dot com crash modern pad. A lot of birch was in order, and in fact we were getting a little burned out on the uber-Malm look. After looking at the piece I really liked, we realize their might be more furniture in the unique grey-brown color that we hadn’t considered, so I resorted to a quick scan of the Ikea store on my iPad.
I never realized how useful the Ikea website is for in-store experience before! Before I knew it, I was constructing a shopping list and checking the availability of items in the colors I wanted in the store’s stock. I even found things I didn’t realize the store had at all, which we then went and tracked down in the store.
Overall, we ended up spending 3x more than we had planned because we found a lot more of what we were looking for than we had bargained for. I remember over a year ago I helped pull together a “Future of Retail” meetup group in Seattle, as a market research for my previous startup, and we discussed how technology could be used to create special in-store experiences. I think that was early then, but is becoming more and more relevant now with a device like the iPad that I can reasonably carry in my purse and pull out at a moment’s notice.
Bottomline: iPad was very helpful