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  • Jack Lau

IKEA and Smart Shopping....Really?


Just finished a day shopping at IKEA --- one of my most favorite stores. Have always admired the quality of the product. And, the price!! Are you kidding me? Nearly unbeatable... But, the crowd and the time it may take once you enter the store always make us think twice.

But, this time, we have scheduled the whole afternoon to go there and just have not visited the store for a while. I am nostalgic about the paper measurement tape, the pencil and the little pamphlet where you write down your selection......

Hey, but wait.... this is year 2016. What are we talking about here?

Seriously, smart phone has no utility after you have entered the store. Of course, instead of writing down the selection, everyone just take pictures of the white and red tag (the red tag tells you which racket and shelf to pick up the physical item near the check out counter.)

Isn't it sort of silly though? Why can't IKEA create an app which allows you to scan a QR code, detailing what you are buying, guide you to the aisle? Why can't the app tell me how long the queue roughly should be? Why can't the app make suggestions to me once I pick something? And, wait, why can't I just place the order on the app as I go along and let it deliver or to be picked later? And, why can't someone do a live chat on the app to help me answer my question? (Try look for an IKEA person --- I mean live --- to ask for a question. Good luck!) And, cute as it may be... Asking the customers to line up again after the check out to pay for an ice cream and then line up again to have a self served ice cream? Boy, that is just so not 2016....

We talk a lot about smart home and smart city these days. But, shouldn't it be easier to start with a smarter store?


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