Ikea has revealed it aims for 20% of its sales to be online by 2020 as it replatforms its website as part of an ecommerce push.
The business is in the middle of rolling out ecommerce software from Oracle and order management software from IBM, and will go live with the systems first in Ireland and then in the UK.
Lars Gunnarsson, IT demand manager at Ikea, said at the JDA FocusConnect conference in Barcelona last week: “Ecommerce is our single biggest project. Today our whole business is based on shoppers coming to the store, picking things up and delivering them yourself.
“We need to be more sophisticated in service areas.”
He said distribution and keeping costs low will be a challenge – there are plans to use the stores as part of the fulfilment offer and to allow shoppers to pick up items directly from warehouses.
The roll-out will happen in the next 12 months, although Gunnarsson did not say when exactly it is planned in the UK.
The big issue for the Swedish furniture giant will be making sure the operation is profitable because it has low margins very low,s particularly on smaller value products.
“The challenge won’t be having an inspirational site or placing an order, it will be about the bottom line. We can’t do free returns, for instance.”
The new website will have a new interface, easier navigation and more products will be available online.
However, Gunnarsson added online wont be a game changer for Ikea, which he said will always be a store-based business.
He said: “We can see the visitation rates going up to our stores. As long as it’s possible to place an order online, there will still be a wish to go to store. People still want to touch and feel. It’s more of a matter of opening up more options.”