IKEA partners with Alibaba to open first virtual IKEA store

IKEA has opened the first IKEA virtual store on the Chinese online commerce company Alibaba’s Tmall site.

The homeware giant said the partnership enables it to ‘become more accessible for the many people in China and allows IKEA to test and learn how to meet customers in a new way’.

The virtual store offers around 3,500 IKEA products and home furnishing solutions. Based on this test, IKEA will evaluate if and how third-party platforms fit into IKEA’s channel mix.

Jiang Fan, president of Tmall and Taobao at Alibaba Group, said: “IKEA is the world’s leading home furnishing retailer and loved by many Chinese consumers. It’s truly exciting for us to help IKEA explore online channels and to enable more Chinese consumers to purchase IKEA products with greater convenience. The collaboration with IKEA also demonstrates that Tmall continues to be the major platform for international brands’ digital operations and the gateway to China.”

Jon Abrahamsson Ring, managing director of Inter IKEA Systems B.V., added: “At IKEA we are very proud of our IKEA stores, with more than one billion visitors every year worldwide. At the same time we’re always curious about how to improve and learn. We are happy about this collaborating with Alibaba. I’m convinced that we will learn a lot from this test.”

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