The leading Swedish home furniture retailer IKEA has just dropped its long-awaited 2016 catalog. It’s more than 300 pages long, it’s heavy and, as always, it’s full of great and affordable furnishing ideas. But it’s the IKEA 2016 catalog app that we’re more excited about.
The very first thing that strikes the eye when you open the new catalog in the IKEA app is the superb high-quality appearance. The pictures look sharper than on paper, and that’s an achievement. When customers opt out for the digital version of a well-known product, they expect the same or even greater quality of pictures. After all, it is the first attribute that leaves the strongest impression. IKEA’s quality is great, so we swipe the page. And this is where the app outshines all the previous IKEA apps – it’s a true celebration of clickable interactive content and emotional storytelling.
The app is equipped with six orange buttons that each uncover a different and innovative way to explore IKEA’s newest products. IKEA fans will not be surprised to discover the virtual 3D furniture previews that use augmented reality, which make it helpful to envision how your favorite pieces actually look in your home. The augmented reality feature was first used in IKEA’s 2014 catalog app. However, the app has improved considerably, and you don’t need the print catalog anymore to play around with AR. The new app moreover presents a variety of sunny videos, photo galleries, links to IKEA website, and even recipes. Forget the beloved old Köttbullar meatballs – 2016 is all about the new Grönsaksbullar veggie balls!
The most thrilling new features are the 360-degree room view and the virtual reality room tour, which make you feel like submerging into a real IKEA showroom. The app also uses subtle, but stunning cinemagraphs (we’ve talked about cinemagraphs on Instagram in How Fashion Brands Use Digital Storytelling) – a mash-up of video and photography, showing motion in a portion of the frame and focusing on a specific movement. The result – a mesmerising looped animation, bringing customers closer to their ideal homes.
The most enthralling part of the app, hands down, is the emotional storytelling used in IKEA’s videos. They are short, relaxed, and joyous. But most of all, they follow a linear storyline. We see a woman preparing a big dish in her bright and beautiful kitchen. Swipe a couple of pages further and you’ll see her standing in front of her closet contemplating what to wear. A few more swipes and there is the culmination: she is throwing a big dinner party for her friends. Customers can easily relate to these everyday life situations. IKEA’s take on storytelling is thus applauding and convincing. Be sure to watch the short movie-like video about Torkis, the laundry basket, which just proves that even a very mundane product can turn up on your shopping wishlist.