Ikea’s 2014 Augmented Reality Catalog.

Whoever is responsible for Ikea’s integrated marketing and digital initiatives deserves a raise. Every time I turn around, Ikea is launching another fun, useful, forward thinking app, website, or digital tool that connects directly to their shop/buy strategy.

The new 2014 catalog app allows you, the shopper, to see just how their furniture would look in your home. The augmented reality catalog works with your tablet or smartphone.



All you have to do is place the catalog on the floor in the place you imagine the new piece of furniture sitting. Then, use the app to select the product that you’d like to see there. The ikea app places the image in the room with the correct perspective and scale.

It’s a great shopping tool, and an app that helps you know what you want before you go to the Ikea store or decide to buy online. Currently the selection of pieces is limited, but since the app is net connected, updates can happen on a regular basis. The video below, while a bit silly, shows the app in action and all the potential it has.

The Power of Search, and Changing Shopping Habits.

On Friday I received a notice that I had money left in my FLEX account that I have to spend by December 31st. It’s not a ton of money, but it is enough to cover the cost of new eyeglasses frames.

Today, I was down on the Plaza en-route to Three Dog Bakery to get some treats for Cosmo and Zoe, when I decided to drop into a locally owned eyeglasses shop and price out some frames.

This is where the power of the internet comes into play.

Just like I did 10 months ago when I bought new eyeglasses, I had the sales staff write down the model number, brand, and price. Then I immediately Googled the  frames I liked and did a price comparison. Just like last time, the frames I want are available online for half of what they are asking for them in the store. That’s right, half.

Including prescription transition lenses, with UV coating, polished edges and the drilling charge for rimless lenses, the cost is still over 100 bucks cheaper than the local store.

You would think in this day and age, of always connected, always on, internet in my hand, retailers would wise up and price accordingly. I checked the frames on 10 individual websites and the price variance was about 75 dollars from low to high, but even the highest priced site was still almost half of the cost at the store on the Plaza. I really feel like I should call the store and tell them about my experience, and explain to them that I’m not alone in my shopping habits, but I doubt it would have much impact.

To be fair, I did check with three other retailers in the metro. Retailers located in areas where the rent isn’t nearly as expensive as the Plaza. The thing is, they were all about the same for the frame price, so this isn’t isolated to the pricey Plaza shopping district here in Kansas City.