IKEA and Alibaba announced the opening of the IKEA virtual store on Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Tmall recently. The virtual IKEA store on Tmall will offer Chinese consumers access to around 3,800 IKEA products.
This is the first time IKEA will offer its products and home furnishing solutions through an external e-commerce platform.
The new Tmall store will initially serve customers in Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui to bring it to other cities later. Ikea and Tmall will also look into other possible collaborations including looking into future trends for life at the home of Chinese consumers.
In recent years, IKEA has been testing new formats and solutions in various markets around the world to increase accessibility to IKEA, including the opening of smaller shops, planning studios, IKEA apps, and new service solutions, among others.
“We are continuously exploring how we can make IKEA home furnishing solutions and range more accessible as we want to deliver to the IKEA vision of creating a better everyday life for many people. The launch of the virtual store at Tmall is truly exciting and we believe that it will complement existing sales channels such as our IKEA stores and e-commerce as we come closer to our customers in China,” says Tolga Öncü, Retail Operations Manager, Ingka Group.
IKEA entered the Chinese market in 1998 and has 30 IKEA stores across the country, besides e-commerce on IKEA.cn. In addition to opening up on Tmall, IKEA Retail China continues to invest in existing and new stores, expanding fast by opening more physical stores and exploring new store formats such as city shops, planning studios and smaller stores, all to create a better everyday life for the many people in China.