Ikea Debuts AI-Powered Home Furnishing Design Tool


In a bid to capture ongoing increases in both online shopping and time spent at home, the world’s largest furniture and home furnishings retailer is turning to technology to give its massive customer base the confidence and inspiration needed to custom design their own living spaces.

In launching the Ikea Kreative experiential tool this week, the Sweden-based retailer said it is looking to give customers a fast, free and easy way to digitally create attractive and functional living spaces from the comfort of home or via the convenience of their phone.

The move marks the latest step in what the retailer called the biggest transformation in its history and complete renewal of its business model, which presently serves 650 million in-store customers and 4.3 billion online shoppers each year at nearly 400 worldwide locations and its website.

“As the needs and dreams of our customers and society continue to evolve, so must we,” Ellen Monnelly, corporate public relations specialist at Ikea-parent Ingka Group, told PYMNTS via email from the retailer’s headquarters in Malmö, Sweden, adding that the addition of the Kreativ design feature was part of broader overhaul.

“We are innovating and transforming our business to become even more affordable, accessible and people- and planet-positive,” she added.

IKEA Debuts AI-Powered Home Furnishing Design ToolDream It, See It, Buy It

To be sure, the Kreativ room-visualization tool is not the first such product aimed at elevating the online furniture shopping experience, but given Ikea’s size and global reach, it could be one of the most influential and — if all goes well — financially rewarding too.

Read more: Commerce Gets More Visual As Retailers Embrace 3D

Among the many features being touted in what Ikea called “the first lifelike, fully integrated way [for customers] to design and visualize their own living spaces” is the ability to erase existing furniture and fixtures in a room and essentially start anew with a blank canvas, whether on a laptop or a smartphone.

“We continuously look to add value to our customers’ experience, both on and offline,” said Ingka Group Co-Acting Chief Digital Officer Parag Parekh in a statement.

“[W]e believe Ikea Kreativ will break down barriers to shopping for home furnishing, empowering people to go from inspiration to reality and design their perfect home,” he added, while pointing to 10 years of research and the company’s 2020 acquisition of Silicon Valley-based artificial intelligence (AI) specialist Geomagical Labs as the driving force behind the tech.

Other functionality of the mobile-enabled, cloud-based Kreativ suite includes access to the entire Ikea catalog, the ability to easily save and share designs and bring them into a store for further consultation, and — perhaps most importantly of all — the capacity to purchase.

“There has also been a rise in Ikea customers doing more of their home shopping in digital channels, and they want to enhance this experience with some of the magic they can find in Ikea stores,” Monnelly said, noting the virtual shopping tool’s ability to adjust to customer’s individual taste and personal budget.

“Customers will get inspiration and also the know-how to create a better home that meets their unique needs and dreams — and size of wallet,” she added.

The mobile Kreativ tool is currently only available for iPhones, but the company said an Android version will be released soon.