IKEA will open a virtual store on Alibaba’s Tmall e-Commerce platform that will offer 3,500 IKEA products and home furnishing solutions, expanding the retailer’s presence in China and potentially serving as a test lab for future e-Commerce expansions.
The partnership will give IKEA an opportunity to evaluate the new format and determine if and how third-party platforms can fit into its overall channel mix. The company will explore how similar web sites might fit with the brand’s existing infrastructure, supply chain operations and customer experience.
“We are continuously exploring how we can make IKEA home furnishing solutions and range more accessible, as we want to deliver the IKEA vision of creating a better everyday life for the many,” said Tolga Öncü, Retail Operations Manager at Ingka Group, owner of the majority of IKEA stores, in a statement. “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.”