IKEA’s Twitter-powered vending machines

Retailer promotes new catalogue by letting customers tweet for a prize

IKEA Twitter vending machineTo promote the release of its 2016 catalogue, IKEA Canada is launching Twitter-activated vending machines across the country.

At the push of a button, participants get a PIN that they tweet to @IKEACanada with #GrabLifeByTheCatalogue. The vending machines will dole out gift cards with values of up to $250, food vouchers for IKEA restaurants and other prizes.

The first stop on the tour is the Toronto Eaton Centre on Aug. 20. Over the next two weekends, the vending machines will be set up at IKEA locations in 12 cities, including Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Montreal.

“We drop the catalogue every year at the same time and for us, it’s the most important time of the year,” Stefan Sjöstrand, president of IKEA Canada, told Marketing.

Sjöstrand said IKEA is in the midst of a transformation to become an omni-channel retailer, and part of that is interacting more with consumers via social media. “We must become more active on social media… to really engage and inspire the customer,” he said.

As part of its omni-channel strategy, IKEA is testing “Pick Up Point” locations in London, Ont. and Quebec City later this year. Customers can pick up online orders at the store and shop a selection of top-selling items available for purchase.

The retailer also recently added new features to its mobile app including shopping checklists and a barcode scanning feature.

“We have 25 million visitors in our stores every year and this year we will reach 75 million visitors on the web,” said Sjöstrand. “That means we need to transform us from single retailer to become a true multi-channel retailer. To [do so], we must be able to interact with the consumer today and tomorrow.”

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