Why do we love IKEA?  Why do we love iBeacons?

Sometimes I think we love the idea of iBeacons more than the little tiny transmitters themselves.  

Frankly, it doesn’t matter in this case what technology was actually used; iBeacons, Eddystone, RFID, NFC, any of them would have worked and I’m sure IKEA picked the easiest deployment for their pop up showroom that was presented to them.

So what the heck are we talking about iBeacons and IKEA in this (obviously) non-rant this week?

Because I found a nifty little article in InternetRetailer’s website that talks about a nifty little pop up showroom that IKEA created and deployed – and you can even buy meatballs virtually!

The store, which Ikea Canada is operating for two weeks on a highly trafficked corner in downtown Toronto, features about 50 products. But there are no handbaskets or carts. Instead, when consumers enter the pop-up shop, a staff member hands them a wooden spoon with a RFID chip embedded in it, explains the store concept and provides instructions on how to shop. If a shopper wants to purchase an item on display, she taps the spoon to a sensor on the shelf, and it is added to her order. Products included pitchers, plastic popsicle molds and other food-oriented products. (Yes, bags of Ikea’s frozen Swedish meatballs were available, too.)

We’re delighted with their efforts and super hopeful that some other big name retailers will do some small scale installations like this.

Main street and high street stores should take notice and realize that while they don’t need to go quite this far in their own efforts, adding some technology in a fun way that engages their customers should be a priority at the moment, and if it’s something that uses mobile and creates a long term link between the retailer and the customer, that’s even better.