Ikea Is (Finally) Trying Out An Online Store

Soon enough, you'll be able to buy your MALMs and your OUMBÄRLIGs and your VALLENTUNAs without leaving the house. Ikea has been incredibly slow to adopt online shopping, but Australia is the testing ground for the global flat-pack furniture and homewares giant to try something new, and to potentially move away from its giant labyrinthine warehouses for a more personalised digital storefront.

Ikea image via Shutterstock

SMH reports that Ikea will test out a variety of different online shopping models in Australia, with a small-format Ikea store -- without the massive public warehouse space, but likely still the brand's distinctive micro-sized home and living room displays -- the most obvious choice. Ikea will also try out an "unbranded pickup point" and a depot operated by a freight company similar to the option already available for Tasmanian customers.

The Swedish furniture brand's online catalogue is massive and comprehensive, but translating that into actually heading into a store, finding stock and buying it isn't always easy. Currently, the closest thing Ikea has to online shopping is for those Tasmanian customers that already don't have access to a physical storefront. For a delivery rate that starts at $59, Ikea's island customers must email their shopping list to a dedicated Ikea email address and then wait for a call from the company to pay over the phone with a credit card. Any kind of online shopping experience would make a huge difference not just for Tasmania, but anyone that doesn't like braving the retailer's massive carparks and sometimes confusing layout.

Ikea is definitely progressive when it comes to other initiatives -- it has a virtual reality app, it's growing mushroom packing foam, its furniture has wireless charging, and its Australian stores have the country's combined largest private solar panel installation. Now all it needs is an online store. [SMH]