Instore Digital Touchpoints


Collaborating with our friends at IKEA to realize the ideal digital touchpoints for a cutting-edge new concept store in Shanghai.


Instore Digital Touchpoints


Collaborating with our friends at IKEA to realize the ideal digital touchpoints for a cutting-edge new concept store in Shanghai.

Optimizing digital touchpoints for a new retail experience

In mid-2021 a world-first concept store for Ikea opened in Shanghai, the Home Experience of Tomorrow. The new store farewells the ‘snake’ path through the store ending in a self-pickup area, for a new community-focused, immersive, and innovative shopping experience. The core of this new experience is focused on digital touchpoints to support a new way to shop, empowering customers to purchase and check out all products on their phones.

With significant changes to the familiar Ikea experience, challenges were presented on how to educate customers on these new concepts, while ensuring an optimized and enjoyable experience. We tackled these challenges with an array of mixed methodology user research in our UX Spot lab to uncover design solutions to drive the Home Experience of Tomorrow into the future.

UX research services

Research design

Stakeholder interviews

Mystery shopping

Codesign workshops


Desirability testing

Participant recruitment

In-store intercepts

Diary studies

Stakeholder workshops

Design sprints

Analysis & reporting

IKEA China UX case study - instructions how to buy products

In-store communications

Codesigning with customers in generative workshops

To understand how to design ideal experiences for future users, we segmented a range of target Ikea customer groups to conduct generative design workshops. As a prerequisite to taking part in the workshops, each participant completed mystery shopping tasks at the Home Experience of Tomorrow store, engaging with the existing digital touchpoints at the center of the study and maintaining a detailed photo, video, and written journal.

Through co-creation, we put communication and creative tools in the hands of the people who will be served by the design, the actual customers. Leveraging a participatory design process with customers of making, enacting, and telling, we are able to reveal deeper levels of understanding that can access both tacit and latent knowledge. In the co-creation workshops, we followed the path of expression to guide the creative process:

1. Observing & documenting the current

2. Recalling memories of past experiences

3. Reflecting on possibilities for the future

4. Expressing through making artifacts for future experiences

IKEA China case study - Co-creation generative design workshops at UX Spot lab

Iterative design sprints and contextual in-store testing

The output of the generative design workshops formed the foundation and direction for the design opportunities of the digital touchpoints in Ikea Shanghai's Home Experience of Tomorrow.

**- In-store navigation

  • Scan & go (mobile checkout)
  • Locker pickup
  • Food ordering
  • Instore community events
    After synthesizing the insights; we ran a series of design sprints to generate concepts for the key touchpoints. These concepts were brought to life through high-fidelity, interactive prototypes tested in-store with target users. Between each of the four rounds of testing, we made iterative improvements to the designs based on customer feedback to continue to optimize the design, communication, value, and user experience.

IKEA China case study - Usability testing design prototypes

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