IKEA tests the value of time as a sales incentive
IKEA Dubai has rolled out a campaign, “Buy With Your Time,” that lets shoppers convert the time they took to travel to their IKEA store into a discount.
At checkout, shoppers show the cashier their Google Maps Timeline, which records all of their past trips. Then, the cashier converts their purchases into “time currency” prices. The prices are determined based on average hourly income levels in the United Arab Emirates. A graphic developed for the program indicates that even five-minutes travel time equaled a veggie hot dog.
The program appears ideally suited for IKEA since many stores are located in remote areas.
“Before the birth of this campaign, we realized two things: time is precious today, and many loyal IKEA customers spend a significant chunk of it visiting our locations, which are sometimes away from the city center,” IKEA said in a media statement. “We think it’s only right to reward our customers’ efforts by repaying them for the time spent reaching us. It’s our way of helping the Dubai community make the most of every minute.”
IKEA claims to be the “first retailer to let customers pay using time,” and that appears true for physical retail. Online, retailers often charge a premium for faster delivery or in-store pick-up, providing opportunities for them to waive fees or apply discounts for customers who accept lengthier delivery or pick-up times.
“There are so many pressures on our time,” Scott McClelland, H-E-B’s president told the Houston Chronicle last December. “There’s a difference in the way our generations have looked at the value of time. My father would happily spend 10 minutes to drive further to save $5 on cheaper gas. Today, his kids will spend $10 to order food to be delivered rather than driving to pick it up.”
Another interesting application of time comes from Timberland, which since August has offered to plant a tree every time customers choose to have their orders delivered in four-to-eight days versus the standard three days.
- IKEA Wants To ‘Spend Your Time’ During Purchasing Via Google Maps – Digital Agency Network
- IKEA gave Dubai customers discounts based on their Google Maps travel times – Engadget
- H-E-B’s digital outpost in Austin is changing the company – Houston Chronicle
- Timberland sees eco-green with slower delivery speeds – Yahoo Finance
- IKEA Allows Consumers To Use Time As Currency – Pymnts
- IKEA Becomes First Retailer To Let Customers Pay Using Time – Forbes
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of converting the value of shoppers’ time into a purchasing incentive? Is saving time significantly more critical for online shoppers versus in-store shoppers?