How the brand put a spin into the traditional in-store shopping experience by using Youtube Shopping.

In times like these online Ecommerce relevant than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic changed how consumers act and buy, transforming the decision process, and creating new consuming patterns.

That’s why IKEA’s Greece strategy, implemented in 2019, should be a go-to example for marketers trying to answer the new — always online, always home — consumer at the COVID-19 era. The strategy implemented by the Swedish brand proves that is possible to have customers feel like they’re doing in-store shopping without them ever really leaving the comfort of their home.

IKEA managed to stay ahead of current times and challenges, by putting a spin on the traditional shopping experience — either offline (via catalog) or online (via website) — thanks to a dose of storytelling and creativity. And also by putting the focus on a forever winning selling point: discounted prices.

“We are constantly experimenting with new innovative solutions and we were the first company in the home and garden industry in Greece, to implement a YouTube Shopping Campaign”.

– Ada Gianneskis, Communications Director at IKEA Greece.

The Campaign

IKEA’s “What’s Incredible is the Price” campaign goal was to reach the target with a new catalog and discounted prices and drive conversions to the brand’s website. IKEA built a strategy using TrueView ads for e-commerce, creating an innovative ad campaign that incorporated in-store footage for customer engagement. Using the power of interactive storytelling, IKEA created an immersive experience that drove engagement.

When interacting with these ads, the consumer switched, in a matter of seconds, from YouTube video viewer to an IKEA in-store customer. Viewers are able to click through to products and purchase with ease, choosing between over 1,000 discounted products. Going straight to the point, IKEA decided to show these at the beginning of the videos to effectively communicate these buying opportunities.

The powerful copy, developed to capture attention, was then followed by an interactive showcase of products, pricing, and the catalog. IKEA was able to drive engagement thanks to an immersive recreation of the IKEA shopping experience. Users were part of a simulated buying process that felt interactive, fresh, and new. A more real and more impactful experience much different from the traditional website and/or catalog online browsing.

Why TrueView Ads?

First of all, this is a cost-effective format — it’s built on the promise that the brand will only pay when someone chooses to watch the video ad. This means that the engagement you (and IKEA) drive is high-quality a.k.a it comes from an already engaged audience.

If someone is interested and chooses to see your ad the chances of them clicking through, generating traffic, and ultimately converting are higher. Basically with this kind of format you get “the right audience at the right price”. IKEA capitalised on this by generating engagement with people that were used to the IKEA shopping experience.

The brand also took advantage of another great thing about TrueView ads: since this format is not restricted by time limits, IKEA managed to experiment with a creative format (the immersive shopping experience we’ve just talked about). Taking time to tell a story shows the consumer that you’re communicating more than just a commercial message — it shows you’re sharing an emotional experience and inviting them to be a part of it. This was not a first for IKEA: in 2017 the brand also experimented with Trueview in a campaign called “Where Life Happens”

Of course, conversion is the ultimate goal but, with this approach, the consumer journey changes completely. Via storytelling, IKEA took advantage of longer ad formats to put a spin on home and garden advertising.

The flexibility of the YouTube platform and TrueView allowed IKEA to tailor their story according to their audience’s preferred consumption methods without sacrificing impact.

The Results

This campaign, which made IKEA Greece the first local brand in the Home & Garden sector to implement a YouTube Shopping campaign, is a true success story.

The results leave no room for doubt about that:


According to Google, The TrueView campaign delivered a 460% Return On Ad Spend. And in addition to that, the campaign had a 33% view rate and 33% Ad Recall with the main target — In-Market, Life Events, and Custom Intent Audiences.

“The ROAS was beyond our expectations, while at the same time, the brand lift study showed significant lift in ad recall.”

— Ada Gianneskis, Communications Director, IKEA Greece

It´s been a while since video advertising became a powerful tool for much more than just brand awareness campaigns. The ROAS accomplished by IKEA with this campaign positions the TrueView format as a powerful candidate for campaigns where the goal is performance — driving conversions, for example.

Why Should Marketers use TrueView Ads?

According to Google, TrueView ads can increase click-through rates over 11% from those of simple banner ads. Additionally, this format seems to have an extended impact on consumers, since data shows that a significant portion of them also view a company’s other videos within 24 hours of the initial viewing and are 500% more likely to engage in a company’s call-to-action.

Recent data also show that TrueView really enhances viewer engagement:

  • Eight out of 10 viewers prefer TrueView ad to standard in-stream ads;

  • Nine out of 10 viewers believe that TrueView gives them a better viewing environment.

Also, according to a study done by Google in the US with a sample size of 1600+ people:

  • Only 10% of people will always skip these ads;

  • 8/10 viewers prefer TrueView ads to standard in-stream YouTube ads;

  • 8/10 thought the “Skip” button was clear, which means people don’t have to think too hard, they know they can skip;

  • 9/10 viewers thought TrueView ads create a better video viewing environment;

  • Curiosity is the main reason users choose to watch an ad, therefore sparking interest in the first 5 seconds (before they skip) is key to driving viewership;

  • Viewers are likely to skip ads they have seen before, which is good for not wasting ad budget.
Image source: Think With Google

Why is IKEA’S Strategy Relevant in the COVID-19 Era

The COVID-19 global pandemic will have implications that last well into the decade. Among many changes, there’s one that’s happening right now and is particularly relevant for marketers: huge changes to consumer shopping behaviors. People are changing what they’re buying, when, and how.

Image Source: Common Thread Collective

As generational purchasing responses to COVID-19 vary (Gen Z and Millenials say they are cutting back on spending, while Gen X and Boomers say that the current events impact what items they purchase), Ecommerce seems to be rapidly blooming as the go-to option to shopping without having to leave the home.

Without ever predicting this pandemic, IKEA showed us that you can bring the shopping experience into the consumer’s homes and be successful while doing it. By changing in-store isles into an interactive experience via screens the brand reinvented a traditional experience while maintaining its DNA: great prices, easy buying process, clear and simple information, open and on-going communication, lots of emotion.

An interesting spin in YouTube Shopping campaigns, that becomes more and more relevant in a time where customers simply cannot leave the house.

See the full IKEA Case Study on Think With Google.

Interested in more Digital Marketing Success Cases? Check out some in-depth resources at to get started!

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