Analysis: How acquisition of TaskRabbit will benefit Ikea
The acquisition of TaskRabbit allows Ikea to efficiently remove one key barrier (the dislike of furniture assembly) for a segment of customers that have until this point avoided Ikea.
Ikea' core customer is very online savvy. Magid's Retail Pulse study finds that younger customers with family (Ikea's core customers) will research purchases online prior to buying at a higher rate than typical furniture customers and engage in digital tools like Amazon Prime at a much higher rate. Fortunately, the physical nature of furniture and the desire to touch and feel has kept Ikea somewhat insulated from the "Amazon Effect." Ikea knows that this insulation is only temporary as digital tools advance and thus Ikea is embracing the digital needs of its core customers through this new capability.
This (acquisition of TaskRabbit) will have the effect of opening up Ikea to customers who may not have considered them in the past due to assembly avoidance. How big this "assembly avoider" segment is I’m not sure, but I think Ikea's move speaks to the fact that it is not insignificant.
TaskRabbit and Ikea both gain from this partnership due to the fact that TaskRabbit finds itself at the center of thousands of Ikea customers who have a very specific need that TaskRabbit can address. Ikea gains from the fact that customers searching for help with upcoming tasks (and who are thus at a key point in their purchase journey where Ikea wants to interact with them) will see Ikea offerings.
Ikea is addressing one of the key desires of the on-demand culture, which is to provide a service WHEN and HOW customers need it. Millennials desire not to be marketed to, but rather to be provided with a service offering that removes friction, and this partnership holds the potential to do just that.