Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Monday Rant: IKEA's Website

I like IKEA. I like shopping at their stores, and I am quite satisfied with the quality of the products I have purchased from them. I even like the food they sell at their little hotdog stand things.

But their website sucks. Sucks horribly.

It even sucks you in. It looks all nice and functional and pretty, and parts of the front page are highly suggestive that this website might be, you know, useful.


To date, I have successfully gleaned exactly ONE piece of information from the IKEA website, in all the times I've ever visited: the stores nearest me were all closed on Sunday, April 8. Something to do with some dead guy, apparently.

Let me show you how frustrating and stupid IKEA Canada's website is. Click along with me.

Start by going to IKEA.ca, which will redirect you rather efficiently to this address.

See how pretty and promising everything looks? It seems they're having some sort of summer fest on, so they've put some links to merchandise on the front page, for summery things like outdoor furniture.

I don't care about outdoor furniture. I care about wine racks. I will soon have need of a moderately large storage capacity for bottles of wine. Let's try the "search" "function", and see what comes up.

I put "wine rack" into the search box, as my "keyword". Four matches. FOUR. A wineGLASS rack, a shelf unit with drawers (??) and two small wine racks, one for four bottles, the other for nine. So two REAL hits, and two false-positives. But, having visited IKEA stores in the past, I know they have other wine rack designs. I also suspect that the 9-bottle rack may be available in a range of colours. The website provides none of this information. But lets not give up, let's keep looking.

I put just "wine" into the search box. 40 hits. Ah, this is looking a little more promising. Wait, 36 in Products. So, what are the other four? Three of them look like products bizarrely sorted into another category. We'll go explore those links in a second. The last hit is to a category named "Press". Great! I could read a nearly-content-free press release somehow mentioning wine. Fuck off.
Back to the products. Four of them look like wine racks. All of the rest are either wine glasses or other wine paraphenalia like bottle openers. One of the racks looks suspiciously like the shelf unit we saw earlier, but now appears next to another unit with a similar name (PERFEKT and PERFEKT DUVBO, respectively) that does seem to be an actual wine rack. This list also includes the 9-bottle unit (HUTTEN) and a wire rack named OMAR.

Let's have a look at those products-that-are-not-products. The "WINE RACKS" link for kitchens leads to two hits, the too-small racks we've already seen. WINE & BEER leads to a plethora of drinking paraphenalia, and those same two too-small racks. I'm getting tired of them. The last link isn't even suggestive; it leads to a drinking glass I would never use for wine.

OK, back to the big list. Of the four possibles, only two look remotely promising - OMAR and PERFEKT DUVBO. But the latter apparently costs $195. No thanks, let's go look at OMAR. $50 and holds 24 bottles. Close, but not what I'm looking for. Now, I know that IKEA sells modular wine racks for pretty cheap. More searching.

I click the little 9-bottle HUTTEN, and discover it's stackable, and costs $15 per unit. Not bad, but I've heard stories of better prices, perhaps a sale? No such luck, and local stores are out of stock. Great. Useless fucking thing.

The website includes a link to their catalogue, in an on-line-browsable format. This, as we shall soon see, is a sick joke.

Some semi-random clicking eventually brings up their catalogue. Joy. They've laid it out exactly like the physical hard-copy catalogue, a several-hundred-page document of glossy photos and unrealistically domestic humans. I put "wine" into the search box. Nothing appears to happen; then I notice the page number has changed - I'm still looking at the front cover, but now there are apparently only 77 pages to look through. Here we go... I click the obnoxious animated page dog-ear at the bottom corner. Some dude in an unlikely-ly clean kitchen. Yeah, you can blow me, asparagus-boy. No wine racks evident here, keep moving. ...loading... keep going ... loading ... keep going ... fuck this shit!

IKEA, your catalogue is very pretty, yes, but which fucking moronic CS reject decided to scan in every Watson-damned page onto the web? USELESS. GAH! I can't even bring myself to demonstrate the failure of this website to deliver other information I've been looking for, like prices and availability of BILLY bookcases that are NOT white and full-height. I'm done.


Anonymous said...

My former bed was from IKEA and cost $25; it was essentially a glorified shipping palette. I almost got it online but the shipping was absolutely horrendous, plus it was a bit difficult having only two locations in the state, both about and hour and a half from where I was. Even so, I can't really complain; the stuff I got from them has held up pretty well despite its makeup of wood shavings and glue.

TheBrummell said...

I don't have a problem with IKEA's products - I'm quite fond of my BILLY bookcases, for example.

But their website is horrid.

TheBrummell said...

I followed a link from King Aardvark and ended up at a fine French blog (written in English) that I had forgotten about - I'd seen Stew's blog long ago.

Anyway, to no one's surprise, the French know how to deal with wine (i.e. by drinking it!). I need a staircase like this one:

So, apparently, I need to be looking for a wine rack through a French furniture company, not a Swedish one.

Carlo said...

I concur, IKEA's website is worse than useless... it's confusingly misleading. Julie and I are IKEA stars but we only use the catalog and flyers (which you should sign up for... at the store). The website frequently doesn't have products that are available in store.

That being said, I've found the measurements in the flyers/catalogs to be wrong in some cases (It said 4' bookshelf, not 2' bookshelf in the FLYER!!!)

corner wine cabinet said...

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