Q&A with Jonas Hessler, Former Global E-commerce Manager IKEA

A blog by Jonas Hessler, Former Global e-commerce Manager at IKEA

On September 12th, Youwe welcomed a group of motivated, digital-minded professionals from companies across Sweden for a Digital Adventures Breakfast at Epicenter Stockholm. Meet one of our expert speakers Jonas Hessler, former Global E-commerce Manager of IKEA, who answered a couple of questions for us!

What did 'internationalization' mean for IKEA?

IKEA was quite early in developing a web presence in the late ’90s and eCommerce was offered in 13 markets (as the next step from home shopping via catalog). During the last 5-7 year, the Commerce business has been expanded to all 30 IKEA markets.

Does the digital transformation of a business change the way it operates in other countries?

Absolutely and in all dimensions. Retail is about a meeting with the customer where digital opens up new opportunities and touchpoints. Then, to deliver a consistent experience in all touchpoints, it requires new tools, processes, and organization. 

quote

Treat each market individually. Then know your strengths, know your market,
be clear about your differentiation and areas where your business performance
can be on par with the market.

Jonas Hessler, Former Global e-commerce Manager IKEA

Do you have good advice when it comes to working with multilingual, multicultural teams from all over the globe

Be open and curious about people, ask a lot of questions and confirm that people have understood the outcome. In my experience, all people want to do good and when it goes wrong it is more important to understand the reasons behind an action (or lack of action) rather than the action itself.

What are the key ingredients for a solid, online-focused strategy for international expansion?

Treat each market individually. Then know your strengths, know your market, be clear about your differentiation and areas where your business performance can be on par with the market.

Besides IKEA, which companies do you see as frontrunners of global excellence?

It is difficult to select specific companies since there are many global brands who are doing a very good job. I really appreciate the brands having strong ethics and a purpose beyond pure business. For me, excellence is about combining business with doing good for people, society and the planet.