What made Ikea’s “Buy With Your Time Campaign a Hit in Dubai?

Apr 24, 2024

What made Ikea’s “Buy With Your Time Campaign a Hit in Dubai?

In the bustling metropolis of Dubai, where time is of the essence and every minute counts, Ikea, the Swedish furniture giant, sparked a retail revolution with its groundbreaking "Buy With Time" campaign. In a stroke of marketing genius, Ikea addressed a common complaint among Dubai residents - long commutes to its out-of-town stores - by cleverly converting travel time into a valuable currency.

Ikea’s Revolutionary Marketing campaign: 

The Concept:

Understanding the inconvenience of reaching their stores situated on the city outskirts, Ikea Dubai conceptualised a unique approach to alleviate this concern. By harnessing the concept of time as currency, Ikea aimed to provide customers with a novel way to offset the perceived cost of their purchases.

The Calculation:

To establish the conversion rate between time and money, Ikea likely conducted meticulous research into Dubai's average salary and commute times. Armed with this data, they crafted a pricing strategy that reflected both traditional currency and the equivalent value in travel time. Each item bore two price tags, offering customers the option to pay either in cash or in the time it took to journey to the store.


  1. For Customers: The campaign offered tangible benefits to customers with longer commutes, effectively reducing the perceived cost of their purchases. This innovative approach not only made Ikea's offerings more accessible but also incentivised more frequent visits from shoppers across the city.

  2. For Ikea: By embracing this unconventional marketing tactic, Ikea witnessed a surge in in-store traffic, heightened brand awareness, and a wave of positive media coverage. The campaign not only reinforced Ikea's commitment to customer satisfaction but also solidified its position as an industry innovator.

Campaign Execution:

The success of the "Buy With Time" campaign was underpinned by a meticulously orchestrated marketing blitz that captivated the attention of Dubai residents. Through targeted advertising and strategic promotions, Ikea effectively communicated the value proposition of its unique initiative, driving curiosity and engagement among consumers.

In the operational realm, Ikea's cashiers were equipped with specialised training to seamlessly facilitate transactions under the "Buy With Time" framework. With customers' consent, cashiers verified travel time using Google Maps data, ensuring a smooth and transparent exchange process.

Note: It's crucial to recognise that the "Buy With Time" campaign was a limited-time offering exclusive to Ikea Dubai. While it represented a novel departure from traditional retail practices, it was not intended as a complete replacement for conventional currency. Rather, it functioned as a compelling discount mechanism, enriching the shopping experience for Dubai residents during its duration.

Ikea redefining retailing: 

In rewriting the rules of retail engagement, Ikea's "Buy With Time" campaign stands as a testament to the power of innovation and consumer-centric thinking. By transforming a logistical challenge into a creative opportunity, Ikea not only enhanced the accessibility of its products but also fostered deeper connections with its audience. To delve deeper into their pioneering strategies, check out our blog on Ikea's other genius marketing strategies with, iDigitize the best digital marketing company. Discover how we decode the secrets of success in the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing. As the retail landscape continues to evolve, campaigns like these serve as a beacon of inspiration, driving the industry towards greater innovation and inclusivity.


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