I know IKEA has been planning a new e-commerce site for a long time, but do they have to have such a crippled site for current US visitors? I wanted to check some things in their catalog before possibly driving to the bay area store, but they only allow you to order a catalog by mail. That doesn’t really help when you’re impulse buying like I tend to do (and most other geeks I know).
I know it’s a lot of work to setup a catalog database along with customer data and payment systems, but why not offer just the contents of the catalog to US customers? Tell customers they can look at anything, but only buy in-person at a store, and later on, add the e-commerce components to let people order. Seems like it could only help sales, and get people used to their store and inventory.