The news: Klarna launched Virtual Shopping, which connects online shoppers with in-store retail associates via live chat and video to get product advice and shopping inspiration, per a press release.
More on this: Virtual Shopping builds on technology from Hero, which Klarna acquired last July. The solution was already live with 300 brand partners but now extends to Klarna’s base of more than 400,000 global merchants. Customers can access Virtual Shopping on retail websites, and merchants can connect their employees to these customers via the Klarna Store app.
What this means: As ecommerce grows, Klarna is looking to improve the online shopping experience.
Klarna’s opportunity: Klarna can use Virtual Shopping as a merchant acquisition tool and volume driver.
Virtual Shopping can help merchants improve customer service and bolster their online sales. These advantages can set Klarna apart from competitors, giving it access to a wider pool of customers. The number of US BNPL users is expected to increase 31.4% year over year (YoY) in 2022, per Insider Intelligence forecasts. That can boost Klarna’s payments volume and revenue potential.
The bigger picture: Like its super app, Virtual Shopping reflects Klarna’s efforts to improve and sustain its BNPL business.
While BNPL will likely remain a mainstay for its business, Klarna is exploring other growth avenues: It launched bank accounts in Germany last year and more recently introduced Kosma, an open banking sub-brand and solution for fintechs, financial institutions, and merchants. These offerings extend Klarna’s reach and could help it contend with tighter competition and impending regulation in the BNPL space.