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Why Klarna is making an omnichannel push ahead of the holidays

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) provider Klarna is moving further into retail with a new suite of tools to bridge the online and offline shopping experience, including:

  • An AI-powered shopping lens that allows shoppers to take a picture of items in their surroundings and instantly find out where to buy them in the Klarna app
  • An in-store scanning feature that uses an item’s barcode to provide more detailed product information like customer reviews, alternate colors or variations, and if it can be found for a cheaper price online
  • A shoppable video stream with AI-powered recommendations that lets users shop from everything, including unboxing videos, tutorials, or reviews

What this means for retailers: BNPL will play a major role in how consumers shop this holiday season as they seek out budget-friendly ways to pay both in-store and online.

  • 1 in 5 US consumers plan to use BNPL to purchase holiday gifts this year, per Adobe.
  • BNPL will account for $17 billion of online spending in November and December, a 16.9% spike YoY.

Klarna’s tools offer brands another way to boost discoverability and break through the holiday noise while also catering to their flexible payment needs.

What this means for Klarna: By leaning into tactics like AI-powered recommendations and shoppable video, Klarna hopes to secure a bigger share of holiday sales, which we estimate will hit $1.317 trillion in the US this year, per our June forecast.

But Klarna isn’t the only BNPL provider vying for a piece of the holiday pie.

  • Affirm’s partnership with Amazon will likely give it a holiday sales lift if July’s Prime Day is any indicator. During the event, BNPL transactions accounted for 6.4% of all orders, creating $461 million in revenues, most of which probably went to Affirm.
  • Afterpay has recently teamed up with Ikea to offer BNPL services in-store and online for all US shoppers, which may help drive revenues for both the BNPL provider and Ikea.


This was originally featured in the Retail Daily newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.