Klarnaa leading global bank in payment and purchasing financial services, today announced the launch of Virtual Shoppinga service that incorporates better in-store experience in the online shopping experience. Klarna Virtual Shopping enables consumers to browse and shop online safely by connecting them directly with expert store professionals via video calls and chats to receive product recommendations and help them through the buying process. For merchants, Virtual Shopping empowers store teams by taking their experience beyond the walls of the physical store and making it available to millions of online shoppers. By using the new Klarna Store Apporiented to the retail business, the professional store teams can share photos and videos of the items, as well as carry out live product demonstrations directly from the physical store, from home or even from the new emerging concept known as the dark store or “store dark”. All this leads to a greater generation of commitment and loyalty with the brand, while reducing the ratios of purchase returns. The launch follows the successful acquisition of hero last year, the leading social commerce platform in virtual shopping services.
While online purchases have reached new peaks in recent years, purchases in physical stores continue to remain the dominant channel with close to 80% of global retail sales in 2021. Thus, the Klarna’s Shopping Pulse Report* revealed that consumers prefer shopping in a physical store because of the social interaction it generates and the level of customer service it offers. Unlike shopping in a physical store, today’s online experience does not allow consumers to see the product up close, touch it or try it, thus making it difficult to guarantee that the color or size of the products correspond to the sought reality. Today, consumers seek the same level of care when shopping online, with around three-quarters (79%) of consumers believing that retailers should invest in technology, while more than a third of these believe that ensuring a more personalized service (35%) and product recommendations (40%) are also a priority for businesses.
the tools of Klarna’s Virtual Shopping are already active for 300 brands, among which are Levi’s, Hugo Boss and Herman Miller, thus transforming online stores into a real omnichannel experience. Consumers can buy anything from slippers to a sofa without ever setting foot in a physical store, but receiving guided advice from an expert from the store team who help them with their purchasing decisions. Through video chats and messages, consumers can see photos and videos of the products up close and to have product demonstrations directly from the physical store: from how a garment fits to the color of a cosmetic or the size of a piece of furniture.
Klarna is now making Virtual Shopping accessible to all the merchants it works with globally, providing them with the leading online shopping services for consumers and thus strengthening its position as a growing partner for the retail industry. The service improves the performance of businesses thanks to the confidence it generates in consumers when executing their purchase decision; since the purchase options of these consumers are multiplied by 21 after online advice from an expert in store compared to when they do not receive that advice, while increasing customer value.
David Sandström, Chief Marketing Officer of Klarna: “At Klarna we want to guarantee the best shopping experience both online and in store. In the past, online shopping has overlooked a fundamental element: human interaction. With Virtual Shopping, we replicate the physical experience of receiving personalized advice from a store expert and bring it to the online arena. This empowers our partners around the world as a retailer by bringing their online stores to life and building stronger relationships with consumers.”
How does Virtual Shopping work?
- For buyers: they connect with a store expert by clicking on the Virtual Shopping icon that is integrated into the online store website. Once connected, they can chat, receive photos and videos, have product recommendations and even video chat, thus recreating the experience they would have in a physical store.
- For businesses: Klarna-integrated merchants can easily add Virtual Shopping to their online stores to offer an omnichannel service experience. Once integrated, they can receive clear insights into conversations between customers and their sales teams, allowing them to track and improve their overall service. Store professionals can use the new Klarna Store App, available on iOS and Android, to connect with shoppers online. Once connected, they can talk to consumers via text, chat and video, easily facilitating personalized recommendations, even generating in-store appointments and maintaining ongoing customer contact.
Klarna’s Virtual Shopping services are now active in 18 markets, including the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, France, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Sweden.