Klarna grows personalized shopping, with AI and experts
A redesigned Klarna app now has tools to manage ads, build creator storefronts and resell items.
A redesigned Klarna app now has tools to manage ads, build creator storefronts and resell items.
Klarna is launching a series of shopping-focused app upgrades that are designed to boost discovery with AI, provide personalized assistance and create new ways for retailers and creators to connect with users.
The improvements show Klarna tapping into rising currents in commerce, such as personalization, retail media, resale and creator commerce. Taken together, the rollout doubles as a look at where online shopping experiences are heading.
The expansion comes as Klarna is seeking to boost its standing as a shopping destination. It is well-known for payment services such as Buy Now Pay Later, but is seeking to grow tools that help consumers to find, browse and buy items. There’s a big base from which to build: Klarna’s app attracts 150 million consumers, and includes 500,000 retailers.
“Over the last 18 years, we’ve transformed into a global shopping destination with smart tools for consumers around the world,” said Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski. “The new tools we’re launching today will create richer, more enjoyable experiences for everyone along the shopping journey and create tremendous opportunities for retailers to grow their business.”
The launch, known as Spotlight Spring, follows a group of Klarna shopping updates that rolled out in the fall to introduce tools for search, shoppable video and a creator platform.
Here’s a look at the latest shopping features debuting from Klarna:
Klarna is putting its in-house AI-powered recommendation engine to work for shoppers.
A new feed on the app will provide personalized recommendations on products, as well as deals. The feed updates in real time, and is designed to become increasingly tailored as it learns more about the user’s preferences.
“Our new AI-powered discovery shopping feed is the next evolution of the Klarna app becoming the starting point for every purchase,” Siemiatkowski said. “This builds on a ton of initiatives we’re working on in the AI space, to provide a greater level of personalization to consumers that was once thought impossible.”
This builds on the fall launch of a search and compare tool that helped to curate the best prices and most efficient delivery options by comparing offerings across thousands of websites. Now, Klarna’s tools will provide recommendations that include product features specific to the user, right in a feed on the app.
Not all of the personalized shopping features in Klarna’s app will be tech-based. The new group of features also includes a personal shopping assistant that provides access to human experts through chat or video call.
Starting with the luxury sector, it’s designed to help shoppers find the right products across brands and retailers.
The capability to ask an associate a question is built-in to in-person shopping. Klarna said its recent research showed that 85% of US consumers would like a service where they can speak with experts to be able to access more information about a product while shopping online, as well. This new service is a direct answer to that feedback.
With this launch, Klarna has also redesigned its app into five distinct sections: Shop, Purchases, In-Store, Budget and You. This is designed to combine and streamline features for shopping and personal financial information, as well as delivery times, returns info and receipts.
Klarna Ads Manager. (Courtesy photo)
Along with tools for shoppers, Klarna is also rolling out features for retailers. The app is adding a self-service ad platform for retailers to an existing suite of ad offerings. Ads Manager is a new offering for retailers seeking to leverage the first-party data on Klarna’s platform to reach its high-intent audience of shoppers. Klarna said it offers brands more efficiency in areas including ad creation, audience targeting, and in-platform reporting for campaign optimization.
The Ads Manager reflects Klarna’s growing ambition to expand its foothold in retail media, which has grown rapidly as brands and retailers see increasing efficiency in advertising that appears on the platforms where consumers shop. Klarna said marketing revenue was up 131% in 2022, and additional tools designed for advertisers will help it double down on the opportunity to grow.
Creator Shops on Klarna. (Courtesy image)
Following the fall launch of a platform that provides a place for creators to connect with retailers, recommend products and share content, Klarna will now feature tools that allow creators to launch their own storefronts on its website.
This is designed to provide a space for shoppers to easily find and browse product recommendations from a creator. Along with the forthcoming ability to share content through the Klarna app, creators can also include links to every item from any social platform, offering the ability to boost revenue.
"The Klarna Creator Platform has opened up a new world of opportunities when it comes to affiliate content," said content creator Lydia Tomlinson, in a statement. "The transparency between what I link and what the brand can see has helped me establish new relationships with brands that I have loved and shopped at for years."
Creator Shops are not yet available in the U.S., but will roll out "soon" as part of a phased launch.
As consumers seek eco-friendly options, the market is moving toward resale. Over one-third of consumers are more likely to sell an item secondhand when compared to a year ago, Klarna said. Now, the app is seeking to provide a way to ease the process of getting a resale listing started.
The app will now include a “resell” button that enables users to start a listing on a secondhand marketplace beyond Klarna that contains an item previously purchased from Klarna. Then, the system pre-fills product details and images for the listing,.
The feature is now available in Sweden with the resale platform Tradera, and is set to go live with other partners around the world “soon,” said Klarna.
Dealboard has funding and M&A updates from ecommerce aggregators and forecasting software.
This week, the aggregator space is active with M&A, IKEA is ready to roll out newly-purchased warehouse management software and Authentic Brands Group acquired a boot icon. Plus, there’s new investment to report for YouTube influencer Emma Chamberlain’s coffee brand and retail forecasting.
Here’s a look at the latest deals:
Chamberlain Coffee, the consumer brand founded by YouTube influencer Emma Chamberlain, raised $7 million in new funding.
The financing included backing from existing investors including Blazar Capital, Chamberlain and United Talent Agency. New investors include Volition Capital, Electric Feel Ventures, L.A. Libations and Noah Bremen, founder of PLTFRM.
The new funding follows the launch of a Ready-to-Drink (RTD) product and coffee pods. Previously, the brand raised a Series A in August 2022.
"Creating a uniquely inviting coffee brand has been my dream for so long now, and having key investors back us allows us to build Chamberlain Coffee in ways that feel fresh and exciting,” said Chamberlain, in a statement. “There are so many products I am eager to develop and projects I'm excited to get working on. With such an incredible team and group of investors I am more excited than ever to see what the future holds for Chamberlain Coffee."
Impact Analytics, a software company for retail supply chain and merchandise planning, raised new funding from Vistara Growth.
The new investment, the amount of which was not disclosed, comes after Impact raised funding in February 2021 and October 2022 from Argentum.
The funding will help Impact Analytics further develop its Impact Analytics SmartSuite product portfolio, which is designed to help optimize forecasting, merchandising and end-to-end lifecycle pricing. Rather than the traditional forecasting approach of basing decisions on the preceding year, Impact Analytics applies a model that includes 150 variables from internal and external sources, while combining recency and history. Clients include BJ's Wholesale Club, Dick's Sporting Goods, Puma and Tapestry.
Selva Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on consumer brands that promote healthier living, closed its second fund at $34 million, TechCrunch reported.
With the new funding, Selva will invest in brands across categories including health, wellness, beauty and personal care. The fund expects to write checks of $1-2 million in seed and Series A startups, while assisting in areas like finance, operations and retail partnerships.
Backers of the second fund include Unilever Ventures, PagsGroup and Obelysk.
Nautica and Forever 21 owner Authentic Brands Group acquired the intellectual property of Hunter, a 160-year-old British outdoor lifestyle brand known for its Wellington boots.
With the deal, ABG appointed longtime partners Batra Group and Marc Fisher to execute retail and ecommerce operations, as well as continue to expand the brand in the UK and U.S., respectively.
“At the intersection of fashion and outdoor, Hunter introduces another elevated global brand to Authentic’s diverse Lifestyle portfolio,” said Authentic CEO Jamie Salter, in a statement.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The investment arm of IKEA parent Ingka Group acquired the warehouse management software platform Made4Net.
As a result of the deal, Made4Net’s software will be deployed across IKEA’s 482 stores and fulfillment centers. Made4Net will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary of Ingka, with a headquarters in New Jersey. CEO Duff Davidson will remain at the helm of the company.
“Our business currently requires a better fulfillment operations system with more accurate data that better supports handling for our customers,” said Tolga Öncu, head of retail at Ingka Group, in a statement. “Our goal is to become leaders of life at home, serving more people in an omnichannel reality, whenever and however customers choose to meet us.”
European ecommerce aggregator SellerX acquired Elevate Brands, a U.S.-based aggregator.
The combined companies will be known as SellerX Group. It will comprise a portfolio that includes 80 Amazon-native private label consumer brands in categories including sports and outdoors, home, mobile accessories, pets and consumables. The portfolio will span over 40,000 products.
With the deal, SellerX Co-CEOs Philipp Triebel and Malte Horeyseck will lead SellerX Group, while Elevate Brands cofounders Ryan Gnesin, Jeremy Bell and Robert Bell will remain in key leadership positions.
“This acquisition combines our know-how and diversified portfolios of strong brands with a market-leading technology platform and strong operational infrastructure,” said Triebel, in a statement. “By leveraging our combined strengths, I am convinced we are well-positioned to drive further consolidation in the industry.”
Ecommerce aggregator Society Brands acquired Wolf Tactical, a tactical gear company.
Founded in 2017 by Tim Wu, Wolf Tactical makes products including DC belts, range belts to weighted vest and tactical backpacks.
"I started Wolf Tactical by myself as a side hustle with very limited knowledge of business and entrepreneurship. A combination of hard work and relentless learning allowed me to build it into a multi-million-dollar business," said Wu who will remain as brand president, in a statement. "With the help of Society Brands, I have access to untapped potential that I would not be able to achieve by myself.”