Klarna, a leading global retail bank, payments and shopping service, announced the acquisition of HERO, a social shopping platform designed to provide consumers with inspiration, advice and immediately shoppable content produced directly from retailers’ physical stores.
„Klarna will introduce HERO to its 250,000 retail partners, allowing their in-store teams to become content creators instantly, offering reviews, real-time advice and richer, more engaging and informative content around products to bring the best of in-store shopping to the online experience for consumers,” according to the press release.
HERO, based in London and New York, was founded in 2015 to create a more personal and convenient way to shop that reflects how consumers interact today, bringing the concept of in-person customer service to e-commerce.
Consumers are embracing social commerce, with US retail sales expected to reach $84 billion by 20241, 15% of total estimated US e-commerce volumes2. Social shopping is most popular with Millennials, but is gaining popularity across demographics, with an estimated 28% of the US population expected to be social shoppers by 20223.
Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna commented: “Immersive shopping experiences are now expected by consumers when shopping online and forward-thinking brands want to provide consumers with a rich, interactive way to shop for their products. With HERO we share an ambition to elevate the shopping experience through the convergence of online and in-store shopping experiences, supporting retailers to inform and engage consumers in new ways. We see a huge opportunity to leverage HERO’s existing platform and expertise to allow in-store retail professionals to become global brand ambassadors. This will unlock growth for retailers by creating a new hybrid shopping experience that enables consumers to make informed purchasing decisions as part of an engaging and personalised shopping journey.”
David Sandström, Chief Marketing Officer at Klarna said: “With HERO, Klarna can support retailers in empowering their in-store colleagues to serve a global audience, enhancing e-commerce with the benefits of physical retail. Longer term, we see opportunities for Klarna’s 90 million global consumers to share their shopping expertise as part of a social shopping ecosystem that defies physical and online boundaries, aligned to Klarna’s mission to ensure people can shop, bank and pay in ways that suit them and their lives today.”
Adam Levene, Founder at HERO said: “By joining forces we are able to bring our technology to even more merchants and consumers across the world, making online shopping more social, interactive and ultimately more human.”
Available from the merchant’s website, HERO connects online shoppers with in-store product experts to provide inspiration and advice via messaging, video chat and social-style content at the click of the button. HERO makes online shopping an interactive experience with all the benefits of in-store service, while allowing consumers to shop from wherever, and however, they wish. Hero’s existing products will be immediately available to Klarna’s retail partners.
Klarna is a global growth partner for its retailers, constantly expanding the suite of tools available to allow retailers to engage with consumers in new ways. Most recently Klarna acquired Shoptail, a comparison shopping service that ensures retailers can effectively compete in the online ad space by giving consumers access to the best search-based deals, and Toplooks, an AI-powered styling engine that allows retailers to create shoppable content by suggesting complementary items to consumers across their web and social channels.
1 Business Insider; TechNavio; 2019
2 Statista Digital Market Outlook
3 eMarketer; 2018 to 2019
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