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BNPL Provider Klarna Expands Further into Social Commerce with Two Acquisitions

Klarna social commerce acquisitions
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Klarna is continuing to build out its solution suite with two new acquisitions, moving beyond the buy now, pay later space with the goal of becoming a “retail bank, payments and shopping service,” according to the company.

Klarna announced the acquisition of social shopping platform HERO in early July 2021, followed just two weeks later by news of the acquisition of shoppable content solution APPRL.

HERO provides online shoppers with inspiration, advice and immediately shoppable content produced directly from retailers’ physical stores, by allowing shoppers to connect to in-store associates via messaging, video chat and social-style content. The HERO client roster includes global brands such as Levi’s, rag & bone, Chloé and Harvey Nichols, and its products have been made immediately available to Klarna’s 250,000 retail partners.

“With HERO, Klarna can support retailers in empowering their in-store colleagues to serve a global audience, enhancing ecommerce with the benefits of physical retail,” said David Sandström, Chief Marketing Officer at Klarna in a statement. “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.”

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APPRL is a SaaS platform that allows content creators and retailers to work together with less friction to bring immersive and informative shoppable content to global consumers. The APPRL acquisition expands Klarna’s roster of marketing services by allowing retailers to connect directly to relevant content creators in order to create social shopping content and track campaign results through Klarna. 

“As social shopping becomes a core element of the retail experience, we believe Klarna’s position at the center of the shopping ecosystem is instrumental in connecting retailers to both consumers and content creators who resonate with their brand audiences,” said Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna in a statement.

Social commerce is expected to account for $84 billion in U.S. retail sales by 2024, with 40% of U.S. millennial and Gen Z consumers already using social to shop. Social shopping is growing across all demographics, and by 2022, 28% of the entire U.S. population is expected to shop across social channels, according to eMarketer.

These recent acquisitions serve Klarna’s broader goal: helping consumers make informed decisions about products they purchase online. Other recently launched services include a comparison shopping service that debuted in June 2021 and an AI-driven styling engine and content creation platform.

HERO and APPRL aren’t Klarna’s first forays into social commerce. In March 2021, Klarna acquired Toplooks to enable a wide variety of shoppable content in native formats on retailers’ own digital properties, through the Klarna ecosystem and across social channels. That same month the solution provider also teamed up with Cosmopolitan magazine to host a livestreaming shopping holiday targeting  Gen Z and millennials that featured sales from brands including Macy’s, HAUS LABORATORIES, Rebecca Minkoff, Saks OFF 5th, Express, Bluemercury and Foot Locker

To learn more about Klarna and the company’s ambitions to become an end-to-end B2C experience provider, tune in to this episode of the “Retail Remix” podcast featuring David Sykes, Head of Klarna U.S.

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