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Klarna brings the in-store shopping experience home

Whether you need a second opinion on tech or trainers, foundation or furniture, Klarna’s new virtual shopping tool might have you covered.

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As the world attempts to settle into a so-called ‘new normal’ as we emerge from the pandemic, companies are adapting to fit our new needs. 

One company that has seen constant change recently in an attempt to keep up with these changing times is ‘buy now, pay later’ giant Klarna.

Earlier this week it announced a new flexible working policy, allowing employees to work in the office, remotely or even abroad for up to 20 days a year.

Now the fintech giant is hoping to shake up the way we shop, bringing the in-store experience into our homes.

“At Klarna, we want to provide the world’s best shopping experience – whether that is online or in-store,” Klarna chief marketing officer David Sandström said.

The Stockholm-based Klarna is hoping to do this with the launch of its new virtual shopping integration that will connect online shoppers with experts in physical stores through live video and messaging.

This should, in theory, provide a more personalised shopping experience.

Instead of mindlessly browsing and worrying that the dress you order won’t fit you or the sofa you buy will be uncomfortable, you’ll be able to easily message someone or hop on a call with someone in-store who will help you figure out what you’re looking for.

“We replicate the brick-and-mortar experience of receiving personalized advice from an in-store expert and bring it to the online realm,” he continued.

“This will empower our partnered retailers around the world to bring their online stores to life and build customer relationships that last.”

The new product builds off of last year’s acquisition of Hero, a social shopping platform that provides an all-in-one virtual platform for e-commerce and retail stores to interact with shoppers.

The company’s founder, and now Klarna’s head of social shopping, Adam Levene joined Klarna’s Sandström in a streamed broadcast online to share the news and a walk-through of the product.

“This is the first of many social shopping services that we’re going to announce over the next few years,” Sandström said in the video.

“We are trying to make shopping more interactive, personal, more human, and really offer the merchants a new way to engage with their consumers.”

The app is already live with more than 300 brands, including Levi’s and Hugo Boss, in 18 countries, including the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

According to the company, consumers are up to 21 times more likely to make a purchase after speaking to an in-store expert online versus shopping on their own and the service also increases customer lifetime value.

If the service really can combine the convenience of online with the confidence of seeing something in store, it looks to be a win-win for both consumers and retailers.

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