Klarna Virtual Shopping launch aims to recreate in-store experience online
BNPL specialist Klarna has rolled out Virtual Shopping, “connecting online shoppers directly with experts in physical stores, through live video and messaging, to provide a highly personalised experience that helps consumers shop online with confidence”.
It’s a big development and the company said that by putting human interaction at the centre of the online shopping journey, “Virtual Shopping empowers retailers to create immersive experiences that are proven to increase customer engagement, reduce returns and drive loyalty”.
It’s previously gone live with over 300 brands, including Levi’s and Hugo Boss, but has now been expanded globally to 400,000+ retailers.
It’s yet another innovation helping to link up the online and in-store experience and make the one more like the other.
For retailers, the tech should be able to empower in-store teams to reach out from physical stores to millions of shoppers online. Using the new merchant-facing Klarna Store App, they can share photos and videos of items and “demo products live directly from the store floor, from home or even from emerging dark store concepts”.
That’s important because, despite the rise of e-tail, in-store shopping remains the dominant channel and accounted for almost 80% of global retail sales last year.
Shoppers favour physical shopping due to the social interaction and level of customer service they get, so the more the online experience can replicate that ‘in-real-life’ experience, the better.
Klarna said consumers are looking for the same level of assistance when shopping online as they get in-store, with 80% believing that retailers need to invest in new technology. And many of them think that offering more personalised services (32%) and product recommendations (39%) has to be a priority for retailers.
And if retailers provide what consumers want, they’re more likely to buy. Klarna said that shoppers are up to 21 times more likely to make a purchase after speaking with an in-store expert online compared to when left unassisted.
To access the expertise, consumers need to click the Virtual Shopping icon on integrated stores from the retailer’s website. Once connected, they can chat, receive photos and videos, follow product recommendations, and even have a two-way video chat.
The offering is live now in 18 markets, including the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, France, Poland, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Sweden. It will extend to additional markets later in 2022.
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