Klarna moves into social commerce space

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology

A global retail bank, payments and shopping service is acquiring a social shopping technology provider.

Klarna is purchasing Hero, a social shopping platform designed to provide consumers with inspiration, advice and immediately shoppable content produced directly from retailers' physical stores. The company will introduce Hero to its 250,000 retail partners, allowing their in-store teams to become content creators and offer reviews, real-time advice and content around products to bring in-store shopping features to the online experience. 

Available from a retailer’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 a button. The platform is designed to make 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. 

Recently, Klarna also acquired Shoptail, an online comparison shopping service, 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. 

Based in London and New York, Hero was founded in 2015, and its client roster includes global brands such as Levi, Rag & Bone, Chloé, and Harvey Nichols. In addition, Hero shares a number of retail partners with Klarna's existing network, such as Nike and JD Sports. All 100-plus Hero employees will join Klarna. 

"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,” said Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna. “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.”

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