October 17, 2023
Swedish fintech company Klarna, whose online payments platform claims to work with 500,000 merchants worldwide, is debuting an AI-powered shopping lens. As with in-app lens tools from Google and Amazon, the Klarna lens lets shoppers snap pictures of items or styles then use its app to find out where to buy using a “search and compare” filter. Klarna claims its camera feature can visually identify over 10 million items and match them with more than 50 million store offers. “Klarna uses AI to translate the image into a search term,” turning it into “a shoppable item,” the company explains.
“Klarna is looking to take on big U.S. tech giants with its own artificial intelligence-powered image recognition tool,” says CNBC, adding that the Klarna lens is “trained on data from PriceRunner, a price comparison service Klarna acquired for close to $1 billion.”
PriceRunner, CNBC reports, “competes with the likes of Amazon, Google’s shopping comparison service Google Shopping, and French-founded firm Kelkoo.”
Klarna, like most enterprise firms, seeks to leverage AI to become leaner and boost profitability. “Our unique operating model gives us the agility to take advantage of emerging opportunities that deliver superior consumer benefits, such as AI, faster than sprawling traditional banks and credit card companies,” Klarna CMO David Sandstrom told CNBC.
The company, which launched shoppable videos in the U.S. in October 2022, has now launched them in the UK, Germany and Sweden, targeting consumers using the app’s AI-powered recommendation engine. Klarna says in a press release that the personalized programmatic ads have increased U.S. viewership by 60 percent and click-through rates by 25 percent.
“With the launch of shoppable video, Klarna wanted to branch out beyond simply being a payments app to becoming a place where consumers discover items and influencers promote products,” TechCrunch writes, noting that in-store product scanning, express refunds, a cashback program and other features have also been added.
To make purchasing more convenient, “Klarna has also started to roll out a single sign-in solution that will allow for a smoother sign-in and checkout experience at participating retailers, which means users will no longer have to create and remember multiple usernames and passwords,” per TechCrunch.
Klarna claims to have more than 150 million global active users, generating 2 million transactions daily through merchants including H&M, Saks, Sephora, Macy’s, IKEA, Expedia Group, Nike and Airbnb.