Klarna has taken over social media in a frenzy, sponsoring posts from drag royalty and influencers, promoting the lifestyle to ‘Shop like a Queen’. But what is Klarna, and how has it taken over the world?
Klarna is the latest Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) app to sweep through the world. Originating in Sweden, the BNPL platform allows users to purchase goods and schedule repayments in timeslots. Klarna is also available in the UK, Denmark, Norway, Belgium and many other European countries.
Klarna was established in 2005 and gave Swedish consumers the opportunity to shop and pay over a period of time. As one of ‘Sweden’s five unicorns’, it has an annual revenue of AUD $508 million and is active in 14 countries. Klarna offers direct payments, pay after delivery options and instalment plans in a ‘smoooth‘ one-click purchase experience that lets consumers pay when and how they prefer to.
Its first American campaign ran using the most famous and sought-after drag queens from the hit reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race, including Violet Chachki, Asia O’Hara, Naomi Smalls, Kim Chi and Aquaria. With the tagline ‘Shop like a Queen’, the BNPL platform hit millions of users worldwide.
“Creating experiential engagement around the launch of the App is our goal,” explained David Sandstrom, CMO at Klarna. “For one month, the queens will use the Klarna App to shop and create fierce custom looks and demonstrate the consumer benefits first-hand – especially considering the wide range of elements needed. These are some of the most inspiring shoppers with such a strong point of view, all consumers should be able to achieve their own self-expression in an inspiring, accessible way and we simply aim to make that experience a joy. The visual world of the queen community resonates with the Klarna brand, as well as their hugely loyal and engaged following align perfectly with our approach.”
The ‘Shop like a Queen’ campaign has been running on social media for more than a month, following the bi-annual RuPaul’s Drag Con, which takes place in New York City and Los Angeles. “When it comes to creating a drag look, it’s like solving a puzzle,” explained Kim Chi. “There are so many pieces from so many different stores – wigs, shoes, and duct tape – it’s a lot of time and work to go from one place to the next. Klarna lets me get all the pieces I need from one place with the App and from any store, so then I can put it together and help me complete my fabulous puzzle!”
In the UK alone, more than five million customers use the app, with access to the BNPL platform with more than 4,000 retailers. “25,000 new customers a week are choosing to Pay later with Klarna, as they appreciate the financial flexibility and control it gives,” said Luke Griffiths, General Manager for Klarna UK. Some of the brands that are associated with Klarna include IKEA, Missguided, ASOS and Samsung, among others. Klarna opened a pop-up shop in London in early June, with a selection of the participating retailers’ products available for purchase in-store. “It has to be super easy. Using Klarna should be easier than using your card,” said Klarna CEO, Sebastian Siematowski.
Australians are quite used to the BNPL platform, with a handful of companies such as AfterPay, Zip, OpenPay and Humm being used on a daily basis by millions of Aussie consumers.