Klarna aiming for ‘retail revolution’ with new AI-powered online shopping tools

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Buy now, pay later firm Klarna is looking to take on the might of Google with the launch of new artificial intelligence (AI) powered tools to allow shoppers to take a picture or scan a barcode to shop and compare prices across millions of items.

The Swedish payments group is launching a shopping lens within its app that will allow shoppers able to take a picture of a product or style and search among 3.4 million UK specific items to compare prices, retailers and read reviews.

It is also launching a new search tool for shoppers in retail stores, allowing them to scan the barcodes of 3.4 million UK products for instant price comparisons, product information and reviews, with information also on whether there are other styles or colours available online.

The app’s built-in camera, scanning feature is being rolled out across the UK, US, Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Norway, and will also show similar items to match the style of the pictured product and offer inspiration.

It sees Klarna further tap into AI to expand its search and compare tools, increasingly adding to its core buy now, pay later offering.

The move sees Klarna take on the likes of Google lens in the shopping space, with the payment group’s boss saying he hopes to “lead a revolution in retail”.

Sebastian Siemiatkowski, chief executive and co-founder of Klarna, said: “Just like the internet gave everyone access to information, AI gives everyone access to intelligence, context and personalisation.

“At Klarna we’re using this to bridge the gap between the physical and digital world, connecting how humans get inspired with how computers search.”

The launches come as part of a raft of new services being unveiled by Klarna, also including the rollout of its shoppable videos service – which has been available in the US since last October – across the UK, Germany and Sweden, allowing Klarna’s app users to shop directly from videos from brands and its base of global creators.

And the group is launching a new in-app cashback program in the UK, offering buy now, pay later shoppers the chance to earn back up to 10% of their purchase amount, which can be applied as a discount on their next purchase via Klarna across a number of brands.

The rewards scheme is launching in the UK first, with more markets in the pipeline, the group said.

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