Drop ‘til they shop: digital retail platforms woo creators in bid to build social commerce business

by | Apr 27, 2023 | News

The battle to secure poll position in social commerce intensified this week with BNPL (buy-now-pay-later) platform Klarna introducing new features ranging from AI-powered, personalised shopping feeds to creator shops. Klarna said the move would “cement the company as a global shopping destination for 150 million consumers and growth engine to its 500,000 retailers”. It also claimed that “new tools for retailers and creators will help them engage with their audiences in more effective ways.”

The Klarna app’s new discovery shopping feed, powered by Klarna’s in-house developed AI product recommendation engine, gives consumers a feed of highly personalised product recommendations to help them find and shop items most relevant to them. The feed updates in real time with a range of products and deals and becomes increasingly tailored, as it learns more about the user’s preferences.

This is complemented by Ask Klarna, a free personal shopper service that provides consumers with on-demand access to shopping experts, via chat or video call in the Klarna app and on Klarna.com. With this feature, the BNPL market leader said it will “set a new standard for online shopping, empowering consumers to make informed purchases with advice from trusted experts, all from the comfort of their sofa.”

Other innovations include a new resell feature, an ad management service and the afore-mentioned creator shops:With Creator Shops, Klarna gives its growing creator network the ability to launch their own storefronts on Klarna.com and the tools to power a consistent shopping experience,” said Klarna. “Using Klarna’s recently launched Creator Platform, creators can recommend products from thousands of brands, share “shoppable” video and photo content, and share their personal shop across their social channels. Further, by being able to include links to every item, creators can increase their ability to earn revenue from a single post on any social media platform, by enabling their followers to click through to their shop and buy.”

Commenting on the Klarna app’s new functionality, content creator Lydia Tomlinson said: “The Klarna Creator Platform has opened up a new world of opportunities when it comes to affiliate content. The transparency between what I link and what the brand can see has helped me establish new relationships with brands that I have loved and shopped at for years. With my new Creator Shop I have the perfect place to showcase everything I’m wearing, using and loving. Now my followers can easily find and shop my latest looks all in one place, saving them the hassle of wondering where to buy.” 

Social commerce is big in Asia but is yet to catch on in other regions. But there are signs that it is coming. Leading digital creator MrBeast, for example, recently opened a store on Shopify and has been generating substantial revenues as a result.

This week, to celebrate the relationship, Shopify and MrBeast held a competition on TikTok inviting people to send him a video describing a business idea they had as a child that they are building now. In line with Shopify’s involvement, the video needed to promote a business idea that can be sold and fulfilled via an ecommerce storefront.

First prize is a trip to North Carolina to meet MrBeast. The winner will also appear in a MrBeast TikTok video and get $10,000 to use towards the launch of their business. Ten second prize winners will be sent a Shopify ‘Business in a Backpack’ package.

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