Klarna Shopping

2019 – 2020

My Role

My journey at Klarna began in consumer banking, where I was initially joined for the launch of customer-facing banking products, including bank and savings accounts, mortgages, and money transfer services. After successful product tryouts, I have been asked to lead the design for the Shopping project.

The Shopping project allowed payments with Klarna beyond integrated merchant partners. I joined a 12-person cross-functional team as the sole designer, succeeding a colleague who had departed. Our collective effort culminated in a comprehensive product that significantly contributed to Klarna's US market entry and future market expansion strategy.

Klarna Payments

Klarna's suite of payment options extends beyond its well-known Buy Now Pay Later service. Customers can also use instant payment methods, including debit/credit cards and direct bank transfers, positioning Klarna as a direct competitor to solutions like PayPal.

Merchants have the flexibility to select specific Klarna payment methods for their checkout process, rather than implementing the entire suite, allowing for tailored financial solutions that suit their unique business needs.

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What is Shopping?

Klarna's suite of payment options extends beyond its well-known Buy Now Pay Later service. Customers can also use instant payment methods, including debit/credit cards and direct bank transfers, positioning Klarna as a direct competitor to solutions like PayPal.

Merchants have the flexibility to select specific Klarna payment methods for their checkout process, rather than implementing the entire suite, allowing for tailored financial solutions that suit their unique business needs.

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The Problem

Prior to user testing in the US, Shopping was not optimised for in-app payments. It focused on brand discovery on a single screen without clear guidance on the Klarna payment process.

The product's key experiences—brand discovery, wish list addition, and payment—were designed as separate entities rather than a seamless journey. This resulted in a payment experience that was treated superficially, with aspects of the transaction process remaining unclear.

US Expansion

Klarna's pivot from a blue to pink brand image marked a strategic shift from B2B to a consumer-first model. The focus on US merchant partnerships alone was insufficient for expansion.

Thus, the company decided to propel the Shopping feature into the US market spotlight, backed by a significant marketing campaign to introduce our first direct-to-consumer approach.

Solution

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In-app Browser

The business strategy of in-app browser was designed to enhance the retention by enabling shopping within the app, preventing the need to switch to external browsers.

This approach not only improved the experience but also opened up a new affiliate revenue stream for Klarna. Here is the initial version launched during our US expansion drive.

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Assistant

To align with the business strategy and overcome the in-app browser's limitations, we introduced Klarna Assistant — an automated feature that facilitates shopping without manual data entry, significantly accelerating the checkout process.

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Assistant Branding

A four-person branding team was assembled for the Klarna Assistant, comprising a product designer, a brand designer, a motion designer, and a copywriter.

Collaboratively, we crafted the assistant’s tone of voice, motion design language, and overall brand identity.

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Marketing

Campaign

Klarna has a world-class brand and marketing team. Before the US launch, the team identified the potential of the American drag queen culture as an explosive pop cultural movement where shopping holds a pivotal role and is celebrated rather than shunned.

Leveraging the insight, we targeted the community that consumes content from the movement. The result was a compelling, well-crafted product met with a creative campaign. We have reached people extensively praised both within and outside the drag community.

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Results

Wish List

Number of wish-listed items in the first month of launch

2 million items

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Shopping

Number of users who successfully purchased with a One-time card in the first month of launch

1 million users

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In-app Browser

Time at checkout from shopping bag to the point of purchase

~2 minute > ~18 seconds

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Klarna Strategy

After the Shopping project's US success, Klarna transitioned from Smoooth Payments to Smoooth Shopping. The new brand face and a surge of millions of new users attracted thousands of merchants eager to integrate Klarna's payment solutions.

The US market has since become Klarna's largest. The successful US expansion strategy now serves as a blueprint for entering new markets.

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Challenges

Alignment within Klarna

Navigating Klarna's transition towards direct-to-consumer offerings posed unique challenges due to the experimental nature of these products and the absence of a definitive business roadmap.

Despite strong intuition guiding the management's decisions, influencing C-level executives was crucial in the middle of the uncertainty, making this project exceptionally demanding compared to other projects at that time.

Engineering quality

Design details often fall by the wayside as launch dates approach, with functional issues taking precedence.

Recognizing this as a team ritual gap, I instituted weekly design quality reviews. Understanding each engineer's interests allowed me to delegate tasks effectively, leading to swift and precise resolutions.

Retrospective

Communicate more broadly

Early collaboration with partner teams is critical to grasp the broader ecosystem impact.

Initially, we got some pushback from payment and merchant teams due to concerns that Shopping is superseding their products. Enhanced communication could have mitigated these perceptions.

After

Klarna Card

Following the impactful launches, I was entrusted with leading the design of Klarna's consumer-facing card products, considered a natural evolution of the Shopping initiative.

As the original designer, I established a scalable design framework, collaborated on product strategy, and expanded the team.

Today, Klarna Card is a flagship consumer product, embraced by tens of millions monthly.

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