Klarna campaign targets impulse buyers to prevent debt build-up

Jul 13, 2020
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Klarna, one of the leading providers of ‘buy now, pay later’ services, has launched a new initiative to encourage consumers to ‘“think thrice” before making a purchase.


The online payments firm said its KlarnaSense campaign uses retail psychology to promote more mindful shopping, challenging consumers to ask themselves three simple questions before they head to the checkout: Do I love it? Will I use it? And is it worth it?

The online payments firm is very popular in the UK, with over 8.6 million customers using its interest-free ‘buy now, pay later’ services to buy products from the largest fashion brands.

But there has been widespread criticism that these payment schemes could be encouraging impulsive spending and pushing young shoppers into debt.

Luke Griffiths, UK general manager for Klarna, said: “Now, more than ever, people need convenience and flexibility in how they shop, whether that’s spreading the cost of an item or giving them the option to try before they buy.

“Nevertheless, we recognise that it's sometimes easy to get over-excited and carried away with impulse purchases and that Klarna also has an important role to play in helping our customers to purchase the right things, at the right time. That’s what KlarnaSense is all about.”

Klarna’s Rule of Three has been developed with retail psychologist Kate Nightingale to ensure that consumers use the part of their brain that controls whether they make a considered decision, rather than an impulsive one.

She explained: “When shopping, it’s easy to make automatic decisions. You see something you feel you need, perhaps more like desire, and the specially designed website or store does the rest. Before you know it, you are clicking ‘pay now’.

“But there is a way to find some balance - to switch on your consciousness without overloading it with information - and that’s by applying the rule of three before heading to the checkout.”

According to a survey conducted earlier this month, 67% of shoppers use Klarna because it helps them to manage their money and spread the cost of more expensive purchases. Additionally, almost half cited being able to ‘try before you buy’, a feature that has become more meaningful following the Covid-19 outbreak.

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