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Omnichannel Bricks and Mortar Retail Martech

Klarna reports disconnect between what shoppers want and what retailers believe they want


By John Glenday, Reporter

October 11, 2021 | 4 min read

Swedish fintech firm Klarna has published a detailed report outlining a growing disconnect between what shoppers desire from omnichannel shopping experiences and what retailers believe they want.


The expectations of shoppers and retailers don’t always match, according to the report

Retailers misunderstand shoppers

  • The report, named ‘Owning omnichannel: winning at clicks and bricks,’ found that 75% of retailers believe their multichannel sales capabilities are up to the task – a sentiment entirely at odds with half of Klarna users, who complain of a lack of consistency between websites and stores.

  • The results serve as a wake-up call to over-complacent retailers amid findings that a single negative experience would deter 60% of shoppers from shopping with a brand again.

  • Of particular importance for the beleaguered physical retail sector are findings that a slim majority of Klarna users (51%) prefer to shop in-person to see and touch potential purchases, highlighting the folly of closing down in-store options entirely.

Omnichannel rush

  • The disparity is particularly concerning as 73% of retailers seek to increase their omnichannel strategies, upping spend by an average of 8.16%, despite fundamental misunderstandings that run the risks of misplaced investment.

  • With 89% of Klarna shoppers employing multiple channels to search and spend, it is clear that the trend is here to stay to meet consumer needs, with 88% of Klarna shoppers (v 45% of retailers) valuing the tactile qualities of the in-person purchase process.

Retailer misconceptions

  • Further misalignment is shown by the fact that 49% of shoppers state a preference for ‘showrooming’ (where they view a product before a later online purchase) v just 32% of retailers who value this approach.

  • Retailers also overstate the importance of sales assistants, with a scant 26% of shoppers welcoming their assistance as set against a belief among 36% of retailers that they add to the experience.

  • Ease of shopping where functions such as autofill reduce online sales friction is welcomed by 84% of Klarna shoppers, but valued by just 33% of retailers. Meanwhile, 45% of retailers champion one-click payments, while just 65% of Klarna shoppers cite this as the most important quality of online shopping.

In their own words

  • Alex Naughton, head of Klarna UK & Ireland, said: “... it’s promising to see that retailers recognize the importance of having a great omnichannel retail experience. But, if they’re to see a return on their omnichannel investment, they need to ensure they avoid any disconnect and fully understand shopper priorities. It’s clear in-store shopping is still incredibly important for consumers, so retailers should look at how they can make their stores a more experiential, cultural space that inspires shoppers.”

  • Howard Saunders, Retail Futurist, commented: “Lockdown reminded us exactly how much we need our local high streets, not just for access to ‘stuff’ but as a means of feeling directly connected to our communities. Retailers learned that they must embrace the ‘omnichannel’ world to give their ever-more-demanding customers a broader brand landscape alongside real-world, old fashioned hospitality. Humans are a social species and no economy-stopping pandemic will change that in a hurry.”

Not all is lost

  • The report isn’t all bad news with retailers on the right track in certain areas, with 49% offering the ability to check stock levels remotely – valued by 76% of shoppers – and a further 38% on track to introduce in-store stock inventories via website and app.

  • Of specific interest to Klarna, 74% of shoppers value flexible payment options, currently offered by just 50% of retailers, although a further 34% plan to introduce this within a year.

Omnichannel Bricks and Mortar Retail Martech

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