NEW YORK and LONDON, Nov. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- 2019 to date has proven to be a record growth year for Klarna, and this is before the much anticipated shopping holidays. Each day thousands of new consumers are choosing Klarna, with especially strong preference building in the US and the UK markets. The unique online and offline customer-centric offering, providing a healthier, simpler and smarter alternative to credit cards, and with multiple services to smoothen the end to end shopping experience, confirms Klarna as the preferred 'buy now, pay later' provider.
Klarna has seen a surge in merchant demand for its services across verticals and is now powering over 190,000 merchants globally. In 2019 to date, Klarna has added over 60,000 new merchants and each day is helping them increase consumer acquisition, average order value, conversion and retention. The number of new merchants increased by 140% globally in 2019, compared to the full year of 2018 with strong growth in newer verticals including travel, home and beauty.
The business impact is clear, with merchants who are offering the four interest-free instalments in the US reporting a 68% increase in average order value, a 44% increase in conversion compared to cards and 21% higher purchase frequency. Global brands across verticals that are now live with Klarna include H&M, River Island, Boohoo, Made.com, Abercrombie & Fitch, Timberland, Swarovski, S by Serena Williams, ACNE studios, Lulus, Romwe, Michael Kors, Wayfair, Expedia Group, Shein and joining the likes of ASOS, IKEA, Peloton, Ticketmaster, Adidas, Nike, Sephora, Missguided, Beauty Bay, Samsung, Gymshark, Bose and Superdry.
Klarna's growing consumer base is increasingly creating value for its merchants. By the end of October, more than 16 million new consumers were welcomed. Most importantly, they are showing strong engagement as preference grows and some markets seeing an average of over 70% of consumers make multiple repeat transactions over a 12 months period. In the US, the number of new consumers is currently growing at an annual rate of 6 million. In the UK, 6 million consumers are using Klarna's services, and currently over 55,000 new consumers are being added weekly. The company is driving millions of referrals and traffic each month from owned channels to its merchants, as consumers are actively seeking out retailers where they can shop with Klarna.
Klarna's new direct to consumer shopping app, which allows users to shop with Klarna at any store or brand online, has been received extremely positively in the US. The number of monthly US active users has grown significantly, increasing by almost 160% from July until the end of September, and with approximately 70% of consumers making repeat purchases using Klarna's in-app shopping feature. The direct to consumer offering alone is growing at a current annualised rate of almost 4.5 million transactions since launch in May in the US, and in October the Klarna app became the number 1 trending shopping app on the US Google Play Store. The Klarna app is by far the most downloaded app compared to direct competitors in the US, exceeding other apps by more than 100,000 monthly downloads.
The Klarna app continues to evolve to give consumers transparency, control and intuitive management of their purchases. This includes price drop notifications, friendly reminder push notifications, delivery tracking, financial overview and insights, and the ability to easily create and share favourite items collection. Together these have proven that the Klarna app is a key differentiator for consumers' changing needs. Globally the number of app users continues to increase at a rapid pace, and in October 25,000 downloads were taking place every day.
The Klarna everywhere proposition continues to develop with strong momentum. There are now 10,000 stores live with Klarna's in-store solutions, including H&M, Samsung, Schuh, Halfords, Dish, Peloton, Saatva, OnePlus, iSmash, Thai Airways, Gina Tricot and XXL and global in-store volumes have increased by over 90% since the beginning of the year.
As a way to further support its SME merchant base and help them fulfill their potential, Klarna is also today announcing the launch of its merchant lending product in the UK. The new offer will provide small and medium sized merchants with the opportunity to apply for affordable business financing through a quick, frictionless and transparent process and simplifies what has traditionally been a time consuming and complicated process for business owners. Klarna's merchant lending product has since last year been available in seven other European markets, helping businesses boost their growth by 15% compared to those who didn't make use of it, and has a repeat usage rate of over 60%, proving that merchants really appreciate a transparent and simple business financing solution.
"Retail is undergoing a radical shift driven by consumers who are expecting more transparency, flexibility as well as intuitive services centred around their needs when shopping. Klarna now has over 190,000 merchant partners globally who are understanding that in order to be competitive and build loyalty, they need to think of the end to end shopping experience for the consumer rather than just a transaction. Klarna's trajectory is a result of a relentless focus that the future of retail consists of a high touch experience which will not only drive engagement and reach, but also build customer preference," says Sebastian Siemiatkowski, founder and CEO at Klarna.
Klarna's brand continues to grow in stature and awareness has been significantly boosted by a series of campaigns, which is fuelling consumer and merchant demand. In a little under one year, Klarna created over 1 billion total impressions, powered by partnerships with Snoop Dogg and comedian Celeste Barber, as well as campaigns celebrating Klarna's personalised shopping experience, including "Shop Like a Queen" and the football fan focused "VAR" campaign. The "Shop like a Queen" campaign alone generated more than half a million downloads in the US within two months.