Jan 19, 2022

84% of US luxury shoppers would find it helpful to pay for high-end items over time without interest or extra cost

New Klarna report discovers that 78% of shoppers see a luxury brand’s commitment to innovation as critical, with the majority seeking out mobile apps (61%) and flexible payment options (57%)

New York, NY – January 19, 2022 – Eighty-four percent of luxury shoppers say they would find it helpful to pay for high-end items over time, without interest or extra cost. This is according to the latest report from Klarna, a leading global retail bank, payments and shopping service, which today released its The State of Smooth: Unpacking Luxury in 2022 Report exploring US consumers’ shopping and payments preferences within the luxury category. 

Based on findings of a recent survey of over 1,000 US shoppers, as well as Klarna’s proprietary shopping and app data, the report also found that 78% of shoppers consider a luxury brands’ commitment to innovation as an important factor driving purchasing decisions. Three out of five high-end shoppers (61%) want to use mobile apps, while over half (57%) are also looking for flexible payment options at checkout.

“A new generation of younger, digitally-savvy luxury shoppers is emerging, with new preferences towards how they shop and pay,” said David Sykes, Head of North America, Klarna. “While the allure of brand names (52%) and exclusivity (39%) still drive luxury purchases, today’s high-end shoppers are looking for greater flexibility and innovation throughout their shopping experiences. 

For retailers, this means investing in technologies to create an elevated, higher-touch omnichannel shopping experience, both online and in-store – from interest-free alternative  payment solutions at checkout, to the integration of virtual shopping and buy online, pick up in store services.”

REPORT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Luxury is getting younger. There’s a new group of luxury shoppers—Gen Z and Millennials—who are even more likely to purchase luxury items than their elders. Gen Z (60%) and Millennials (63%) are purchasing luxury items at a much higher rate over the last 12 months than their elders: Gen X (46%) and Baby Boomers (18%).
  • Innovation and new technologies – from shopping in the Metaverse to engaging with AR/VR experiences – are critical. 70% of consumers who have heard about the Metaverse would be interested in shopping for luxury products there—particularly Millennials (76%), Gen Z (69%) and Gen X (67%). Luxury shoppers are also keen to engage with new technologies such as virtual dressing rooms (22%) and AR/VR experiences (18%).
  • Luxury shoppers look for smarter payment options. 4 out of 5 (84%) luxury shoppers say they would find it helpful to pay over time for luxury products. Gen Z (87%) and Millennial (89%) luxury shoppers find significant value in the availability of flexible, interest-free payment options, which allow them to split their payments over time while getting a more transparent shopping experience. 
  • Brick-and-mortar retail and physical touch are critical to the luxury experience… 84% of luxury shoppers consider touching and seeing a product as essential to the purchasing experience. In most product categories, this is likely why traditional brick-and-mortar remains the channel of choice among luxury shoppers (Watches and Jewelry: 45%, Food & Beverage: 45%, Beauty: 37%, Home & Interiors: 37%, Health & Fitness: 36%). 
  • …while “elevated” online shopping continues to take off. Meanwhile, 2 in 5 shoppers who bought luxury products last year did so online. But luxury shoppers don’t just want your average online shopping experience– nearly 1 in 3 shoppers want to speak with sales associates before making a purchase. For Gen X (49%) and Baby Boomers (54%), being able to pay securely also matters when shopping online; while Gen Z (57%) and Millennials (54%) care most about being able to buy online and pick up in-store. 
  • Luxury shoppers care more about fast delivery than the average shopper. Consumers shopping for luxury items are over 2x more likely than non-luxury shoppers to expect delivery within 24 hours or less. Most luxury shoppers say the longest they’re willing to wait for delivery is one week (46%), with 26% saying only 2-days (48 hours).
  • Social media drives discovery and purchasing decisions – particularly among younger generations. 3 in 4 of US luxury shoppers (73%) purchased a product after discovering it on social media, a number that is much higher in younger age groups (Gen Z: 84%, Millennials: 78%). Instagram is the most popular social channel driving luxury purchases among Gen Z (77%) and Millennials (63%, while the majority of Baby Boomers (77%) and Gen Xers (63%) have purchased a high-end product after discovering it on Facebook.
  • Well-made products, brand recognition and longevity drive sales. The top drivers of purchases among luxury shoppers are higher quality materials (64%), brand name (52%), and longevity and built to last (50%). Authenticity (48%) and exclusivity (39%) are also important to luxury shoppers.

To access the full findings, visit Klarna's The State of Smooth: Unpacking Luxury in 2022 site.

Methodology

Klarna’s Luxury Survey was sent out online in collaboration with research agency Dynata to a representative sample of more than 4,000 consumers aged 18-65+ across 5 countries in October 2021, with 1,051 respondents in the US. 

Klarna also analyzed shopping data from 58,000,000 online purchases with Klarna in the US from January-December 2021. Klarna serves more than 13,000 US retailers and 24 million US consumers.

About Klarna

We make shopping smooth. With Klarna consumers can buy now and pay later, so they can get what they love today. Klarna’s offering to consumers and retailers include payments, social shopping, and personal finances. Over 250,000 retail partners, including H&M, IKEA, Expedia Group, Samsung, ASOS, Peloton, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike and AliExpress have enabled Klarna’s innovative shopping experience online and in-store. Klarna is one of the most highly valued private fintechs globally with a valuation of $45.6 billion. Klarna was founded in 2005, has over 5,000 employees and is active in 20 countries. For more information, visit klarna.com

For additional information, please contact:
Adaline Colton
press.us@klarna.com
(614) 687-935