This week (10 – 16 August) the government is encouraging Brits to hit the high street with their #Shoplocal initiative. We thought we’d use the opportunity to share how we’re helping smaller, local businesses across the UK.
At Klarna, we work with over 6,000 small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the UK, representing a range of sectors, from independent fashion retailers through to tool supplies. Over the past six months, the top three sectors have been clothing & shoes (30%), home & garden (15%), and sport & hobby (14%).
Interestingly, despite the COVID-19 and a UK wide lockdown, SME’s have increased the business they have been able to generate using Klarna over the past 6 months.
Having said that, this has of course been a tough time for all businesses, including SMEs. We work with a number of independent bike shops, who had a particularly difficult time during lockdown. First, they had to close their shops; then just as they began to re-open, they were pinched by a supply chain crunch meaning they had no bikes to sell. Now they are more or less back on their feet – or pedals… – and ready to start selling again so the government’s #Shoplocal initiative comes at a good time for them.
So here’s how we help UK SME’s.
Back in January, we announced a partnership with Vend, the British Independent Retail Association’s preferred point of sale software, which allows small businesses to accept Klarna payments in-store. Connecting to any smartphone, customers can pay with Klarna by scanning a QR code or using a payment link provided by SMS or email, before filling out their details and selecting a payment option. Klarna then makes a real-time decision made in just seconds and Vend’s ePOS system will automatically reconcile Klarna sales at the end of the day.
Jake Jarvis, co-founder of Shoreditch-based sunglasses and apparel retailer, Hot Futures, said: “Having Klarna on Vend in-store gives our work flexibility and creates a better customer experience. We’re always looking to make the customer experience better and as flexible as possible. Vend and Klarna help us do just that.”
As well as meaning that smaller businesses can help their consumers spread the payments of larger purchases, the partnership is particularly pertinent in today’s environment where many smaller clothes retailers have still not yet opened their changing rooms. Klarna’s Pay in 30 days option gives consumers additional flexibility to take clothes home to try them on and return those they don’t like or that don’t fit.
Klarna has a number of integrations with online eCommerce platforms. These integrations bring our world-leading payment and point-of-sale credit options within reach of smaller businesses who have been forced to improve their online sales set-up during lockdown.
With 32 UK repair centres and over one million happy customers, iSmash is leading the way in the high-street express repair market. As Chris Murton explains, Klarna’s Instalments product helps iSmash soften the financial blow of an unexpected mobile mishap, “We want any anxiety to stop the minute a customer walks into our store. That means giving them more than expertise, it also means being able to soften the financial blow of an unplanned expense so they can say “yes” to a repair instantly, but still manage their budget with flexible payment options.”