Available from the merchant’s website, Hero connects online shoppers with in-store product experts to provide inspiration and advice via messaging, video chat, and social-style content. In this manner, Hero makes online shopping an interactive experience with all the benefits of in-store service, while allowing consumers to shop from wherever, and however, they wish.

Klarna will introduce Hero to its 250,000 retail partners, allowing its in-store teams to become content creators instantly, offering reviews, real-time advice, and richer, more engaging, and informative content around products to bring the best of in-store shopping to the online experience for consumers.

Based in London and New York, Hero was founded in 2015 to create a more personal and convenient way to shop that reflects how consumers interact today, bringing the concept of in-person customer service to e-commerce. Hero’s client roster now includes global brands such as Levi Strauss & Co, Rag & Bone, Chloé, Harvey Nichols and shares a number of retail partners with Klarna’s existing network such as Nike and JD Sports. All 100-plus Hero employees will join Klarna, while its existing products will be immediately available to Klarna’s retail partners.

“Immersive shopping experiences are now expected by consumers when shopping online and forward-thinking brands want to provide consumers with a rich, interactive way to shop for their products. With Hero, we share an ambition to elevate the shopping experience through the convergence of online and in-store shopping experiences, supporting retailers to inform and engage consumers in new ways,” says Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna.

“We see a huge opportunity to leverage Hero’s existing platform and expertise to allow in-store retail professionals to become global brand ambassadors. This will unlock  growth for retailers by creating a new hybrid shopping experience that enables consumers to make informed purchasing decisions as part of an engaging and personalised shopping journey.”

David Sandström, chief marketing officer at Klarna, adds with Hero, Klarna can support retailers in empowering their in-store colleagues to serve a global audience, enhancing  e-commerce with the benefits of physical retail.

“Longer term, we see opportunities for Klarna’s 90m global consumers to share their shopping expertise as part of a social shopping ecosystem that defies physical and online boundaries, aligned to Klarna’s mission to ensure people can shop, bank and pay in ways that suit them and their lives today. We look forward to welcoming the Hero team to Klarna.”

Adam Levene, founder at Hero, says: “Klarna is a company we’ve long admired. They have built an iconic brand and proposition, and a unique culture that makes it the perfect home for our team. By joining forces we are able to bring our technology to even more merchants and consumers across the world, making online shopping more social, interactive, and ultimately more human.”