BNPL firms want to be shopping mall apps

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BNPL firms want to be shopping mall apps

Similarly, customer acquisition through Afterpay’s merchant directory was a key reason that Jarman, of Commas, continued the partnership. Molnar sees technologies including video shopping and social shopping as obvious compliments to Afterpay’s offerings. “Another layer to the super app equation is, how do you successfully scale your relationship with your next-gen consumer? You are seeing that unfold at scale in different ways with different products. I don’t think there’s any kind of limit on where this starts and ends.”

It was an early partner of Klarna’s in app video shopping. Beautycounter partnered with Klarna on a four-episode shoppable livestream on their own app and Beautycounter’s website. Celebrities were invited to appear and gifts were included with each purchase.


Sezzle, a BNPL provider offers giveaways as well as clothing hauls. It also has an in-house marketing agency. “Payment platforms are no longer just the means to an end of the checkout process; they are connections,” says Kelli Latchem, Sezzle’s director of fashionPartnerships “They connect retailers to consumers on a level that may otherwise have been unattainable.”

There are so many players “there is much spending to be had,” PwC’s Bukovac says — with 2021 holiday spend expected to be up 21 per cent compared to last year, she adds.

Of course, big tech companies — which also have data, scale and years of traction courting fashion — also see big money to be made by sponsoring fashionIn an effort be the dominant platform. Amazon has been on an international campaign sponsoring emerging designers. Instagram sponsored the Met Gala while Tiktok sponsored British Fashion Council.

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“Google is spending a disproportionate amount of money on moving into shopping from a search perspective, social platforms are moving into shopping — Instagram shopping has been a thing for about a year now,” Klarna’s Sandstrom acknowledges. He says Amazon is the best, despite it being at the top fashion app, doesn’t particularly cater to high-end brands. Klarna is particularly investing in livestream shopping, and plans to combine its acquisition of influencer marketing tech platform Apprl with Hero’s livestream capabilities in its app.

Sandstrom says that expansion is natural for successful tech companies. “Either you become an infrastructure, almost the backend system, or you become one of the primary apps for consumers to use. Anything caught in the middle, like a one-trick pony? I don’t think that’s going to be possible anymore.”

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