TECHNOLOGY

Fast-fashion retailer makes a big move to merge online and offline experiences

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

H&M will play a bigger role in its evolving digital experiences — including payments.

Through a partnership with payments provider Klarna, the fast-fashion retailer will further integrate its digital and physical stores to deliver a seamless, personalized and engaging shopping experience. The partnership will also encompass digital payments in-store and via its app.

By connecting all touch-points, including the H&M app and H&M Club, the company’s digital loyalty program, the retailer is merging in-store, mobile and online payments, simplifying deliveries and returns, and supporting the company’s “try-before-you-buy” “Pay Later” service. The goal is to create a relevant and convenient experience across 14 H&M markets.

The U.K. and Sweden will be first regions to get the technology. Both are expected to go live in 2019, according to the company.

“We want to make it possible for customers to move freely between the various channels and choose how they want to shop and experience our offering online and in-store,” said Daniel Claesson, head of business development H&M Group.

“This partnership will bring tailor-made payment solutions to our customers and accommodate evolving shopping patterns and needs,” he added. “This includes the possibility to ‘try before you buy,’ which is very relevant to online fashion retail today, and to pay with their mobile phone directly through the H&M app both in-store and online.”

Further showing its commitment to the technology, H&M group is investing in Klarna. The deal will enable the retailer to contribute to the ongoing development of technology.

“This partnership is rooted in a shared obsession about just how good that shopping experience should be,” said Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO and co-founder of Klarna. “Together we have worked hard on developing a unique solution for in-store and online that will delight customers, drive economic value and build loyalty.”

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