With a competitive retail landscape, it can sometimes be difficult for consumers to navigate their way to the right product, brand, colour and size. The options are endless, and marketers looking to break through the noise have to work harder and smarter.  Retailers have to stay at the forefront of the latest trends to make sure that they’re giving shoppers what they want – you need to get the right content in front of the right customers. But creating the right content can be both time consuming and costly. How can sellers keep up? And how can new technology save time and costs in the process? We asked Klarna head of media for Australia and New Zealand, Angus Sladden, for the hottest tips on how to stay ahead of the pack by leveraging the latest AI solutions. 

What are the biggest challenges for retailers when it comes to creating content? 

It’s no secret that consumers today want and expect more from brands. And, not just from a tangible product perspective, but their entire relationship with a brand, and that starts before a consumer even gets to a brand’s website and starts exploring. Brands need to ensure they are relevant to the consumer from their very first exposure, which is increasingly digital. From my perspective this creates three key challenges that most brands currently face; the cost of asset creation (whether in house or by using a third party), the turnaround times associated with creative (and then throw approval times into the mix), and having to constantly, and manually create fresh, relevant content that’s appealing to the ever-changing demands of your audience. So how do we address them? 

We asked ourselves that about a year ago when we acquired a company called Toplooks, which is now Klarna Dynamic Ads. It’s AI-powered technology that allows brands to serve consumers with fresh, automated, relevant content at the early stages of the consumer journey, throughout the awareness and consideration stages across multiple media platforms.

How does Klarna support retailers with content creation?

Klarna works with brands from a payments, technology, and shopping app perspective. We have teams of content creators who are tasked with writing engaging articles and designers who create beautiful imagery. From an automation perspective, we utilise the Klarna Dynamic Ads technology to then automate what we can. This usually covers specific areas of our shopping app, our desktop environments, and via our partnerships with other global publishers. 

We’re in a unique position to offer the Klarna Dynamic Ads technology to brands that are part of the Klarna family to help them save costs, reduce creative turnaround times, and have fresh, relevant content served across social channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat.

You’re talking about using AI, but how does it really work? 

In its  most simple form, it’s a piece of technology that sits between a brand’s product feed, and a social media platform like Facebook. Picture this, currently, a brand may be passing a single image of a SKU through to Facebook from their product feed, with no other information attached. The Klarna Dynamic Ads tool takes that image, and layers it with any other pieces of information from the product feed such as size, material, colour, sale, star user ratings, and price etc. In addition to the layered image enhancement, another feature of our product is our “AI Content Engine” which we use to compose “Looks” pairing complementary products together in the same image. The technology has built up machine learning across fashion sites, blogs, influencers, and product catalogues across the internet so it now has 20+ million styled looks, 10+ million products, and hundreds of attributes. Based on machine learning, our AI dynamically pulls together “looks” across your catalogue, in a variety of different templates that align with your brand’s guidelines.

What can retailers expect from tomorrow’s shoppers and how can they prepare to reach this demand? 

The consumer is an ever changing being – their expectations vary but always need to be met. To satisfy tomorrow’s shopper, you need to shift from being reactive to this customer, and act on what this consumer will want before they reach your site. Get yourself to a proactive state where you can attempt to meet the consumer’s needs, wants, and desires early, and avoid running the same old copy and images, try something new and daring that could change how you define a shopper, and the way they interact with your brand.