Klarna launches a comprehensive ad platform to expand access to ad products and boost campaign volume revenue for partners

Kevel's APIs help Europe's highest-valued private fintech company launch and maintain a streamlined ad platform that's uniquely Klarna

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Kevel helps Klarna scale over time

Klarna first partnered with Kevel in 2020 with the primary goal of launching user-friendly sponsored placements that incorporated first-party data for targeting.

“Kevel made it easy to integrate native ads into our mobile app, allowing us to monetize without sacrificing the user experience or security.” said Sam Wright, Director for Klarna Media at Klarna.

Klarna and Kevel’s partnership expanded over time, venturing into carousel ads for Klarna’s home page and internal promotions. With the success of these user-friendly native ads, Klarna grew to launch their own self-serve ads platform, Ads Manager.

This self-serve platform grants Klarna’s retail partners the ability to manage ad campaigns from end-to-end, giving advertisers the power to:

  • Target key audience segments
  • Optimize via Klarna’s CPM bidding model
  • Manage performance with real-time reporting

Currently, Ads Manager is available in the U.S., but with plans to expand to new markets later this year.

Klarna merchant Portal

What Klarna Wanted

Globally, Klarna is the second highest-valued private fintech company, boasting over 150 million active customers and over 500,000 merchants. With such an expansive audience, the payment solution company knew that launching their own ad platform could both reshape customers’ ad experiences and help generate a new high-margin revenue stream.

“We’ve built our own platform but it’s all using Kevel’s APIs,” shared Hallie Liang, Klarna’s Merchant Ad Experience Lead. “Kevel has allowed us to build our platform quickly and with flexibility in terms of the functionalities that we wanted.”

When searching for the right tools to launch their ad platform, Klarna had the following priorities in mind:

A user-friendly interface
Klarna operates in 45 countries with hundreds of thousands of retail partners, making a simple and easy-to-use UI a top priority for the fintech brand.

“In terms of setup, we wanted something user-friendly,” said Gabby Wallace, Klarna’s Global Ad Campaigns Team Lead. “We’ve all come from various marketing backgrounds, so it was important to have something really easy to use for someone new to the ads world.”

Campaign Settings
Source: Kevel

“From user interviews, everyone says that it’s very straightforward and easy to use,” Liang added. “It’s been really helpful to lean on Kevel’s existing features to get Ads Manager off the ground.”

Klarna was looking for flexibility on multiple fronts, especially, when it came to targeting use cases and the ability to quickly implement design changes.

“We’ve been very interested in developing more targeting for the ads in our app,” Liang said. “Most recently, we were able to integrate [Kevel’s] keyword targeting feature with the kind of targeting we offered with our internal services.”

Liang also shared how Kevel’s responsive ads have allowed Klarna to make design changes without all the liaising between merchants, designers, and ad teams that used to limit them -- giving the team at Klarna time back, which is especially valuable during peak advertising periods.

Wallace also emphasized the importance of acting quickly, noting that busy periods, like Black Friday, typically bring out droves of last minute changes to deals that must be implemented.

“Before, we would have to brief in every single creative. It was a very long-winded process,” the Global Ad Campaigns leader explained. “With [Kevel’s] responsive ads, we can jump in ourselves, go into Kevel, change the deal, and done.”

Staying true to Klarna
Kevel helped equip Klarna with the right tools and APIs to launch their ad platform without sacrificing Klarna’s unique brand voice and messaging. The Swedish fintech brand has been able to maintain a workflow, look, and features that are tailored to their needs and works best for them.

“We’ve built out a user flow that allows [users] to set up basic budget scheduling, CPM bidding, and submit all their ad creatives,” said Liang. “We’ve been able to map all of that to what Kevel already offers, but using a design and user flow that is very Klarna.”

Klarna sponsored ad

What Kevel Delivered

Many standard ad servers aren’t customizable or secure enough for what the fintech brand envisioned, and building an ad server from scratch isn’t just costly, but time- and resource-intensive.

So Klarna turned to Kevel’s ad APIs -- what began as sponsored placements that incorporated first-party data evolved into a thriving ad platform and substantial revenue driver.

Improved targeting
“In the beginning, all of our campaigns were untargeted, reaching the broadest range of audiences possible,” Liang shared. “Now, we’re introducing ads in more places -- but also making sure that they’re relevant and native, and enhancing the shopping experience.”

Klarna’s Kevel-powered ad platform provides their retail partners with real-time performance and in-platform reporting insights. Kevel also provides expansive targeting and retargeting options to meet the needs of any advertiser.

Klarna's CTR experienced a 30% boost this year, since working with Kevel to develop its latest ad space.

“We were able to see a higher CTR once we incorporate[d] additional interest targeting,” Liang shared. “Our advertisers are also seeing those same results on their end.”

Larger volume capabilities

Equipped with Kevel’s APIs, Klarna is no longer serving the same ad units to a broad base of unspecified users. This has allowed them to run more ad campaigns simultaneously, in addition to servicing more advertisers.

Liang also shared that by switching to a responsive ad component, the Klarna team has been able to take on more manual campaigns, as well.

“I’ve noticed from our side that [Kevel] has definitely improved things capacity-wise. The number of campaigns we can run and the number of advertisers we can serve is increasing.”
- Gabby Wallace, Global Ad Campaigns Team Lead, Klarna

Kevel helped Klarna simplify their campaign and ad management and workflow, giving them more time to focus on improving and scaling their ad product -- not spending time managing and troubleshooting, targeting, pacing, and reporting.

Round-the-clock support

Kevel offers exhaustive API documentation to answer any customer questions, on top of a team of expert Kevelers. Kevel’s dedicated support team, which includes a solutions architect and CSM, shared Klarna’s goal of growing, improving, and fine tuning their ad business.

“[Kevel] has a lot of products with a lot of different nuances and different features,” Liang said. “It’s been really nice to have a lot of functionalities and [Kevel] has been very supportive.”

“[Kevel] as a team is amazing to work with,” expressed Wallace. “Any questions that we’ve had, there’s always been someone on hand, instantly, to help us.”
- Gabby Wallace, Global Ad Campaigns Team Lead, Klarna

Kevel's suite of APIs offers holistic, flexible solutions

For Klarna, building an ad platform with Kevel was a win-win-win. More advertisers have been able to grow their visibility, Klarna’s 150 million+ active users continue to have the same browsing experience, and Klarna continues to see growth with a high-margin revenue stream.

What's next?

Currently, Klarna uses Kevel to power their sponsored listings, ad server, and merchant portal.

“Being involved with some of the beta tests has been really insightful. We’ve certainly learned a lot from [Kevel] since joining.”
- Gabby Wallace, Global Ad Campaigns Team Lead, Klarna

Klarna is an early adopter of many of Kevel's newest features and tools, with their most recent launch including placements in Klarna's successful Drops email.

Read more about building an ad platform with Kevel or get in touch with us today.

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