Karma Looks to Save Shoppers Time and Money With Embedded Payments Feature

eCommerce shopper

If saving money is a top priority for shoppers right now, saving time would not be far behind. Add in visibility on product availability in the size, color, or style of your choosing, and the empowered eCommerce assisted shopping experience starts to take shape.

At least, that’s the thinking at Karma, which has just launched “Pay With Karma” at the outset of the busy holiday season, an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven behind-the-scenes shopping tool that searches hundreds of retail sites in the new payments network for the exact product customers are looking for, then alerts them when the price changes or an offer comes online, via a checkout link that handles payments, shipping and delivery coupons with a single click.

“If you look at the checkout process today, it’s a big point of friction,” Karma Co-founder and CEO Jonathan Friedman told PYMNTS. “You need to put in your input, you need to sign up, you need to add your credit or debit card, which is why [merchants] still experience around 75% shopping cart abandonment,” he said, calling his company’s new solution simple and disruptive.

In short, he said, Karma is adding a frictionless way to pay on top of the frictionless way to shop that the company has perfected over the past seven years enroute to its present base of over 4 million users, with another 150,000 signing on each month.

One and Done

As part of the Pay with Karma launch, the company has debuted a “mind blowing” YouTube ad campaign and also increased influencer outreach, all of which will be promoting the new feature. In addition to avoiding the hassle and risk of creating multiple profiles and sharing personal information in many places, shoppers can also take advantage of a range of payment options that suit their particular needs given the cost of underlying purchases.

To that point, Friedman said the new system is powered globally by Stripe and other payment providers and also offers multiple payment options, including Apple Pay, Google Pay and interest-free installment plans.

“The way it works is you connect your information once to Karma’s wallet, and then you can transact anywhere throughout the journey, even from a single product page, without even hitting the checkout,” he said. “This is a much faster way to transact at the point of sale,” he added, noting the additional benefit of coupons, loyalty rewards and credits being automatically applied.

Big Intentions

For its part, Karma’s low-price priority is powered in part by a commission-sharing scheme in which Friedman said the company is happy to share some of the money with customers that it is paid by retailers for facilitating a sale.

On the flip side, while hundreds of retailers have signed up to be part of the payments network, that is a small sliver of the 100,000+ total roster of retailers available on the app and site. It’s a gap that Friedman is obviously looking to close, and he is confident that the rollout will see more brands adding the payments option to capture the combined benefits of value and convenience.

“If you look at how people use Karma today, they’re mainly using it to plan their next purchase. So the ‘buy intent’ is extremely strong and we see 3 to 4x over benchmarks,” Friedman said, in reference to the increased conversion rates that the Karma’s time and money saving features bring to retailers, as well as an average order value of $170.

Rather than comparative shopping by putting items in numerous shopping carts and then checking back to each if and when you are ready to buy, Karma’s angle is to be customers’ only shopping cart where they can easily see and compare everything they’ve saved in a single place and then buy with swipe when they chose to.

Given the sluggish economy and the fact that seasonal sales are happening much earlier this year and merchants are sitting on a lot of inventory that they’re feeling pressure to move, Friedman said Karma is well positioned to support both customers and retailers during this challenging phase.

“We see less impulse buys. We see less ‘junk buying’ and a shift toward quality and consumers being a bit more cautious,” he said. “I think Karna is highly relevant because we encourage less impulse buying,” he added. “We’re all about helping consumers get what they really want and having less buyer’s remorse.”

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