A new report from Klarna, a leading global retail bank, payments and shopping service, reveals that consumers are changing the way they think about luxury and high-end purchases, with sustainability and innovation becoming key drivers behind luxurious purchases.

The State of Smooth: Unpacking Luxury in 2022 report shows that sustainability is front of mind for luxury shoppers with 51% seeing a luxury purchase as a sustainable and environmentally-friendly choice. Brands’ sustainable practices are also highly scrutinised, with 73% of shoppers factoring in a luxury brand’s environmental policies when making purchase decisions.

Sustainable fashion, Circular economy, denim eco friendly clothing. Green leaf plant on blue denim jeans background.

At the same time, consumers are increasingly valuing innovation when buying a high-end product, with three quarters (75%) of shoppers seeing luxury brands’ commitments to new technologies as critical.

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Shopping in a new dimension has also captured the imagination of shoppers, with a staggering 80% of people who have heard about the Metaverse interested in shopping for luxury products there.

Metaverse aside, consumers now want to make their luxury purchases in an agile and secure way. Nearly 3 in 5 of high-end shoppers (55%) want to use a mobile app, 1 in 2 (53%) are looking for flexible payment options, such as BNPL, and 3 out of 4 (73%) say they would find it helpful to pay over time for luxury products without interest or extra cost.

As almost half of luxury shoppers (46%) made their purchases on the internet last year, it is not surprising that secure payments are key for many (41%) when shopping online and that a great majority of shoppers (78%) value ‘trying before they buy,’ or the ability to touch and feel the products before they have to pay.

Alex Marsh, Head of Klarna UK, commented: “Luxury is evolving. Now more than ever we see consumers making high-end purchases because they increasingly care about quality, sustainability and innovation in their shopping experience. As online shopping boomed over the past couple of years, luxury shoppers became particularly interested in flexible and secure payment options such as BNPL, as they want to try before they buy when making a high-end purchase online.”


Klarna’s Luxury Survey was sent out online in collaboration with research agency Dynata to a representative sample of more than 4,000 consumers aged 18-65+ across 5 countries in October 2021, with 1059 respondents in the UK.