Remember the days when verification was simple? We all shopped at the mall, and if you wanted a student discount, all you had to do was show your student ID to the cashier. It turns out it’s much harder to show a student ID to a computer or a smartphone.
To complicate matters further, the world wide web and social media made it possible for millions of potential customers to discover exclusive offers (yay!) and try to redeem them regardless of whether or not they actually qualified (boo).
To address the growing problem of discount abuse, organizations either turned a blind eye and relied on the “honor system” or devised convoluted systems of their own that usually required .edu email addresses or fax machines. Marketers were forbidden to advertise exclusive promotions or forced to hide them on secret landing pages to prevent deep discounts from going viral.
Fraud declined, but so did conversion rates because these methods created a terrible customer experience. Faced with the choice of margin erosion or abandoned shopping carts, many businesses decided to only offer exclusive discounts in-store, much to the dismay of the customers they intended to honor.
The heroes of our story, our co-founders- Jake, Marci, and David- recognized the problem that retailers were facing and set out to develop a solution that made verification simple again, no matter where customers shopped.
While we still can’t confirm whether or not SheerID’s “three hippies in a shoebox” origin story is fact or folklore, it is indisputable that SheerID is now the leading provider of point-of-sale eligibility verification for some of the biggest brands on the planet. Here’s how we got to where we are today: