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Client Success: B&H Photo

Helping Educators and Students Through Tailored Offers

Founded in 1973, B&H Photo and Video offers a wide selection of professional-quality photo, video, audio equipment as well as other electronics and hardware at competitive prices. The company has a well-earned reputation for extraordinary service before, during, and after customers make a purchase. Their educational membership program- EDU Advantage- offers discounted pricing to students and educators in the imaging and audio fields of study.

Challenge:

In order to apply for an EDU Advantage membership, students were required to complete an online application and provide B&H with a copy of a course ID or schedule. Once they were received, applications were batched and pending batches were sent through the web to B&H customer service representatives. The reps manually reviewed the applications to verify eligibility, and reviews were only completed during regular business hours. It took up to 48 hours for a customer to find out whether or not their application had been accepted. Customers could not make purchases using the member discounts until their applications had been validated and approved.

Solution:

B&H utilized SheerID’s student verification API to create a custom verification process for students applying to the EDU Advantage program. Now 89% of students are instantly verified by SheerID. Students who cannot be verified instantly can upload documentation to SheerID for review.

Benefits:

Upon implementation, the maximum turn-around time decreased from 48 hours to 20 minutes. “SheerID dramatically improved our buying and approval process,” says Michael Solomon, EDU Marketing Manager at B&H Photo and Video. “SheerID verification is much faster than our old, manual process. Our EDU Advantage program runs more efficiently, and we’re providing students with a better user experience.”

During a recent 3-month review, B&H Photo and Video identified:

  • Increase in EDU Advantage membership applications
  • Increase in the number of students approved for the program
  • Increased conversion of EDU Advantage applicants to 5%
  • The average initial purchase occurs within 7-10 days of SheerID verification compared to 60-90 days after B&H’s manual verification.
If I’m a student applying for a discount, then I am a shopper who is ready to make a purchase. We suspected that if we could speed up the approval process, EDU Advantage members would make their first purchase sooner. Not only did initial purchases occur 50-80 days sooner, students verified by SheerID are spending a little more.

Michael Solomon, EDU Marketing Manager, B&H Photo and Video


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