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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.


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.


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.


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