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Online music retailer streamlines private-label credit card program

Sweetwater is enhancing its private label credit card customer experience.

Sweetwater is simplifying the application and purchase process for its private-label credit cards.

The online retailer of music gear and instruments is partnering with consumer financial services company Synchrony to incorporate the vendor’s data share, direct to device, and prequalification solutions into its private label credit card program. Synchrony data share enables Sweetwater to offer private label credit card customers enhanced personalization and credit decisioning.  

Meanwhile, direct to device allows Sweetwater to securely send a credit application directly to a customer’s mobile device through email or text. Leveraging Synchrony prequalification capabilities, customers can check their credit eligibility without impacting their credit score. Together, Sweetwater intends for these capabilities to provide a seamless, private, and secure customer experience to apply for credit.  

As part of this new collaboration, Sweetwater and Synchrony will also continue an existing joint data sharing program, in which Sweetwater shares anonymized data with Synchrony to help Synchrony make more informed customer financing decisions. Data sharing integrates four key Sweetwater customer attributes -- first purchase, last purchase, customer since, and total lifetime spend -- into its ecosystem.

This ecosystem encompasses a pool of data from credit, spending, and shopping data, including Synchrony transactions, retailer data and third-party data, with more than 7 trillion total data points. Synchrony analyzes the performance of the Sweetwater credit program down to specific customer segments, with its analysts also translating the data into courses of action.

As a result, Sweetwater can better predict customer needs and create unique experiences and solutions to drive engagement, purchase, and loyalty. 

“Sweetwater is a trusted partner to music enthusiasts, professional musicians and sound engineers,” said John Hopkins, CEO of Sweetwater. “That means understanding their purchasing needs and providing easy financing options and a simple, fun purchasing process. Synchrony’s technology helps us do all those things. We are very happy to extend our partnership.”

“During the past 14 years, Synchrony has helped Sweetwater turn musical dreams into reality by offering multiple ways to finance purchases,” said Darrell Owens, senior VP, Synchrony. “We seamlessly integrate into Sweetwater’s transformational digital purchasing process by utilizing enhanced customer data and evolving credit decisioning capabilities. The result is deeper relationships with customers, which leads to increased card acquisition, larger credit-lines, additional repeat sales, and a higher customer lifetime value. We look forward to providing even greater capability to this innovative retailer in the years to come.”

Sweetwater Sound hears the needs of the customer
Sweetwater Sound CEO Chuck Surack previously sat down with Chain Store Age for an exclusive discussion about how the retailer uses intensive personalization to drive repeat business.

“We use a custom CRM information system to track and manage important takeaways from conversations with customers, which helps us better understand preferences, Surack said in the interview. In doing so, we allow customers to categorize themselves, and in turn, we categorize the customer. 

“Building personal relationships with customers is what drives customers to keep coming back, and retailers that don’t make an effort to provide a more personalized experience for their customers during this time, will likely lose them.”

Founded in 1979 and based in Fort Wayne, Ind., Sweetwater is an e-commerce provider of music instruments and audio gear in the U.S.

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