Originally published on Total Retail //As the largest online-only home improvement retailer, Build.com regularly had customers in search of big-ticket items needed to complete home remodels and updates. The challenge for the retailer was that many consumers couldn’t afford to make the purchases without credit, and they ultimately went on to purchase from another retailer that could offer them credit — likely Home Depot or Lowe’s.
To help it address this problem, Build.com recently partnered with Vyze, a cloud-based financing technology solutions provider, to launch a private-label credit program. The solution is enabling Build.com to convert more finance-seeking shoppers into customers.
“Customers were looking for financing, and we had to turn them down,” recalls Cory Iler, project manager at Build.com. “The direct feedback from customers was that they wanted financing options for their purchases.”
One Implementation, Multiple Lenders
Build.com went through a standard RFP process to find the right financing technology company to work with, including potentially working with banks directly, before ultimately choosing Vyze because it offered one implementation while at the same time opening the door to multiple lending institutions.
“Build.com was looking to get a single integration with multiple lenders,” says Keith Nealon, CEO of Vyze. “It wanted the flexibility that Vyze is able to provide.”
Visitors to Build.com’s desktop and mobile sites are presented with the option to apply for credit on the homepage, product pages and on the cart page. The application process generally takes five minutes or less, and they have an answer on whether they’re approved or not within five seconds of hitting “Submit,” Iler says.
Consumers are approved for a $7,000 line of credit, and are not charged interest if their purchase is paid off in six months ($500-$999.99) and one year (purchases of $1,000 or more). Iler says that 88 percent of consumers that have applied for the Build.com credit card have been approved, and 75 percent of cardholders are new customers.
“It’s been a great customer acquisition approach for us,” Iler notes, adding that most customers are applying for and using the card on the same day.
In Place for the Holidays
Like many retailers, the holiday shopping season is the busiest time of the year for Build.com. After a six-week implementation, Build.com went live with its private-label credit program on Nov. 7.
“Cyber Monday is our busiest day of the year, and we wanted to get this [solution] in place before the holidays,” says Iler.
In addition to offering the financing option on-site, Build.com began sending emails to pre-approved customers during the holiday season.
Higher Average Order Values
The business benefits yielded from Build.com’s private-label credit program haven’t been limited to customer acquisition. The retailer is also seeing that customers who have been approved for financing are spending more, on average, than non-cardholders.
“We’re seeing three times the ticket size for purchases made with the credit card vs. any other form of payment,” Iler notes.
A large reason for that is the growing number of customers that are taking advantage of the financing option to purchase appliances. Build.com has also seen a significant number of customers using the private-label credit program to purchase plumbing supplies.
Going forward, Build.com plans to work directly with some of its product suppliers (e.g., Kohler) to extend financing to a greater range of customers.
“Build.com has improved the customer experience, which has led to a higher conversion rate and, ultimately, should bring increased loyalty,” Nealon says.