What the Sezzle-Target Partnership Means for the Buy Now, Pay Later Sector

Jun 22, 2021 1:00 pm2:00 PM EST

Summary

The Buy Now, Pay Later Industry has quickly become a key growth lever that brands & retailers from all industry verticals are using as a part of their holistic DTC commerce strategy this year. Target has been one of the fastest growing eCommerce channels over the past couple of years and have made some very forward-thinking investments to help boost their omnichannel commerce approach.

Join this discussion to learn why Target chose Sezzle as their BNPL partner of choice!

BWG Connect and Sezzle invite you to participate in an interactive discussion with your peers, exploring this shifting landscape.

As always, there will be no sales pitches and there is no cost to join.

Discussion Topics

  • Pros & cons of leading BNPL providers for US & Global growth initiatives
  • Sezzle's mission-driven approach
  • How the BNPL / Digital Payments ecosystem has evolved throughout the pandemic
  • How to leverage BNPL as a marketing tool
  • Common mistakes brands make when evaluating BNPL
  • What are KPI’s that a brand should focus on when measuring the success of their BNPL strategy?

Event Partners

Guest Speaker

Veronica Katz

Chief Revenue Officer at Sezzle

Veronica Katz is the Chief Revenue Officer at Sezzle, a buy now, pay later payment platform that is transforming how people shop. Veronica has over 20 years of experience in executive marketing and strategy roles. 

Before joining Sezzle, Veronica was the Vice President of Global Accounts for PayPal, the CSA Head of Retail Marketing, Strategy, and Alliances at eBay, and the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development at David’s Bridal.

Event Moderator

Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

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Event Information

Jun 22, 2021 1:00 pm - 2:00 PM EST

Event format

Roundtable Layout
Featuring 20+ executives, where everyone can contribute, ask questions and learn from peers
On-Topic Discussions
Q&A format, moderated by BWG Connect with group interaction throughout
Make Connections
Opportunities to network before and after

BRINGING TOGETHER INFLUENTIAL EXECUTIVES AND SENIOR PROFESSIONALS

What is BWG Connect?

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

Key Discussion Takeaways

Did you know that 67% of young buyers don’t have credit cards? When preparing to make big purchases like a car, or even a couch, young buyers run into trouble. However, the buy now, pay later space is becoming a huge trend in the current market. How can this help shoppers improve their credit? 

Veronica Katz is the Chief Revenue Officer at Sezzle, a buy now, pay later (BNPL) payment platform that is changing the way people shop. They recently partnered with Target, one of the biggest collaborations in the BNPL space to date. Sezzle is taking over the BNPL industry and has even figured out a way to help buyers boost their credit scores. Veronica is here to tell you all about the BNPL sector and the hidden benefits you can unlock with the payment method.

In this virtual event, Billy Restrepo talks with Chief Revenue Officer of Sezzle, Veronica Katz, about the BNPL space. They discuss Sezzle’s recent partnership with Target, the explosion of BNPL use, Sezzle’s approach to successful customer service, and much more. 

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Veronica Katz explains why she chose to work with Sezzle and why company culture makes a big impact
  • The evolution and growth of the buy now, pay later (BNPL) space
  • How is Sezzle different from other BNPL companies?
  • Veronica discusses Sezzle’s recent partnership with Target and what this means for the future of BNPL 
  • How Sezzle approaches customer service
  • Veronica explains Sezzle Up and how it helps younger buyers build their credit
  • Why Sezzle decided to become a B Corp and some initiatives the company is working on
  • How can brands and retailers leverage Sezzle as a marketing tool?
  • Which verticals work best in the BNPL space?
  • How to find the right balance with buying now, paying later
  • COVID-19’s impact on the BNPL space, especially regarding online shopping

Discussion Transcription

Billy Restrepo 0:18

Afternoon everyone, my name is Billy Restrepo. I'm a Vice President here at BWG Connect with community of network and knowledge sharing, you stay on top of the latest trends and strategies vigilant. When the same topic comes up over and over again, we hold a call an event like this. So before we get started, just a few housekeeping items. We want to be courteous of everyone's time. So I'll end the call a couple of minutes before the end of the hour. I also wanted to be interactive, educational, and informational, and as much as possible, as well. So please do not hesitate to jump in with impressions or chatting to me. Or if you prefer, you can email me at billy@bwgconnect.com or press star five to raise your hand and to be unmuted, and then you can get your question answered. That said, let's jump into it. So there was a significant announcement to the NPL space recently, of course, talking about the Target and Sezzle partnership announcements that we seek to 30, 40 brands a week, and it was clear that had become a hot button topic for many of the so many of them, and it was just leading conversation. So we decided to do is we asked our friends and partners over the network over at Sezzle if they can jump on the line today and shed some light on the subject, and tell us who caught on. So I'd like to say hello to a friend of ours. Veronica Katz from Sezzle. How you doing today?

Veronica Katz 1:25

Hi, how are you? It's great to be here today.

Billy Restrepo 1:31

Yeah, if you could briefly introduce yourself and your you know, your your organization, please do so.

Veronica Katz 1:36

Sure. So Veronica Katz, I'm the Chief Revenue Officer for Sezzle for folks who are less familiar Sezzle is a buy now pay later company, very mission driven, as focused on empowering the next generation of financially. So it's a pleasure to be here I met kind of split my career between payments and being on the retailer side. Having worked in payments for about 10 years before joining Sezzle.

Billy Restrepo 2:03

Amazing. Thanks, Veronica. So everyone, please feel free to jump in with any questions by pressing star five to raise your hand, or you can email me directly at billy@bwgconnect.com. Great. So Veronica, thanks again for jumping on. And looking forward to it. So tell us a little bit more in depth about yourself and your background?

Veronica Katz 2:19

Sure. I have kind of a couple chapters of my career, I hate to say that it kind of ages me by that. I initially started my career in the the whole call center, order fulfillment and supply chain side of the house, and then moved into marketing all in in the retail sector. And I actually was recruited to go join eBay, they had obviously acquired PayPal, and they were trying to get more retailers to adopt PayPal and kind of running against the brick wall in the enterprise space. Small businesses readily adopted PayPal because of that uneasiness of shopping in what was then the wild west of the internet, right? The larger brands have more reluctancy to adopt new payment types. So I actually got recruited out of retail, to bring some outward in thinking into the organization help lead building their enterprise business that pays out. And then I was there for just shy of about nine, almost 10 years. And I decided to join Sezzle as their Chief Revenue Officer, which has been a fantastic new home for me, I I joke that I'm usually at about a company for a good 10 years. So I am not exactly a job hopper, I put a lot of thought into what I'm going to call my next home. So I've been very happy joining the Sezzle family.

Billy Restrepo 3:47

Great. So considering that you're not the job hopper, you're looking for longevity. Why Sezzle?

Veronica Katz 3:52

Well, a couple of reasons. I obviously want to work with mission driven companies. I've been very fortunate to work for some great brands in my career. And I want to work for companies that I feel good about the culture and the caliber of the employees and the leadership team. So Sezzle hits the highest marks on all of those funds. They are a mission driven organization. In fact, they are the only public that B Corp in the Fintech space. So, you know, if they walk the talk when it comes to their focus on social good, and I feel very strongly they were, you know, buy now pay later is a mega trend, right. So we'll talk about that a little bit. But they were really on to this this big trend, and I really felt their mission was having them develop products and services that were unique in the ecosystem. And would as a former retail executive, would resonate to retailers in a way that some of the competition wouldn't so. I liked what they were doing I like their innovation. I like their, their digital shops and technical chops. And, you know, all around, they hit hit all the marks that was looking for for potential employer.

Billy Restrepo 5:13

Amazing. Amazing. So you've been at Sezzle for about a year.

Veronica Katz 5:17

Yes, a year next week.

Billy Restrepo 5:19

Congratulations. So I guess I have the perspective on the perspective on the company or you know, the BNPL space changed at all? Or is it?

Veronica Katz 5:28

Well, I say all all the reasons for our I'll say two things, one of them about the BNPL space, then one about me and being here, I feel very strongly that all of the reasons I chose to join Sezzle I feel just as strongly about today. So I couldn't have been happier with my choice to join this company. In terms of the BNPL space, I mean, it was already a trend when I joined, but it's clearly with COVID saw massive acceleration that's here to stay, but it helped with the, you know, everything's accelerated on the digital front, in general, and buy now pay later, certainly saw that. So I'm certainly seen the space change. I it's a competitive space, there's increased awareness and interest in the space. And it's kind of an undeniable, it's it's moved past a, Hey, is this a trend to this is kind of the way people are preferring to shop. So we're seeing that evolution occur even more over the last year.

Billy Restrepo 6:33

So So on point is it's grown. It's the new way for shopping for a lot of the new segment that's coming on board. So I guess you know, that that leads to where does Sezzle fit into that buy now pay later space? You mentioned it is competitive. So what's the differentiator?

Veronica Katz 6:47

Well, I just started out with saying that we're the the only, you know, public benefits. B Corp, right. So we're the only one in the Fintech space. So I certainly think that is a differentiator. I wouldn't say that's the only differentiator, right? I think there's a lot of things that we have that are going for us as we have the highest approval rates. We're a US based company, we have more in the North America, we have more merchants, accepting Sezzle than any of the other. Buy Now pay later companies. Of course, I mentioned that we're a B Corp. But that means things like we're planting a tree for every new consumer we add, which is great, you know, partnerships with companies, with organizations like trees.org. We're Climate Neutral. I mean, there's just some really cool things we're doing behind being a B Corp. I think there's quite a few things. And as I mentioned earlier, the innovation, how we think about our product, I'll use double up as an example. But you know, really caring about the consumer and not having them fall into predatory lending, and really helping them think about building credit. We look at ourselves as a financial copilot. And it's just a little bit different than mentality on how we look at the space. So we don't view traditional private label credit cards, for example, as a competitor, we look at ourselves as being able to help consumers build and establish credit, which may mean they're going to use more traditional credit products, but use it in a smarter, more thoughtful way. It's just how we approach the market. So product like Sezzle, well, we actually help consumers who want to establish credit, build their credit score is unique in the market space. And that was one of the things that attracted me, having been, you know, majority of my career as an executive in a retail organization and knowing how important some of those other things are for companies in their finances. And recognizing that this is really going to help this consumer who kind of got bypassed in the credit funnel, figure out how they were going to establish credit. So they can buy things smartly, like buy homes and bigger ticket items is one at a time. That's right.

Billy Restrepo 9:14

Makes total sense. Really great. So appreciate the clarification on that. So Alright, now let's talk about Target. And obviously, I understand you know, there's a caveat that you need content and a certain amount of information, but I'm sure a lot of people I am too. So first of all, congrats. I mean, it's a thank you the game changer, or I'm assuming it's a game changer for Sezzle, am I correct on that assumption.

Veronica Katz 9:37

It's certainly a big it's certainly a big deal. I mean, I can't imagine we were just over the moon happy with the partnership with Target. So is there only as a big, a big partner for us? I did it we're on a call. So you didn't see my facial reaction when you teed up Target partnerships because I am sensitive, the competence tells the partner not to share too much. That was the headline where you opened up. But in partnership for us tonight, to my knowledge, it is the It is the largest, you know, retailer to sign with buy now pay later the buy now pay later company exclusively. So, yeah.

Billy Restrepo 10:25

And that's that's kind of why it's such a big deal right for just for the network in general and the industry. Do you foresee that that's going to kind of change the path other retailers? Take a look at Target, say you're leading the way in this, maybe we should take a look at maybe not Sezzle something competitors are just looking at buy now pay later in general?

Veronica Katz 10:43

I think that they're all looking at buy now pay later, to be honest with you, I think there's incredible interest in buy now pay later. I think that without sharing anything confidential, I think all of the big players, the top retailers are exploring it in different stages. At this moment. I can't think of anyone off the top of my head that isn't talking about it or looking at it.

Billy Restrepo 11:07

But I'll ask you this. So what do you think are the trepidation for some of the more legacy or monolithic retailers out there to adopting it? And, and taking that step?

Veronica Katz 11:16

I think, again, I think you're gonna see a lot more large retailers move in this direction, they're continuing to see rapid adoption. So sometimes I think it's, to some degree folks have large pipelines, you know, they have other work that's in their roadmap, and it's about prioritizing it, or the time it takes to get in the roadmap. And, you know, I think it's fair to say different, just like when, when the internet came different retailers embraced it at different speeds, right? So I think you'd like anything like this are going to have different retailers brace at different speeds. I think they want to make sure and I think now this data is proven out. So I think initially, you know, people wanted to see was it really driving incrementality and bringing these younger consumers, I think now that's kind of table stakes they will just accept that that is happening. But you always want to make sure when you're launching a new payment type that you're not cannibalizing, right, you nobody wants to launch a new payment type, just to cannibalize another payment type, particularly if they have a private label credit card. So I think these are all really pretty natural, you know, reasons for a merchant to give a look and want to understand how it's playing out before they jump in. But now I think we're really past that corner. And there's enough data out there that that most retailers are really looking at where and when can it fit into my roadmap? And where do I prioritize it with, with things I'm working on?

Billy Restrepo 12:50

That makes sense. So how did the partnership come about? How long did it take to kind of finalize it?

Veronica Katz 12:55

Well, in fairness, we were in a pilot when I joined the company, so there was a pilot in place, and I can't discuss a lot of details about the pilot, we've done a few different iterations of it. But, but it's been obviously, it led us to signing a contract. So I'll let you draw your own conclusions from it. I would just say that Target is a very thoughtful organization who, and I love this about them, they just they're so consumer focused. And they really care about the types of partnerships that they get into. And the types of companies they work with, and, and their consumer experience. So they were incredibly thoughtful. And, you know, so it was a longer pilot, then perhaps most, but it obviously moved in a direction that we're quite happy with.

Billy Restrepo 13:51

Oh great. Okay, so what made Target choose Sezzle? l I'm assuming all the other players are obviously chomping at the bit for something you know, for such a marquee name. Why Sezzle?

Veronica Katz 14:03

So I don't want to put words in Target's mouth. I don't want to say why they chose Sezzle. But, I want to be very, very careful about that. But what I can say is I can say why I think retailers have been choosing Sezzle because I think you're gonna see more more movement in this direction. And as I mentioned earlier, we started in the SMB space, and we actually have more merchants in North America that are accepting us than anyone else. So it's only been recent that we've moved into the enterprise space, whereas some of our competition started there. So I think you're going to hear a lot more about Sezzle in the enterprise space. But without saying anything that gets me in trouble since we're a public company. There are reasons why I think retailers choose Sezzle. First off, we are focused on social good and mission driven and are a B Corp. And we're the only one in Fintech. And I think that's important because study after studies says that consumers in general, and particularly younger consumers, they care about that they're more likely to shop with customers with brands that are focused on social good. So I think that gives us a distinct advantage. I think companies like a Target is important to them, the types of companies they work with. So I certainly think our focus on social good is important. I think the fact that we have a fantastic consumer experience is critical. We have the highest sentiment, social sentiment scores, when you go out there and you look at positive and negative feed feedback online, we constantly are scoring at the top at Trustpilot. So we have great service and the experience is top notch, I think that's a great reason why merchants will select us. Clearly, we're driving incrementality, you could argue that different buy now pay leaders are driving incrementality, because we all bring some different customers into the mix. But, you know, we're clearly hitting all of the KPIs in terms of the type of measurements the company is looking for. And I think we are driving higher approval rates than many of our competitors. So I think there's quite a few reasons why a company would would choose Sezzle. Yeah, I could go on. I think those are like.

Billy Restrepo 16:38

It's, it's touched on a couple of things like those. So customer service space is somewhat interesting. And, you know, we host calls, with, you know, just on the industry in general, and we hear varying aspects of that. Can you tell me a little bit more about the customer service? Like, how does, how does Sezzle approach that you decide that you're starting with SMB, and now you're moving to the enterprise organization? Is it a new team that you're bringing on, or the SMB team trained well enough to handle like an enterprise kind of situation?

Veronica Katz 17:07

Yeah, well, we, we absolutely have both an enterprise and SMB teams. But for me, I'm really telling you about the overall experience, right? You go on Trustpilot. And you see, you know, people are just constantly rating us very high, the experience soup to nuts so it's, it's both the customer service support, which is exceptional, but it's also the product experience that, that you're having, and it's the, you know, the way we're interacting and how we're thinking about the consumer and each step of the journey that I think is resonating well.

Billy Restrepo 17:44

Perfect. So, you know, Sezzle's heavy focus or seemingly have to focus on the B Corp certification social good, you know, it was that hard purchase decision can seem like they both line up?

Veronica Katz 17:54

Well, again, I don't want to put words Target's mouth, but I certainly think that Target cares about its consumers. And it was an advantage that we were focused on social good. And, and, and they were, you know, just on a personal personal level, we were super excited when we got certification. And, and they were great partners, or equally excited when when they heard the news. So I think I think it's a positive. I think it's a positive when we talk to retailers in general. You know, being a PVC legally requires several to get dedicate some resources that benefit all stakeholders. So the employee focused customer focus, community environment, you know, not just our shareholders. So I think people recognize that young consumers across the globe are looking for these trusted partners. And I think, you know, great brands, great iconic brands, which is, you know, certainly can't think of a better brand would want to partner with I believe, wholeheartedly that things like this matter to great companies.

Billy Restrepo 19:04

I agree. So, is this the largest deal and all of the appeal?

Veronica Katz 19:10

Yeah, you know, that I got I've been asked that a couple times, to my knowledge is but you know, I recognize that there are some partners that have a buy now pay later component of their business that are really more focused on larger installments that have something built in retail, but for a for a pure exclusively focused on pay, and for i do i do think it is, to my knowledge, at least, I can send a message while we're here.

Billy Restrepo 19:45

Do you think, do you think your target market will help the entire BNPL spaces? Do you think it's going to kind of just pave the way to new types of things?

Veronica Katz 19:55

I think anytime you see adoption in a market leader I think there are many retailers that are looking for those North Stars, the market leaders, and what are they doing to go after when they're making their prioritization? Right, when they're looking at priorities? No look at the North Star, these market leaders for best, best in class examples of what they might want to focus on. So yeah, I do think it will further adoption. But I think it was already, as I mentioned earlier, well on its way and that pretty much most retailers are at some stage of exploring this right now. So I certainly think when a when an amazing brand like Target announces that it's certainly going to if you are considering it is certainly going to meet some work even harder. Sure.

Billy Restrepo 20:46

I can definitely imagine increasing the velocity of some sales cycles for some of the other retailers out there to realize that target kind of beat them to it. So kudos again, that, so let's change course, a little so you brought up Sezzle Up for people that are on the call, just dive into that and explain a little bit more? Because it is a big differentiator in the BNPL space.

Veronica Katz 21:03

Yeah, absolutely. And perhaps I'd be helpful if I even make a little step backwards, which is to say, you know, we find that about 50% of our younger consumers, they really have kind of an adverse reaction to credit, right. So about 50% are not interested in credit in general, right, they're not looking at off credit, you're seeing, you know, credit card adoption decreased quite a bit. And then 50% of our customers, they really just the timing, if you think get them dating myself, but when I was in college, they were giving out credit cards on campus. And then now of course, practices like, legal, yeah. Okay, thank you for making me feel better. Now, that's no longer, no longer illegal. But, but you know, you've got this whole group of new consumers that really haven't been in the marketing funnel for credit, or given a chance to build their credit, like, I got that first, little, you know, store card when I was in late High School, early college, that started me getting my first credit purchases, so they're really not in the funnel. So 10% of our customers don't want credit, if 50% of our customers would love credit, they just can't get credit. So, you know, what Sezzle Up does is my CEO does a great job of describing as, like he treats the product, what he would want to do for his own kids, you know, how do I help in a smart, thoughtful way, help these young consumers get credits, and they can buy things that they're going to want and need later in life, like their first cars. And honestly, you need to do you need establish your credit before you can, can be eligible to do those types of things. So how do you do it where you don't get them over those easy debt? Right? So Sezzle Up was kind of born with that mantra that, you know, for the 50% that aren't interested, that's fine, but because it's 50% of our customers that are, we can actually work with you, we have a series of content and tools and going to see more of this launch over the course of the year, we have a whole educational focus on helping consumers. You know, think about credit. And we'll work with you as long as you're you're paying us back on time, we'll work with you permission base to report you to bureaus and help you establish a credit, a credit, you know, credit, stronger credit rating. So you're able to move into traditional credit products, if that's what you desire, hopefully in a way that you're more educated and smarter about doing it. You're not you're doing it in a way that's not putting yourself in debt, right. So we want to be we're always very thoughtful about how we approach that. But yes, that's Sezzle Up does.

Billy Restrepo 23:55

That's amazing. So do you anticipate that, you know, you're saying this kind of as a 50-50 split now, but you're kind of the new payment norm for a lot of the newer people that are shopping? Do you see that that number changes, because you're going to be the trusted tower of credit, so to speak, by maybe they're not looking to go into a credit card just yet, but they will dabble in establishing credit, because Sezzle said that it was okay. And they may trust you.

Veronica Katz 24:20

Yeah, I do think people are leaning more heavily towards the pay. And for initially, people would talk about buy now pay later as being something people did when they you know, financially were more challenged. And I absolutely think that there are some, you know, basis for that. Right. And there are many people that are struggling financially, particularly in this last year. And the ability to stretch out your payments is a really valuable service to offer someone with no interest. So I definitely see the value point there. But now you're starting to see this shift of consumers which I just consider smart shopping. They have the money, potentially. But they're realizing that, you know, maybe it's just a smart decision to stretch out their payments, and manage their finances and budget differently. So some people are using us to help with their budgeting and planful ness of their spends is not all driven because I wanted to buy something now, and I couldn't afford it at this moment. So I think you're starting to see this next gen. shopper, and you're gonna see greater adoption as a result.

Billy Restrepo 25:32

Ever evolving. Beautiful. So let's change course, again. So let's talk a little bit more about your B Corp certification. So you brought it up the and made some amazing points about it, but that a little bit deeper, you know, why? Why does Sezzle, you know, take such a big initiative, and then like, why does this to heart the way that?

Veronica Katz 25:48

Yeah, that's a great question. Um, you know, the mission is, is always been very clear in the organization to help empower the next generation, financially. And I know the company has always had this stakeholder approach as a part of the DNA that we cared about more than just the shareholders. And we've done that from day one. So I actually think that first stage was becoming a public benefits Corp, and then getting our official certification, that it actually was more of a acknowledgement of who we were and what we were doing already. Right. So you know, all of the things that we were doing, and it was part of the company's DNA from those first day that the founder started, and when they kind of sat down said, who and what do we want this company to be? Getting that we in New York, incredibly honored to get the B Corp certification, but I feel like from everything I've observed, this was just the natural evolution of where the company was headed, right? Because these were the things they were already doing. It shows that we're not just paying lip service to what we've been saying all along is our our business mission side that we're walking the walk, it's great to have a third party, review it and by the way, they constantly review you. So this isn't a one and done thing. And it holds us accountable to that with a third party, which is great. Because, you know, lots of companies can say they're doing lots of things, but it's great to have that third party kind of really go in and grab it. So. But it's an evolution of who we've been. So we're really proud of that. But whether we had gotten a certification or not, I think the company, the company that that was really as DNA from day one.

Billy Restrepo 27:40

That's great. That's great. So you mentioned that, you know, like planting trees, you know, what, what other initiatives is Sezzle doing related to the B Corps ?

Veronica Katz 27:48

Well, we just, for instance, announced another scholarship. So we have been doing one in Minnesota, we just announced this month, a $20,000 scholarship that we're doing for seniors, there are a lot of things we're doing, we're we are in a partnership of Climate Neutral, we're getting certified this summer, we are making sure that we are leaving this planet a better place then. And the space that we're using by making sure we're carbon neutral, and actually, in taking even steps further than that. So and then, of course, you know about the tree thing, but we're constantly looking at ways to focus on social goods. So you also see in some of the ways we work with merchants, a lot of the one off ways we do this, we have a partners with purpose, focus, and we should talk a little bit about our marketing, but but on the social good piece, we have a partner whose purpose a great example, we, you know, we had a merchant that was doing this promotional program, to give outfits for people to interview with, during the time with so many people being unemployed, and we co sponsored that. There's a lot of things we'll do with different partners, you know, that are pretty, pretty cool. So it doesn't just have to be the big partnerships and charities were focused on. You know, our, our planting a tree, for instance, came from us working with Keen, we started that first with their footwear company. And it was just such a good, it just felt so right for us that we adopted that across all of our new users, not just with one partner. So sometimes it will take something we incubate with a merchant, and actually it will build into a bigger social good program.

Billy Restrepo 29:39

That's great. That's great. So before we jump into margins, you mentioned question came into this a little bit of a loaded question, but I'll ask it. Why do you think you guys are the only Fintech that are B Corps?

Veronica Katz 29:53

Yeah, I don't know. I think that I don't know if other There's honestly I don't know if anyone else is exploring it or not. I think you can't just wake up and decide you want to be a B Corp, right? It's not something just go and say I want to be a B Corp. It doesn't have to really be a part of your DNA and how your company is designed. And now you're prioritizing things. So I, I think it is a part of our DNA and who we are. And you know, if you think about some of the things I described as our product, it's all around this mission we have. So I don't know, I don't know why there are, it's not an easy status to obtain. It definitely has to be authentic to your brand. So you can't just wake up and decide to do it. So I guess that's the answer to that question.

Billy Restrepo 30:49

And I think you you fielded it very, very well. So

Veronica Katz 30:53

We should all be striving to that goal, right?

Billy Restrepo 30:56

Absolutely. Absolutely. So let's let's switch gears and kind of just go towards the margins. So how do brands and retailers leverage Sezzle as a marketing tool?

Veronica Katz 31:06

Yeah, absolutely. So we have a in house marketing agency. And one of the things that I think is unique about us is, because we're newer to enterprise, some of our competitors that started with enterprise can be fairly saturated, right. And every, every company, it doesn't matter who you are only has so much bandwidth that they can effectively talk to their consumers, right. So because we're new to enterprise with, there are a lot of really cool programs we can do with merchants right now, because we have the ability to do that for our first aid partners. So there's really great services, we provide all of our merchants. But you know, with the biggest ones, we have a lot of share voice we can offer. And we're doing everything from we do quarterly promotions, we invite merchants to participate in. Last year, we did this cool save the holiday campaign where we kind of poked fun at 2020. And we refuse to let the holidays go down with a fight. We did this whole gamification program and the merchants that participated saw incredible lift in their business. But it was really fun for consumers to do, as I mentioned, payments with purpose and really focus payments, social good programs, we have lots of pop up campaigns will do with the Select merchants. So there's a lot of different things in their toolkit. And it can range from, you know, working on really fun, TikTok with influencers to more traditional email or digital paid advertising, or events. So it's a creative team. It's a lot of fun to ideate with them and think about what they're doing. There's a couple really cool ones I don't think I'm allowed to share yet. But it's an innovative group. And we really built that out because we thought that would be a differentiator for us.

Billy Restrepo 33:06

Got it. So question that can really we're kind of lifted, they see. And I'm assuming they're talking about the 2020 campaign that you brought up?

Veronica Katz 33:15

Yeah, of course, I don't have it right in front of me, I want to say that the ones we measure, I, I'm doing this from memory. But I want to say that that group saw that a 25% lift, but I'm gonna I can come back and get used the actual stats from it. In general, though, we've seen seeing pretty significant results in a campaign. And I think I think you know, that I know that I know, for a fact that they saw a much larger order average order value, as well. But I'll get you the exact stats.

Billy Restrepo 33:49

Awesome. And are there certain types of merchants that saw more lift than others?

Veronica Katz 33:54

Well, I mean, because they run so many different types of campaigns. I think that's another thing that's in our in an advantage to us. If you think about it, some of our competitors are very strong in a particular vertical, like for instance, fashion, right. And we have fashion merchants, but because we started with SMB and because we have more merchants than anyone else in the buy now pay later space. We really have a wide range of verticals. And you'll see a lot of different shopping behaviors, you know, when people are buying things for trust, for instance, for travel for different types of verticals. So we have different types of campaigns that are happening. So I think we have more opportunities for different merchants to participate in campaigns, you know, wellness campaigns, we've got fashion campaigns, we are doing things in the sporting industry we're doing we're talking about campaigns and travel. So we really are kind of going across different verticals.

Billy Restrepo 34:56

Makes total sense. But another question that kind of just filtered in right Here's like, what verticals Do you believe are the best fit for buy now pay later?

Veronica Katz 35:04

Um, so I honestly, I think you're gonna start seeing? No, I'm hesitant because I'm not sure if I can say exactly, but we just signed a big deal with a enormous supermarket chain. So I think you're gonna see it in the everyday spend category. I think you're gonna see it in travel. I it's already very prevalent in fashion, HomeGoods. I think I think they're gonna see it across all categories, to be honest with you.

Billy Restrepo 35:34

Amazing. So you just brought up the grocery, I'm assuming you can't share much more about it. But is it a natural grocery chain and what can you tell us about that?

Veronica Katz 35:44

I can say it's a very large group. It's one that you all know.

Billy Restrepo 35:52

Got it got it. All right. Point of Sale in there are this. Can you?

Veronica Katz 35:58

I think you can see people purchasing with buy now pay later in store as well as online, absolutely.

Billy Restrepo 36:07

Amazing. Can you actually walk? Yeah, you are seeing as you walk, some of the people on the call through that, like, how does that work is that at the point of sale, they log into as an account or they sign up for one of their brand new disposal? If you could just walk through.

Veronica Katz 36:20

Yeah, it can vary a little bit. In our case, we we we've been issuing a virtual card. But yeah, it can vary by retailer. And by all means, I think we're we're also a little you know, testing some things ourselves and the the in store space, we actually are launching right now, a program where any SMB merchants could accept buy now pay later in the in the retail space. So it varies a little. But certainly one of the goals is to make it really easy for people who do not have Sezzle to be able to sign up for a new account. But we're also very active in driving our existing customers to those retail locations, right? Because most most retailers want to find the several to help with their incrementality. But yes, it's currently a consumer that doesn't have Sezzle so we would prompt them to, to sign up for an account. And we're exploring all different fun ways to work with brands to promote that in their stores in a way that helps them drive lift. Just leave those in offline, if you think about it, you know, messaging to the consumer that they can stretch their parents out. With no interest is a great message in the store, if done smartly. We have merchants asking us for everything from you know, decal coatings, all sorts of things that, that we'll be rolling out that are found in stores.

Billy Restrepo 37:47

Amazing. So do you anticipate that there's gonna be a lot of first time Sezzlers? I don't know if that's the appropriate term, let's say at Target, you know, signing up at the point of sale right there? Or is it going to be a large percentage of people that already some customers are going to be utilizing?

Veronica Katz 38:03

Yeah, I can't really, I can't really say, I believe that we'll get we know that we'll have some people sign up for us. But we're also in the business of driving our existing consumers to add lift and value to our retailers. That's really where we're heads down focused on. But certainly, if you have followed any of our public numbers, you'll you'll see we have very high rapid adoption of Sezzle. So we see that there's a lot of interest, we get a lot of referrals to people to join Sezzle more constant signups. So I think when you launch with a big brand, and someone gets excited, because they're like, well, I heard about Sezzle I love I am interested, but now they're at my favorite branch, or you're going to see additional people sign up as well, of course.

Billy Restrepo 38:57

Amazing. And do you anticipate that the the average order value or the average purchase price is going to go up? Considering that maybe they're not leaving all their funds at the store at that moment? But you know, spreading it out?

Veronica Katz 39:10

Yeah, we have historically seen probably about a, you know, 25% AOV lift. So I don't foresee any reason why you wouldn't see continued increase of purchase order size, because that's one of the benefits of, of biopsy later, right. The instead of they had to put something back that they normally want to buy at that moment, because then they have quite quite enough money at the moment. But now you know what? They can buy that extra $20 or $30 or $50. So yeah, you will see some increases in average order spend.

Billy Restrepo 39:47

So do you guys actively market merchants?

Veronica Katz 39:50

Yes, we are. Yeah.

Billy Restrepo 39:53

And it's a trend towards offering more than one buy now pay later as I get the most brands want to obviously avoid a NASCAR effect at checkout, but you know, what's the what's the right balance?

Veronica Katz 40:05

I think you know that that's a great question. And so thank you for asking it. But I get asked this quite a bit. You know, I do think there's a trend towards people offering more than one I think, you know, by all means when a partner wants to partner with us exclusively, there's more we can give them right. I think most buy now pay later companies are a little less likely to put in all the bells and whistles of market as they think they might be driving them to the brand, and then the consumer shops with someone else. You, you tend to get your biggest marketing partnerships towards those exclusive deals. But that said, if you're a consumer driven brand, and you care about getting your consumers choice, I think over time, more and more retailers are going to look to offer multiple, I use this analogy, and kind of borrowing it from someone else. But I think it's a great analogy, which is, if you think about when Amex and Visa and MasterCard are all coming out. I know each of those credit cards bring slightly different types of customers, right and MasterCard versus an Amex or Visa, you kind of think about different types of customers they bring to brands. And I think you're finding that with the buy now pay later set, we've had a couple of different ABS studies that we've done with merchants, and it was quite surprising that there wasn't as much overlap. So I think the difference of buy now pay later companies at this stage can can coexist with a merchant and each bring incrementality. And each bring different types of consumers to the table. Like I said, some of my competitors have been heavily focused on like, one vertical. So you know, they might not have as many customers shopping in fitness or in, you know, different categories. So I think you can bring different types of consumers and brands that care about giving that choice to their their consumers are going to want to have multiple options just like they do a credit card.

Billy Restrepo 42:17

Yeah, I think that's a great analogy. You know, there are different shoppers that utilize different cards. So it should be the same thing with that with another buy now pay later options. But that being said, you know, how many payment options is too many?

Veronica Katz 42:28

I don't know. I think when you stop finding incrementality from it, and you just start shifting tender type and you're at a point where you're at too many. But if you're driving incrementality, then that means you're bringing in new consumers that weren't shopping with you previously. You're just offering more choice simply saying how much choice is too much choice. So I guess too much choice is when it becomes overwhelming. And you're not seeing any difference in your results by offering that extra choice. I don't think that people are that options are there yet?

Billy Restrepo 43:04

Yes. So I guess this is a question. I'm sure you've been asked plenty. But how has COVID-19 affected buy now pay later industry level and out?

Veronica Katz 43:14

Yeah, I think, you know, initially, I mean, there's a lot of, as you can imagine, I think most businesses had a little bit of a, oh my gosh, how's this impacting us? And in many cases, COVID-19 was such a negative of a buy now pay later space, you saw such a shift of people shopping digitally, right. So that by default, you know, help anybody that was focused on online shopping, I look at my, my mom, for example, she probably hates I use this example. But I would have never thought my mom would have ordered groceries to have it delivered to her door. And now I can't imagine my mom will ever not want to do that sometimes, right? I think I think a lot of people accelerated how they were thinking about shopping digitally. This is pretty pretty obvious. And then in buy now pay later, you know, you did see a lot of increased signup, I think at first because people did need to stretch their payments even further. Because it's such a hard economic impact. So it actually was an accelerator for buy now pay later in general. But I don't it's not limited to to COVID and people are now once they're signed up and they're using they're realizing the value in ease and and our customers experience that they love more not seeing any lessened as the world is getting back to this new new normal and, and I still think there are still economic impacts that people are finding our product very helpful for. And, and the other thing I'd say COVID-19 for us, it reinforced When we talk about us as being a benefits corporate, we really did a lot of things to help our consumers we allowed, you know, additional chances for repayment without charging. So yeah, we did some we did the right thing. The company constantly when when faced with obstacles those the right thing for consumers.

Billy Restrepo 45:24

That's comforting to hear.

Veronica Katz 45:25

Especially, yeah, offering free. Yeah, yeah. So I think we stood up really well during COVID with our consumers baseball, so the brand that cares, and not just focused on the dollar are focused on, you know, trying to really be a product that helps them during this time.

Billy Restrepo 45:46

This great space. So as we were getting kind of close on time, so just want to kick in before I just pass it on to Veronica for some key takeaways, or a quick thank you to everyone who dialed in areas that are sending the question and participate and share their perspective. So if you're looking for more information on this, learning a little bit more about Sezzle potentially understanding more about buy now pay later in general, or hearing about the social good that they're doing through the course, I 100% purchase on some time for Sezzle are obviously highly recommended not just by the network, but by some very monstrous retailers, and soon to be a grocery company that I'm excited to hear about, and other brands that we know. So it's definitely worth spending, you know, 30 minutes aside to learn a little bit more about who they are, what they do. So with that Veronica, what are your key takeaways for us?

Veronica Katz 46:31

Well, first of all, thank you so much. I enjoyed this. I have been having more fun this last year than I have in my entire career. But my key takeaways for for those listening and thank you for joining is that you know the buy now pay later space is is a mega trend that's here today, it will drive incrementality I would love to have my team talk to you about Sezzle there are a lot of reasons why I feel very passionate that says was the best choice. But regardless of who you choose, I would encourage you if you haven't already to look at buy now pay later because it will drive incrementality to your business and it will bring younger consumers into your organization which I think most companies are looking to bring that that millennial into their org. We are the only mission driven B Corp. And consumers care about sharing with brands shopping with brands that are focused on social good. So we're a partner that truly partners with you. We will offer incredible marketing powerhouse behind our partnerships. And we are you know have great approval rates most merchants and and and the highest Trustpilot and social sentiment scores out there. So really proud of our brand and we'd be proud to work with other great brands in the space.

Billy Restrepo 47:57

Awesome. Thanks again, Veronica for your time and expertise. And thanks to everyone who dialed in. I hope everyone has a great rest of your week and thanks so much Veronica.

Veronica Katz 48:07

Okay, great. Thank you.

Billy Restrepo 48:08

Have a great one, guys. Bye

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