New Sweetwater CEO Mike Clem Amplifies Vision for Music Retail

E-commerce musical instrument provider Sweetwater won’t be singing a brand new tune underneath its newly-appointed CEO, Mike Clem. As a substitute, the corporate will likely be cranking up the amount to remain true to what it does greatest — assembly its prospects’ wants.

The music expertise and instrument retailer’s chief development officer stepped into his new position on Sept. 29. Clem replaces John Hopkins, who retired after greater than 30 years at Sweetwater.

Clem joined the corporate in 2003. In that interval, he held a number of key management roles in e-commerce and advertising and marketing that orchestrated strategic development plans and innovation in all areas of the enterprise. As chief digital officer, he oversaw the net buying expertise and technique that grew to become instrumental in driving Sweetwater’s development.

“Mike is a pure option to change into CEO and president and has performed a key position in our large development and success for the previous 20 years,” mentioned Hopkins. “I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Mike and am assured in his management and imaginative and prescient for the longer term. Sweetwater is in nice arms.”

Clem’s capacity to guide the corporate into the longer term was instrumental in his choice, added Sweetwater Founder and Chairman of the Board Chuck Surack.

“Not solely does he perceive and worth the rules which have guided me and Sweetwater for the previous 4 a long time, however he has a real coronary heart for making certain that we proceed to maintain our prospects, our staff, and their households, and our vendor companions,” he mentioned.

Clem has over 25 years of expertise in retail e-commerce, which started within the web’s earliest days and contains many notable retail manufacturers. He’s acknowledged as an innovator, speaker, and mentor. A graduate of Purdue College, he’s a lifelong musician who’s passionate in regards to the music trade.

Adapting Retail Methods Saved Enterprise in Beat

Clem, as each a retail skilled and musician, noticed many adjustments influence how on-line music purchases work. Probably the most important change was how instrument purchases moved from in-store to on-line.

“We work onerous to assist prospects in that transition by including extra worth and belief. That features issues like our free two-year guarantee, free tech help, free delivery, our well-known 55-point guitar inspections, and our extremely educated product specialists,” he instructed The E-Commerce Instances.

That journey for Sweetwater adopted a robust roadmap of recent concepts to serve prospects. Presently, the corporate is discovering thrilling development in markets like content material creators, Ok-12 training, and used gear.

One other landmark is the music mecca’s new distribution facilities that serve most prospects with one-to-three-day delivery.

Hitting the Proper Notes Amid Market Challenges

Sweetwater faces the identical mounting challenges as different on-line retailers, comparable to financial uncertainties and shifting shopper conduct. Nonetheless, the corporate additionally efficiently navigates its personal set of distinctive challenges within the music trade.

“Prospects need belief and worth greater than ever, and we’re additionally seeing heightened curiosity in financing choices,” Clem provided.

Past that, Clem sees sturdy demand and engagement amongst music makers. It’s a high-passion trade that stays sturdy even in unsure economies, he noticed.

Assembly that hallmark for patrons is a crucial objective. So, staying true to the corporate’s roots is his essential focus as CEO.

“For over 4 a long time, our tradition has been centered on integrity, serving others, obsessing over particulars, innovating, and treating prospects as associates. It’s a profitable recipe,” he added.

Taking part in Up Buyer Service

Sweetwater is understood for its over-the-top customer support and 650 highly-trained gross sales engineers. Clem sees that status among the many most profitable e-commerce methods he applied to develop the corporate.

“As a buyer, you’re paired up with certainly one of these consultants who will get to know you personally and may present experience and suggestions alongside your musical journey,” he defined.

Consequently, the corporate will get to know its prospects at a really deep degree. That enables Sweetwater to supply a few of the most superior personalization and one-to-one advertising and marketing in all of retail, he concluded.

“I usually inform those that the place we buy might change into much less attention-grabbing, however the place we analysis and uncover new merchandise is the place retailers will likely be competing for a bonus. That’s the place we put our power at Sweetwater,” he mentioned.

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