Inventory and supply-chain tracking are only one popular application of blockchain technology. Integrating products and user journeys is where this technology will tie it all together for brands and consumers.
People like to buy things. Shopping is an everyday habit and popular pastime. Retail sales as a vertical generate trillions of dollars for a global economy. However, the mobile age has changed consumer habits and buying trends forever. Today, rather than hunting through the bargain rack, consumers look at reviews, search for best prices and want to understand sourcing and content online via their mobile devices before they buy.
Marketers and brand creators have to respond. The creation of a personal customer journey that includes interaction with a product, perhaps even being rewarded for doing so, is entering a new age. It is doing so enabled by several different new technologies, including blockchain and big data, that allows companies to understand consumer behavior better. And then, in turn, be able to more effectively engage customers with the ultimate goal of influencing all sales – online and off.
According to industry forecasts, e-commerce sales only accounted for just over 10% of purchases last year globally. By 2021, that will jump to 15%. This means that as pervasive as online shopping feels, the majority of shopping experiences will still occur in brick and mortar locations for at least the next five years. However, what the mobile shopping experience has created is a class of consumers who use their mobile applications while they shop – even in a traditional retail store. 65% of Australian consumers reported using a digital device to assist them before they go shopping. The numbers are about the same in all developed economies.
As a result, retailers and brands are creating and interacting with multiple channels for consumers to interact with their brands. These outreach efforts include social media of course but are not limited to it. This omnichannel approach is expected to become a more dominant feature of the entire retail experience in the future.
By using blockchain technology, this information can also start to be aggregated, per consumer, creating a much more personalized experience. For that reason, marketers are beginning to consider blockchain technology essential to not only upping their game but transitioning it to a highly digitally integrated, real-world and digital retail experience.
Startups offering a range of disruptive, block chained models to help brands achieve these goals, are now also beginning to come to the marketplace.
Shping has a very different idea about how to create a branded interaction, per customer, for marketers who want to reach them. In fact, they hope that their system token, the Shping Coin, will become the currency that enables brand retailers and associated organizations to use their platform to influence and reward consumers who make smarter, safer shopping choices.
The company’s mission is driven by four strategic drivers that are shaping both product development and functionality.
Develop The Largest Global Product Database: The database will be continually updated by both sellers introducing new products and buyers who purchase and review them. It will also be bolstered by a range of trusted data sources including brands themselves, certification authorities, standards issuers and government authorities. The database already contains 30 million products and the database has been selected as a technology partner for traceability by GS1 organizations in Australia, Malta, Azerbaijan, Singapore and Russia and by the New Zealand government-owned AsureQuality which provides food safety and biosecurity services globally.
Provide Full Traceability And Auditability of The Supply Chain: Retailers, distributors and customers, certification and governing bodies can easily trace and audit every product from source to sale.
Empower and Incentivize Consumers: Shoppers can find out about any product they wish to buy (that is also part of the Shping ecosystem) merely by scanning the barcode at the retail point of sale.
Enable Brands to Incentivize Consumers: The Shping ecosystem creates a unique opportunity for brands to engage their consumers in a non-disruptive, voluntary way. This aids in the purchase of the product in the first place, and strengthens brand loyalty and reputation.
Unlike advertising platforms, Shping gives brands the ability to channel their marketing budget into rewarding the consumer directly for their attention and engagement instead of paying for more traditional advertising in other channels.
The innovative shopper marketing and brand protection platform not only enhances but literally reinvents the path-to-purchase product journey – even after the customer has completed a purchase.
How does this work? The Shping App enables shoppers to scan product barcodes to learn pertinent product information, enables customers to check for authenticity and product recall status, and read reviews.
The Shping Platform is powered by Ethereum smart contracts and manages product traceability with a Hyperledger Fabric-based private blockchain allowing information to be exchanged quickly and securely.
Not only is the platform already functional and working with established brands. The presale, conducted during the last week of January, sold out.
Everyone involved in the ecosystem created by the Shping platform benefits, via multiple platform offerings.
The Shping App: By scanning regular barcodes, consumers are enabled to find out product information that will help guide their purchase decisions. Is this a green product? A great product? One that is better left on the shop shelf? In addition, consumers will be able to begin rewards just by scanning. No purchase required.
Increased Status: Shping App users will progress through five tiers of status – basic through platinum, as they become more active and frequent users of the platform. For example, a user who achieves 300 scans a month will get platinum status. Some token buyers will also qualify for platinum status for life during the crowdsale (if they buy a million system tokens per whitepaper or 150.000 at current offer). This is the only time this privilege will be offered. In addition to scanning, users can upgrade their status by inviting other users and by maintaining a high volume of Shping coins in their linked wallets. Holding more coins means there is more of a reward for participating. A scanner with platinum status, in other words, gets more of a reward for even scanning, than a user with lesser status (or a lower amount of system tokens). Users can only upgrade or downgrade one tier at a time, once per month.
Shping Marketing Module: The platform will provide brands and marketers with a new and highly targeted channel to send messages to consumers upon each scan. Marketers will also be able to obtain valuable aggregate information about these consumers’ buying habits. The platform has both uni and multicast communication capabilities, creating the opportunity to create many customers or even one at a time. The platform also has other valuable tools including a ready-made loyalty program, social media integration and automated marketing features including the platform artificial intelligence interface, Shping Bot.
Shping Security Module: The Shping Platform also gives brand owners the ability to activate powerful brand protection and security features which will enable tracking of every item from point of manufacture to the consumer.
Shping Retail Module: The Shping Retail module closes the gap between brands, the retail outlets who sell them and the consumer. This can be used to create cost-effective marketing campaigns that can be personalized and targeted with unprecedented granularity and increase foot traffic as well as sales volume.
Here are the details of the live Shping token sale:
Token name: SHPING
Token base: ERC-20
Token supply: 10 billion (fixed supply)
Token sale target: The company posted a USD $3 million hard cap as their target for the presale (which they met). Per the white paper, they also have graduated expansion plans for different levels of success achieved during this token sale. If they reach a hard target of around USD$37 million, they will begin on global rollout immediately.
Token sale start: Live now until March 23, 2018
Token price: USD $ 0.01
Minimum Token Purchase: 1,000 SHPING tokens
Currencies Accepted For ICO: BTC, ETH, ETC, LTC, DASH, ZEC plus Australian and U.S. dollars