At its core, customer loyalty and engagement are ‘make or break’ factors of every company. We, at Super Ultra, have made consistent efforts to reiterate on our blog how blockchain and Web3 can improve the way brands reward and retain our users, especially when it comes to gaming. Blockchain brings many benefits, but one of the main advantages of integrating Web3 is how it helps a company improve the way it interacts with a customer.
How Web3 is transforming loyalty
Whether it be punch cards at your local coffee shop or robust rewards and redemption schemes from airlines and hotels, loyalty programs have always been a part of our lives. Blockchain can transform any aspect of retention by opening traditionally closed loyalty programs through marketplaces and the transfer of ownership. We are now seeing big brands initiate a loyalty revolution such as Starbucks’ Odyssey program and others that we will explore in this article.
Your cold brew now comes with a tradable companion
The landing page for Starbucks Odyssey, and the page for the Holiday Cheer journey. Source: Geekwire
Starbucks Odyssey members will use their Starbucks Rewards login to participate in ‘Journeys,’ which include a series of interactive activities to complete. Users will need to complete different activities such as a virtual tour of Starbucks coffee farm Hacienda Alsacia in Costa Rica, or trivia about Starbucks heritage, or play interactive games like the customer-favorite, Starbucks for Life. A user managed to win a Starbucks NFT and sell it for $89 on Nifty, but mentioned that if they had waited two more days they could have sold it for $250!
Such strategies not only keep customers interested and engaged but also increases the retention rate due to their hope of what they might win or earn next!
DayAway, a project curating luxury hospitality experiences and privileges
DayAway announced the launch of its genesis token, dubbed the “Founder’s Key”. The NFT provides holders with real-world privileges including luxury experiences and events curated by a variety of iconic brands.
DayAway shared that the vision behind its Founder’s Key NFT is to provide instant value and utility to its holders. DayAway is already a leading online destination in the hospitality world, with visitors using the site to discover and book curated luxury experiences. The Founder’s Key NFT brings a new angle compared to standard paid subscription membership models with annual fees, by tokenizing the membership model. The NFT grants lifetime access and is tradable. Implementing membership on the blockchain helps authenticate ownership, verified by connecting the user’s crypto wallet, which can then be used as an exclusive pass to the most elite social clubs. Some benefits include savings off overnight stays at the Raffles Hotel Singapore, the Mandala Group’s villa and chalets, and more from a growing list of partners.
Brand loyalty and virtual collectibles
In a future world will all brands be equipped with tokens for trading? In saturated industries that are fiercely competitive, we can expect rewards to change so that nearly every purchase gives back brand points in some form. Just imagine buying a new pair of Nikes that come with a digital replica of the shoes which the customer can keep or eventually sell on an online marketplace. This is something that Nike is already experimenting with dot Swoosh, but it’s still in a nascent and limited stage. We can already imagine a world where every item comes with a digital replica whether it's a shoe, whiskey, or car.
What does blockchain change for customer loyalty?
1. Cost reduction
Companies will find it cost-effective to introduce blockchain technology into their customer loyalty programs. While they may incur a high upfront cost of implementing such a system, eventually they will account for cost savings on three fronts; system management, transactional, and customer acquisition. The blockchain-based rewards system can reduce errors and fraud while also improving tracking which can be a major win for old legacy systems.
2. Enable a frictionless system
In the future, the blockchain will enable an environment where a customer can collect rewards from all their brands in a single digital asset wallet. A decentralized technology solution can be implemented for a user, where the customer experience can be completely frictionless.
3. Improve transactional speeds
Blockchain can ensure that loyalty rewards are processed almost instantly without any delays often found in bureaucratic systems. More importantly, it can improve customer service as well as any individual can access or track the records by cutting through coordination inertia to credit points faster.
4. Creating unique business opportunities Besides a frictionless and interlinked loyalty system, a loyalty reward system can also open up many business opportunities to introduce value-added services for all kinds of businesses.
A potential drawback of tokenizing loyalty for brands is exposing customer data to competitors since everything is on-chain. However, the risk presented by tokenizing loyalty doesn’t outweigh the benefits for companies that understand their customers and are willing to innovate. Open loyalty programs will become the new norm and change is coming. Blockchain technology will unlock new opportunities for brands of all sizes and consumers to share more value.