Impact of NFT Gamification on Customer Experiences in the Retail Industry
The retail industry is gradually hopping onto the nonfungible tokens (NFTs) train in recent times. Once seen as gimmicky and mere digital collectibles, NFTs have shown real economic value and utility, which has made them an attractive prospect even for the top brands.
Top retailers across the globe are now leveraging NFTs and gamification to tap into the digital natives market and build a loyal customer base in the metaverse. The use of NFTs in retail is also having a meaningful impact on the customer experience.
In this article, we look at the creative concepts deployed by many brands as they look to tap into the NFT gamification trend in retail.
Retailers are now creating wearable NFTs and building retail outlets in the metaverse. The world’s largest retailer, Walmart, is already trying out metaverse shopping and sees the metaverse as a perfect opportunity for an early adopter to get ahead of the competition and establish a solid presence in this market of the future.
NFTs and the metaverse are used to create digital duplicates of the real-world SKUs and to establish metaverse stores, allowing retailers to directly engage with customers. The metaverse not only enhances but also personalizes these shopping experiences.
The fun activities along with the interactive experiences happening in the virtual outlets represent the beginning of the gamification of nonfungible tokens. Most of these experiences are already accessible via virtual and augmented reality devices.
Within a very short time, nonfungible tokens have evolved from purely collectible-based digital assets into an ecosystem where one can play games, as an in-game drop or as a reward. The gamification of nonfungible tokens has commercial value beyond the purely entertainment-based use cases that we have seen so far. Brands can design these experiences in such a way that they attract consumers not only to interact but also to buy and enhance retail sales.
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Luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton has Louis the Game in which players go on a journey spanning various locations and look for 200 collectible NFT candles. The experience was created to celebrate Louis Vuitton’s 200th birthday. Each of the NFT candles will unlock stories detailing the history of the luxury fashion brand. Louis Vuitton created the NFT-enabled game to reach out to the younger demographic but it is now adding more levels and NFT raffles to expand the reach of the game. Downloads in the game have already hit the 2 million mark. The metaverse investment paid dividends for the fashion brand with Louis Vuitton reporting a spike in sales from the ramping up of its marketing efforts which tapped into a pent-up demand for its luxury fashion products.
Gaming is undergoing constant evolution and is constantly embracing newer and better technologies. When it comes to the gamification of nonfungible tokens, it is important for retailers to place an emphasis on the creativity and authenticity of the content. NFT gamification provides a novel solution for engaging an audience and introducing some excitement to all customers, including the new and the old.
Gamification Reaches Loyalty Programs
Another way in which brands are embracing NFT gamification is by tying them up with loyalty programs.
An example of this kind of deployment is in the ShiftPixy NFT Loyalty Program, a multi-platform program combining we, augmented reality, and in-app gamification for the company’s food retail business.
Anyone holding the ShiftPixy NFT and playing the in-app games cab win rewards or some free food packages from the food retailer. Holders of the NFT can also use an augmented reality experience to place an order and view a 3D menu where each of the items on the menu is brought to life using hyper-realistic interactive features.
Other examples of companies deploying gamification elements to boost their loyalty programs are the fashion brands GAP and LookHUMAN.
GAP dropped an NFT collection inspired by its signature hoodie and which incorporates art themes based on positivity and equality. The GAP NFT collection is available in four tiers according to pricing and availability. These tiers are common, rare, epic as well as one-of-a-kind. When users are buying the common and rare tokens, they also get an opportunity to win epic-level NFTs along with a physical Gap X Frank Ape hoodie.
LookHUMAN launched a t-shirt NFT collection dubbed RFTees. The RFTees NFTs are free for customers who buy the apparel brand’s products. Through its NFT-enrichened loyalty program, LookHUMAN wants to provide value in savings and rewards. RFTees holders also have the opportunity to earn cash rewards or special prizes on future purchases like free t-shirts.
The gamification of loyalty programs allows these brands to explore new ways of connecting and strengthening their customer base. It also gives their customers some value for their patronage of the products. Gamification also improves the customer experience and can rope in new customers from disparate market segments.
NFTs in Ecommerce
Many retail eCommerce portals are now embracing nonfungible tokens. They are adding fun gamification elements in a bid to add some excitement to the shopping experience.
Shopify, for instance, partnered with Doodles with its collection of hand-drawn art NFTs which saw it launch pastel-colored NFT artrom URL in real life. Shopify also launched an online marketplace where practically anyone can buy the physical mascot versions of the Doodles NFTs. Shopify was also issuing a Doodles NFT to a lucky winner following the eCommerce platform on Twitter and retweeting its tweets.
In 2021, the eCommerce behemoth eBay allowed the sale of NFTs on its platform which roped numerous buyers, creators and sellers onto the platform and unlocked lots of new possibilities for an eCommerce that is focused on the NFT marketplace. eBay followed on this by releasing its first NFT collection in collaboration with Sports Illustrated and the National Hockey League. The eBay collection consisted of 13 digital collectibles with 3D animated renderings that feature Gretzky as a digital action character.
The prices of the eBay collectibles vary, ranging from $10 for the basic green rarity but going to as high as $1500 for the diamond tier NFTs.
Shopify and eBay, like other top brands, are venturing into NFTs to look for innovative ways of providing value to their markets that are increasingly being filled up by the tech-crazed GenZ.
The big companies are still dominating the current retailer adoption of the metaverse. Small and medium-sized businesses are still lagging behind but it’s time they got more involved in tapping into NFTs and gamification to leverage the new market groups, build customer loyalty, increase customer engagement and experience, and drive sales.
As blockchain technology continues to evolve, we are going to see more companies hopping into the metaverse bandwagon to take full advantage of the opportunities found therein. There is a growing consumer appetite for this kind of technology and brands need to get in there ahead of the consumers. That will be one of the top challenges for many forward-looking brands in 2023 and beyond.