5 Startups Offering Blockchain for Loyalty Programs
Consumers’ daily habits changed during the year-long Covid shutdowns. Many people aren’t buying the same brands or shopping at the same stores today that they were before the pandemic began. More shoppers moved online in 2020 than ever before, and that trend is sticking even now that restrictions have loosened.
What’s the solution? In a bid to lure back longtime customers, many retailers are reimagining their loyalty programs in 2021. The rewards are getting bigger, the customer-facing mobile apps are getting more robust, and the cash-back offers we’re all used to seeing are getting traded in for cryptocurrency — all in an effort to give loyalty members more of what they want.
In a nod to just how mainstream blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Dogecoin have become, 44% of people now say they’d like to receive loyalty rewards in the form of digital assets. By offering digital currencies as an alternative to cash-back rewards, retailers are helping their programs stand out and bringing curious shoppers back into their stores.
These are five startups offering blockchain technology that can be used for customer loyalty programs.
Tools for Running Loyalty Programs on the Blockchain
Aetsoft’s blockchain-based tool is used to help retailers maximize their gains from existing loyalty programs and decrease the cost of program maintenance. Brands with loyalty programs in place can work with Aetsoft to offer blockchain-enabled tokens as rewards, and they can let customers choose how and when to redeem those rewards. They can also give away irrevocable blockchain tokens as reward points that never expire. Aetsoft says running a loyalty program with blockchain improves security and prevents against hacker attacks. The blockchain also makes it easier for brands to run highly-targeted loyalty programs, with unchanging records of customer identity and behaviors.
Qiibee is all about loyalty on the blockchain. The company uses state-of the-art technology to deliver a solution for businesses and consumers on its blockchain-based platform. Specifically, brands use a plug-and-play solution to operate their loyalty programs on the blockchain, where every loyalty application and customer reward can be tokenized. The system takes just a few hours to set up. Qiibee currently offers a loyalty white label app for brands that don’t have existing loyalty programs in place, along with a loyalty toolbox for those with existing programs and a partner aggregator program for enterprises.
Loyyal offers a blockchain-as-a-service solution for incentive management. The company leverages blockchain and smart contract technology to help brands manage their loyalty programs more efficiently. The Loyyal platform features enterprise-grade hosting services and development tools. Using Loyyal’s blockchain technology means brands don’t have to spend as much time verifying the number of “miles” or “points” they have stored for each customer. Instead, they can spend more time increasing engagement through integrated channels and expanding their marketing with personalized offers and promotions.
Permission.io has developed the ASK cryptocurrency, which enables permission-based advertising for e-commerce. The engagement model being pushed by Permission.io rewards consumers for loyalty and builds long-term relationships through a concept dubbed “incentive mechanics.” Retailers leverage the company’s blockchain-based digital rewards to collect permissioned data from consumers and meet customers online with their consent. In addition to improving ad performance on major platforms, Permission.io says rewarding consumers with digital currency improves engagement and promotes customer retention.
DigitalBits is an open-source blockchain network that’s focused on supporting consumer digital assets. Brands that use the DigitalBits blockchain can quickly launch their own digital asset on-chain, usually in the form of a digital currency or non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that are embedded into a brand’s own consumer-facing application. Examples of the types of digital assets that brands and retailers can create include loyalty points, store credits, and gift cards. DigitalBits says branded assets support “heightened levels of consumer engagement” and increase the value that consumers spend everyday.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.