Even though blockchain started out as the technology behind cryptocurrency, experts have quickly found other innovative applications for it. It is now set to disrupt the retail landscape as innovators believe blockchain can go a long way to transforming the shopping experience and some companies are already making this possible.
Take the example of blockchain-powered social commerce community, Fanfare app that has been downloaded more than 200,000 times on both Google Play Store, as well as the iOS App Store within one year of it’s global launch in August 2017. The platform has already welcomed 200,000 users, 90 Ambassadors from 28 countries, as well as the participation of over 200 Brands worldwide
According to Vincent Lim, CEO of Fanfare, “By 2020, the Fanfare ecosystem aims to have more than 25 million users and 5,000 brands onboard, creating a total of 5 million shoppable videos, and generating US$1 billion worth of social buying.”
The global Social Commerce market is projected to reach US$165.59 billion by 2021, growing at a CAGR of around 34%1. Nevertheless, brands and brand owners are not empowered to effectively monetize the massive amount of user-generated content, while at the same time, many users and content creators are inadequately rewarded for their efforts.
“This fragmented brand-consumer relationship and the lack of a closed-loop interconnectivity between content creators, brands and users have resulted in a Social Commerce environment that is unable to realize its full potential. The Fanfare ecosystem aims to eradicate this problem,” explained Lim.
He defined Fanfare as a community-based 2-sided social commerce platform for creating, curating and converting consumer-generated videos into instant Shoppable Videos for brands. On one side, Fanfare allows consumers to upload videos of their favorite brands/products, which can be converted into shoppable videos (by Brands) for other users to buy these products directly. The content creator and consumer are rewarded in the process. On the other side, Fanfare enables brands to convert these consumer-generated videos into shoppable videos, thereby driving on-the-spot purchases and increasing their bottom line.
Through a unique Video Verification feature, brands can now aggregate all the videos created by their fans (i.e., consumer-generated videos) into their own channel on the Fanfare platform, where other consumers can conveniently view them without having to scour multiple online sites. By providing incentives, consumers are drawn into the Fanfare platform to seek out brands and products. Consumers can explore and make better choices by watching the trusted videos made by other consumers.
Lim informed that by using the ERC-20 Fanfare Token (FAN Token), is building a Social Commerce ecosystem where content creators, consumers and brands can connect intimately via the exchange of value through FAN Tokens. The FAN Tokens would be used by the brands as a reward mechanism for content creators by converting their user-generated videos into shoppable videos.
This allows every user-generated video to have the potential of becoming a point-of-sale for brands, thus making the entire social platform a marketplace for products. Users would also be incentivized for time spent on watching videos created by their friends or other consumers. Users can, in turn, use the FAN Tokens they have received as rewards to purchase products from the Fanfare eStore. Consumers who purchase products from the Fanfare eStore could further benefit from attractive discounts or additional rewards.
With Shoppable Videos, consumers also save valuable time from doing online searches as they don’t have to leave the app to view product information, or go to its product page on a website. They can now actively pull relevant information directly from the Shoppable Video to own their decisions, as well as tips to getting the most out of their products. These will help consumers feel good about their purchases, thereby creating a relevant and tailored shopping experience.
According to him, “With blockchain technology, every user can access and view every transaction record on the blockchain. In other words, every user can verify against it, thereby eliminating the need to trust a third-party entity. This “trustless” and transparent public verifiability is one of the unique characteristics of blockchain technology.”
Social commerce transactions on the Fanfare will be transacted through the blockchain and are therefore immutable – alleviating all discrepancies. These include brands rewarding content creators and/or performing video verification and conversion to shoppable video transactions, as well as users receiving rewards and/or purchasing products on Fanfare eStore.
Employing smart contracts or self-executing digital contracts, the Fanfare ecosystem is dispensing with intermediaries common in traditional commerce models, such as advertising and marketing agencies. This helps to reduce costs for brands, while ensuring that content creators receive a fairer and greater share of the value they are creating, said Lim, adding that without the need for intermediaries, all transactions in the Fanfare ecosystem can take place directly between brands and content creators on the blockchain, through a fast, reliable, unrestricted and undisputed manner.
“For brands, they can instantly convert the video and remunerate the content creator. There are no advertising intermediaries or upfront bulk fees payable to use the platform,” concluded Lim.