- Though they’re still new technologies, crypto, NFTs, and the metaverse can benefit your business.
- Four founders and executives share how this tech can generate sales and boost customer loyalty.
- For example, Lisa Mayer said her brand’s first NFT collection made $2.3 million in sales.
Some people believe cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens, and the metaverse are the future, while others say they’re overhyped fads.
Regardless of whether these technologies will gain mainstream adoption, they can benefit your business, generate sales, and boost customer loyalty now. Additionally, popular platforms are making it easier for entrepreneurs to integrate these concepts into their businesses.
Shopify plans to allow merchants to mint and sell their own NFTs and to accept both cryptocurrencies and traditional methods of payment. Additionally, Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that Instagram would bring NFTs to the platform. Meanwhile, investors are buying virtual plots of land to establish new-age shopping districts powered by blockchain, Business of Fashion reported.
The fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff, the Boss Beauties founder and CEO Lisa Mayer, the brand strategist Umindi Francis, and the Yahoo executive Joanna Lambert explained how entrepreneurs are using crypto, NFTs, the metaverse, and Web3 — the new generation of decentralized internet based on blockchain. The discussion was part of Female Founders Day, hosted by the Female Founder Collective on March 10.
Web3 may usher in new markets
Of the internet’s eras, Web3 could be the one that creates unique business models and opens new markets for companies, said Lambert, the president and general manager of consumer properties at Yahoo.
“It’s going to transform and completely overwhelm ownership across the web,” Lambert said. “It’s really about the democratization of these tokens and how people can own them, exchange them, and create value, which creates amazing opportunities for businesses.”
This differs from previous generations — such as the world’s first iteration of the internet, known as Web 1.0, where emails replaced phone calls and Google replaced libraries. Then, Facebook and Twitter ushered in Web 2.0 as a platform economy, where people could work and socialize on demand.
The NFT membership model
Mayer founded My Social Canvas 10 years ago as an organization that funds mentorships, scholarships, and creative collaborations for women. Last year, the company’s first NFT collection, Boss Beauties, sold out within 90 minutes. Mayer said it made about $2.3 million in sales — an estimated conversion of the cryptocurrencies the NFTs were purchased with. Since then, the NFTs have generated $37 million in secondary sales.
“Think about this space as a way that you can generate revenue and work on your passion,” Mayer said.
But the NFTs were more than a way to raise money — or crypto — as each unique piece of digital art is also a membership token. The token gives the buyer access to an exclusive Boss Beauties community, which includes free books, a Discord channel, and a 10% royalty when the art is used on merchandise, such as T-shirts sold at Target. The company also plans to host a members-only conference, but it has yet to announce a date.
This type of membership model is one way entrepreneurs can continue to engage their customers far beyond an initial purchase. By selling NFTs that come with perks and exclusive access, a brand can infinitely add more incentives for customer loyalty.
Outfitting your meta-self in style
Last fall, Minkoff created a collection of 221 NFTs to coincide with her fashion-week show. People could purchase an NFT version of her clothes, and the proceeds went toward grants for women-owned businesses affected by the pandemic.
At first, Minkoff was skeptical that anyone would buy clothes they couldn’t wear, but the collection sold out in nine minutes and proved to her that the technology could be a powerful tool for brands.
“Today, she’s going to collect it. But tomorrow she’s going to wear it on her Instagram, for a Zoom meeting,” Minkoff said, referring to how someone could outfit their avatar, or digital likeness, with an NFT. “She’s going to be able to buy and trade it.”
NFT fashion is not only more accessible but also reduces the costs and waste associated with the garment industry. “In the metaverse, I don’t have to worry about a sample and the cost of it,” Minkoff said. “You can cut out a lot of waste.”