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Over the past 23 editions of The Wild West of Web3 – and for a long time before that on my LinkedIn, I have been talking about different topics within the Web3 space.

In the last few years, especially since 2021, huge steps have been taken towards reaching mass adoption. However, in all honesty, I believe we still have a looong road ahead.

Instead of looking at this scenario as a problem, I focus on all the possibilities that being this early may bring for all of us: we can build solutions, create trends, and position ourselves to lead the charge.

Undoubtedly, some of the biggest opportunities to bring people in are in retail. After all, that’s where the masses spend their money, right?

And when it comes to Web3, we have to talk about NFTs: much more than colorful JPEGs, they represent a new way for the business-consumer relationship.

Today, I invite you to explore some of the best opportunities to bring retail and NFTs together, and hopefully, this will help you and your business reach the next level.

The current state of retail – An overview

 

For starters, let’s try and understand a bit more about what’s currently going on with retail.

Well, “retail” is a pretty expansive theme, so I won’t even try to cover ALL of it. Instead, let’s focus on it being one of the main avenues to reaching regular folks (“normies”).

Yes, as much as we have our Web3 bubble, we must reach the mainstream public to see things change (revenue, adoption, awareness, etc.). And whether you like it or not, that includes adapting/creating for the younger generations – or if you may, “your next customers”.

Meeting Gen Alpha: The New Digital Natives

Let’s talk about our newest (future) shoppers, Generation Alpha (those born from 2010 onwards).

These kids/teens have been swiping screens since they could crawl. For us marketers, it’s mandatory to understand this and figure out how to adapt our skills and business to this reality.

This group expects interactivity, usually has shorter attention spans, and hey, they tend to value authenticity. This means we need to amp up our game, with content that’s snappy, short, and real.

Take a look at the infographic below:

Sauce: adgully / (“With our minds” 😆)

Do you think retail is ready for this?

The Tech-Forward Landscape

E-commerce is still booming, AI is our new shopping buddy, and AR/VR is bringing digital collectibles to the living room. And with contactless payments and digital wallets, shopping becomes a “tap-pay-done” experience.

On top of that, we have immersive experiences that bring a whole new level of interaction, allowing customers to explore brands and products in different ways.

We talked a lot about that in our edition #11 and since then, many other brands have joined the party.

Hyper-personalization – for you and your avatar(s)

Looking into 2024, we must consider stuff that not long ago would sound crazy Sci-Fi stuff.

We’re talking about a reality where AI knows your style better than you do, and also the fact that the line between online and offline shopping is getting blurrier, with seamless omnichannel experiences.

Imagine walking into a store that recognizes you and guides you to your favorite products (and you are thinking “so just like web cookies, right?”… Stay tuned – but the answer is “NO” 😅)

And considering the insane amount of time people spend online – in special the younger generations – all this personalization also applies to their avatars.

Revolutionary deliveries and Blockchain authenticity

You have probably seen this on your timeline: drones and autonomous vehicles for deliveries. If not, believe me, they’re not just for fiction movies anymore.

Plus, for those who love luxury, blockchain has stepped in to guarantee that your fancy handbag is the real deal.

We talked about “verifiable scarcity” in editions #7, #12, and #21 – and more will come since it’s a very interesting topic – especially when we talking about luxury items.

In a nutshell, the rules of retail keep changing. And thanks to tech innovation, they are now transforming at warp speed.

It’s an exciting time to be a part of this revolution, blending tech, authenticity, and sustainability. For brands and consumers alike, it’s a journey of discovery and connection.

Are you ready to jump on this retail innovation?

OK, but WHAT THE F*CK IS AN NFT?

Pink Beanie is here to help you in your Web3 journey 🙂 

I know that many of you reading this are already familiar with Web3 vocabulary. However, I won’t assume every single one of you knows what an NFT is.

And since we are talking about Retail (and mass adoption), it just makes sense to understand what is an NFT before proceeding to our next segment. If we want our bosses, teams, friends, and customers to embrace Web3, we better be the first ones to know what is going on, right?

“An NFT is a digital asset that can come in the form of art, music, in-game items, videos, and more. They are bought and sold online, frequently with cryptocurrency, and they are generally encoded with the same underlying software as many cryptos”

Forbes.com

The definition above is correct, and here’s what I’d add to it:

Think of “fungible” like your regular dollars; one can easily replace another. You swap a dollar bill with me and we have the same thing/value/asset/token.

Now, “non-fungible” is the complete opposite – it’s about being unique.

In the art world, this is like owning the one-and-only original Da Vinci painting, not just a print. But NFTs, unlike the elusive piece, are super easy to verify. They’re registered on a blockchain ledger, making them one-of-a-kinders with exclusive ownership rights.

For collectibles, for instance, it becomes easier to ensure the uniqueness of each piece – and to track all its trading history.

Sauce: Oridoc

Ok, now we have a better understanding of what these letters stand for. Time to see how we can apply them to take businesses to the next level 🚀.

NFTs: Enhancing the retail experience

Ok, so now we know what an NFT is and how it works. The question is: “How Non-fungible tokens can/should be used to improve the overall retail experience?”.

There are multiple answers and possibilities, and we’ll explore some exciting ones.

As we’ve seen above, we’re talking about something that has the potential the very way we deal with assets and ownership.

Imagine brands issuing NFTs as part of a loyalty program, granting exclusive access to products or experiences. It helps create a deeper bond between the brand and the consumer (we covered this in the previous edition).

But beyond that, NFTs are redefining customer relationships, reshaping interactions entirely.

Here’s an interesting scenario:

With their digital/crypto wallet, a customer connects to a website/platform, and depending on that wallet’s “profile” (past transactions, NFTs currently held, etc.) the content displayed can be entirely adapted.

The wallet becomes a new focal point for communication, shifting from traditional email/ID-based systems to a more dynamic, safe and interactive platform.

It’s a shift towards a more personalized, secure, and engaging shopping experience, without the need for personal details, annoying web cookies, or long-boring forms.

In essence, NFTs are paving the way for more immersive, personalized, and rewarding experiences, aligning perfectly with the needs of the digital-first generations.

“It’s just a buzzword. No one is doing that”

When you come across someone saying that NFTs are just for very specific or small-scale businesses, show them that:

21 out of the top 50 fashion brands worldwide have NFTs / Sauce: Coingecko

Digital collectibles, passes for exclusive experiences, in-game assets, and more: These big companies launched NFTs collections for different purposes, with different objectives.

Some even offered assets that could be used to redeem exclusive physical models, delivered at the client’s address.

The thing is: NFTs are already part of the retail environment. So for many discussions, it’s no longer about “if”, but rather “when”.

So customers get new things to collect and experience, but…

“But what’s really in it for businesses?”

For businesses, the true value of NFTs lies in their ability to help forge a deeper, more meaningful relationship with customers, thanks to their very nature: being unique, verifiable, and transparent.

When a brand introduces NFTs into its strategy, it’s offering customers a piece of its digital identity – something that’s unique and personal. More than a “transactional interaction”, this helps build a community around the brand. In that sense, NFTs act as a bridge, connecting customers to the brand in a way that’s immersive and interactive.

Moreover, NFTs bring an element of transparency and authenticity that’s crucial in today’s market. They serve as a stamp of uniqueness and security, enhancing customer trust.

Imagine a retail environment where every purchase, or interaction, isn’t just a momentary exchange but a step towards a sustained relationship.

In essence, for businesses venturing into the world of Web3, NFTs become a strategic asset that can transform how customers perceive and interact with a brand.

On top of that, they can also be seen as an additional (or even as the main) revenue stream – both from the initial sale phase and royalties for secondary sales (more on that below).

This segment is only available for BorgoAcademy members.

Start today: NFTs for small businesses

Whenever things like “NFTs”, “Web3”, or “Blockchain” are mentioned, many people still think these concepts belong to big companies, complex projects, and/or require deep pockets.

Luckily, this is far from reality. In fact, Web3 in general – but let’s focus today on NFTs – helps level the playing field….

If you want to learn more about BorgoAcademy, hit the button below.

Spotlight: Lacoste’s UNDW3

This is not the first time Lacoste steps into Web3. However, their latest virtual store adventure, part of the UNDW3 loyalty program, is worth mentioning as a great example of how NFTs can create an exclusive retail experience to their customers.

Customers can experience a virtual journey where they explore the brand’s collection of clothes. However, the real thrill begins with the crocodile scavenger hunt, leading to a secret underwater VIP area.

This exclusive zone, accessible only to Le Club Lacoste and UNDW3 members, is where the digital revolution in retail takes full form. Here, Lacoste unveils a co-created UNDW3 collection, an artistic collaboration with the brand’s community members. Each piece in this collection is a trinity of fashion innovation: a physical garment, its digital twin, and augmented reality features, all accessible through a simple QR code scan.

In short: only NFT holders and members of the brand’s traditional/Web2 loyalty program (Le Club) have access to this exclusive area.

The project’s official website says that:

“UNDW3 takes the Lacoste customer experience to the next level. By joining the community, you play a part in the brand’s future through WEB3. An adventure in collaboration with all our Crocodiles, halfway between the physical and the digital world”.

On top of the special collection, members have a digital identity and, as said before, can co-create with the brand.

From this project, we can take some useful learnings:

🐊 Web2 x Web3: To adopt Web3 initiatives does not mean forsake everything already built in Web2 – especially for traditional companies.

Lacoste found a clever solution to benefit both “regular” members while also creating a modern way to attract new ones.

🐊 Exclusive community experience: The underwater (that’s how “UNDW3” is supposed to be read) VIP zone exemplifies how brands can create unique, community-centered experiences.

🐊 Innovative Fashion Technology: The blend of physical apparel with digital twins and AR technology exemplifies the future of fashion retail.

If your business is somehow around fashion you should start thinking about how to explore Web3 initiatives – In my opinion, fashion is one of the industries that more can benefit from this new landscape

🐊 Engaging Brand Loyalty: This strategy showcases how brands can evolve loyalty programs into interactive, rewarding experiences.

With UNDW3, Lacoste offers more than clothes – the brand invites its customers to a shopping experience. It’s a bold step towards the future of retail, where shopping transcends physical boundaries.

So there you have it: from small businesses to global brands: companies of all sizes can benefit from bringing NFTs into their retail strategies. And they’ll obviously need professionals ready to craft these solutions.

Are you ready? If not, I’ll help you get there.

BorgoAcademy Community

You help me build this, so I want to give you back.

In this section, I’ll answer questions and discuss ideas sent by you, my fellow Web3 partners.

Recently I shared my view on a great report about “Real World Assets Tokenization” (click here to read it).

The tokenization of RWAs is a great way to reach retail customers, as we discussed in edition #21. And below you’ll find some interesting comments I received on this topic:

“We’re not ready, yet.”

Like I said in the opening segment of this edition, “I believe we still have a looong road ahead”.

And that’s great! You have time to set yourself (and your businesses/projects) ahead of everybody else. I call that a lifetime opportunity!

Games, music, film… There are opportunities for everybody

Tokens/NFTs can impact MANY different industries, from art to collectibles, from games to clothing.

We have covered different fields since our first edition, and yet, it’s nearly impossible to list all the different use cases NFTs can be applied to.

So regardless of your passion or skillset, there’s certainly an opportunity waiting for you in Web3. And even if there wasn’t: go and create one!

“But back in my time”

Sometimes it’s hard for leaders and business owners to adapt to evolving tech, different demands from customers, and new paradigms.

While this may not be a problem for some companies, most can’t afford being stuck in the past.

So be the change your company needs – whether as an owner or an employee. Adapt, learn, change – and I’ll help you with that.

My personal mission is to empower the next generation of leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs to excel in the ever-evolving internet.

$300 million in 15 minutes 🤯 

Quick retail-related “fun” fact before we say goodbye: In edition #22 I mentioned the Apple Vision Pro – and you have probably seen/read about it multiple times in your social feed.

Well, reportedly, within a 15-minute window, the tech giant sold out its initial stock of 80,000 units, generating nearly $300 million in revenue.

And believe me, a lot of people will keep on saying that AR/VR, immersive experiences, and Web3, in general, won’t ever reach the “retail public”.

As mentioned in this very edition:

 

See you soon.

#LFGrow
Diego Borgo

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