They were widely regarded as a bubble at the beginning of last year, but by the end of 2021 the total NFT sales volume had powered past $27bn as established international brands like Nike, Samsung, and Louis Vuitton started experimenting with the technology.
Since last July, the hugely popular, subscription-based eCommerce platform Shopify has allowed merchants to sell NFTs directly on its storefronts.
The team at Shark Design has been paying close attention to how this technology is likely to affect online business. There is no doubt that NFTs have the potential to massively disrupt eCommerce, an industry that is projected to continue expanding significantly.
Potential Use Cases
NFT technology can help to streamline digital sales, enabling lifetime product data tracking to a level of detail that was previously impossible. For the first time, users will have continuous access to every data point across the product's life span.
That means access to the entire supply chain history of a product, enabling consumers to check the authenticity of luxury goods, sustainability credentials, and other ethical considerations.
We expect a sort of ‘eNFT’ to emerge at the heart of a more transparent eCommerce ecosystem. It’s very possible that NFTs will eventually take over from SKUs with a blockchain-based alternative.
Reinventing Old Business Models
Some of the most popular NFTs are already used to promote one-of-a-kind products. What’s less obvious is their utility in supporting more equitable profit-sharing systems. This gives some clues as to how once-successful but now struggling partnerships (the UK’s John Lewis springs to mind) could reinvent their model for the 21st century.
Similarly, decades have passed since Napster’s catastrophic disruption of the music industry, but NFTs could help turn things around and back in favor of the artists. For example, rock band Kings of Leon released their new album When You See Yourself in the form of an NFT.
We see this move as part of a larger trend of musicians seeking to connect with (and sell to) their audiences directly, removing the middleman. They’ve had a crack at a few other methods, but NFTs seem like the best bet so far.
Helping Your R&D Process
Another rarely considered factor is the value of NFTs in the R&D process. Businesses can use NFTs to reward consumers for taking part in surveys or beta-testing. They might assign exclusive rights to certain NFT holders, giving them a direct say in the brand’s product development roadmap.
This is a clever way to gain truly meaningful insights, which was always a hit-and-miss endeavor with online polls. Of course, it is possible to build on this approach by granting participants early access to new product releases, profit-sharing arrangements, loyalty programs of various kinds, and perhaps entry to special events or private communities.
The past evolution of applications, the web, and information exchange mirrors what we observe taking place today in the cryptocurrency arena, with NFTs as an extension of that. They may seem like a fad now, but the industry is only just getting started.
We are sure that the e-commerce world will discover fresh and exciting ways to develop their NFT ideas in a way that adds real value to the consumer.Considering an NFT Marketing Campaign?