Building loyalty with Web3

Engaging Communities with Web3 Rewards: From Tokens to Trust

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April 13, 2023

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Communities are one of the big differentiators between Web3 loyalty programs and traditional loyalty programs. But why are they so important?

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, businesses must constantly seek innovative ways to keep their customers engaged and loyal, or risk getting left behind. One of the latest innovations to arise is Web3.

The emergence of Web3 technologies has ushered in a new era of customer rewards programs that are transforming the way companies connect with their communities.

Web3 reward programs differ significantly from traditional (Web2) programs. They offer customers increased levels of personalization, transparency, and flexibility. This post will explore how Web3 loyalty programs differ from traditional programs, the importance of community relationships, and how brands can get started with Web3 loyalty rewards.

Web3 vs Traditional loyalty programs

Integrating Web3 rewards in tandem with traditional Web2 loyalty programs can provide a holistic solution that addresses the issues plaguing legacy systems while enhancing customer experiences. By combining the strengths of both Web3 and Web2 technologies, businesses can create a more flexible and personalized loyalty program for their customers.

Consumers place a high value on personalized experiences, and Web3 loyalty programs can deliver just that. Research from BCG found that consumers were 40% more likely to spend beyond their planned budget when the shopping experience was highly personalized

In contrast, many traditional loyalty programs are limited in their flexibility and customization options. This issue is further exacerbated by the rising customer data protection policies being introduced. As privacy policies evolve worldwide, marketers are finding it increasingly difficult to access customer data and target potential new customers using their personal information. 

Web3 loyalty programs offer enhanced opportunities for customer retention and increased sales. Traditional programs have long been praised for these benefits, but they often suffer from low participation and redemption rates.

For instance, a customer loyalty survey conducted by Merkle found 54% of customers believe that it takes too long to earn a reward, with 32% feeling like the rewards offered are not valuable enough.  These shortcomings are mostly due to the complex nature of traditional loyalty systems, which often need high thresholds for reward redemption.

In contrast, Web3 loyalty programs expand the opportunities to create enticing incentives for customers. By leveraging the unique features of Web3 technology, businesses can offer a more streamlined, efficient, and engaging loyalty experience that keeps customers coming back for more.

The power of community in loyalty programs

The importance of community and relationships cannot be overstated in the success of future loyalty programs. People are more likely to engage with brands that resonate with their values.

Studies suggest that above fame and fortune, humans desire belonging and connection. Creating a positive community space for your customers will lead them to associate connectivity and belonging with your brand. 

Web3 rewards offer promising avenues for building and nurturing these relationships. Web3 is unique as it allows you to build trust for your brand through transparent interactions. As all party's actions are transparent, it makes it easier to encourage and incentivize long-term engagement and participation. 

It’s important that the loyalty programs truly give the user a sense of belonging and that they’re not just another number. The shift in power dynamics encourages brands to be more customer-centric and to foster a genuine relationship with their audience. 

Why use Web3 for customer loyalty programs?

1. To create personalized rewards

Web3 rewards have the power to revolutionize customer engagement by offering unique, personalized incentives tailored to users’ interests and preferences. By embracing Web3 rewards, brands can foster meaningful relationships with their customers and cultivate long-term loyalty.

A great example of Web3 rewards and gamification comes from Starbucks Odyssey. This experience lets fans interact and earn journey stamp NFTs and Odyssey points. Which will open “access to new benefits immersive coffee experiences they cannot get anywhere else”.

NFTs, or digital collectibles, can be used to unlock value, such as discounts, exclusive access to products or services, or even voting rights within a community. This increased personalization and utility (i.e. additional benefits connected to the NFT) enables brands to offer rewards that are more meaningful and relevant to their customers, thereby increasing engagement and loyalty.

2. To optimize the customer experience

Web3 rewards leverage blockchain technology and smart contracts to automate and streamline the process of earning and redeeming rewards. This not only reduces friction and administrative overhead for brands but also allows the customer to take full ownership of their membership and loyalty status. When applied properly, blockchain-based reward systems help transparency and trust between consumers and brands.  

3. To facilitate cross-brand collaboration

Another way Web3 rewards drive engagement is by enabling seamless cross-brand collaboration. Web3 promotes interoperability between different blockchain platforms and decentralized apps. The Web3 services platform, Chainlink, defines interoperability as “the ability of blockchains to communicate with each other.” Through tokenization, smart contracts, and interoperable infrastructure, Web3 rewards promote transparency, automation, and user empowerment. This aids cross-brand collaboration by allowing different brands to smoothly interact with one another, regardless of the underlying blockchain technology. 

By letting customers earn and redeem rewards across multiple platforms, brands can tap into new markets and create synergies with other companies. All while providing their customers with a broader, more fulfilling experience. 

Seamless cross-brand collaboration also makes it easier to recognize consumer loyalty across brands. How? Because Web3 reward systems are connected through digital assets that the consumer owns and controls – not the company. This might seem like a foreign concept to some marketers who are used to owning a consumer’s data. But as marketers are increasingly grappling with restricted data and privacy concerns, data connected to a consumer’s digital assets can be a rich source of information. Consumers who are properly incentivized with perks and rewards are more likely to trade this data for a better customer experience.  

4. To offer more rewards

Web3 technology has opened up new possibilities for loyalty programs that offer rewards to users. These rewards can come in various forms, and brands can choose to provide them based on their specific business objectives and communities’ wants. Some of the Web3 rewards that are available for loyalty programs include raffles, NFT gated event passes, allow lists, merchandise, and gated content. 

One popular reward that is becoming increasingly popular in the Web3 space is token-gated event passes. These rewards give customers access to exclusive events, such as concerts or conferences, by purchasing or earning an NFT. 

5. To create a brand community

Finally, Web3 rewards can facilitate the formation of vibrant, interconnected communities. Thanks to the open and decentralized nature of Web3, customers can engage with like-minded individuals and participate in community-driven initiatives. This sense of belonging and shared purpose can further boost engagement, as users feel connected to the brand and its values. 

How to start building a Web3 loyalty program

Taking the first step towards implementing a Web3 loyalty program can seem daunting, but with expert guidance and support from a trusted partner, you can confidently navigate this exciting new frontier.

At Step3 we specialize in helping brands and creators transform their approach to loyalty, crafting engaging membership and reward programs tailored to their unique goals and needs. Our team is dedicated to providing turnkey solutions that will have your Web3 loyalty program up and running in no time. Book a call with us to find out more.

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