September 14, 2022
Artists, creators, and small business owners have a difficult road in front of them. As the world becomes increasingly online, the number of marketplaces where they can sell their goods grows bigger than ever… but also far more crowded. And with many bad actors trying to make a quick buck off the vulnerable and under-informed, buying items online has become a significant gamble.
What if there was a way for those who sell their products online to make sure their customers are confident in their purchases, while also creating longer-lasting relationships and breaking out the stasis of maintaining an online storefront?
Web3 and NFTs are the future of both physical and digital commerce—and the integration of physical NFT products is a path to greater support for creators of all sizes.
Being a seller on current Web2 marketplaces has completely revolutionized the process that craftspeople and artists had to follow to gain access to the market and now sell their goods. However, in many ways it has also exacerbated the age-old issue of selling in brick and mortar shops or public squares.
When there are others who are selling similar products (or undercutting prices) sellers are often forced to spend even more time getting the word out about their goods. This is ultimately what the marketplace grind comes down to—create, price, list, market, and hope for sales to your target audience; other times the costly skill of efficient digital marketing is barrier to the much-needed brand awareness.
Unfortunately, this is an often lengthier process that cuts back into the process of creation. By selling NFT-enabled goods, small businesses and creators of all sizes can now distinguish their items by showcasing something most may struggle to: unparalleled ownership. When customers understand that they’re getting more for the same price, it encourages them to become a repeat customer.
And repeat customers are exponentially more likely to represent a brand, creating a more natural, word-of-mouth marketing cycle so that creators can focus on making and running a more cost-efficient operation.
Cold selling in the marketplace is extraordinarily difficult for many. The science behind compelling self-representation is a skill that creators are being forced to learn—and practice—even though it can actively drain their ability to be creative.
As Web3 grows out of its infancy and executives formulate thoughts around going into this sector, the focus has shifted from selling a vision to enrolling people into a community mindset. Where brick and mortar stores have repeat customers, Web3 creators have community members who check in daily.
And the sales potential of a community is far higher, because creators are able to tailor what they create to what the community desires—rather than hoping they find the ideal customer who will return to buy their goods. Especially when the path of, for example, a store selling ceramic pieces is fraught with growing pains and securing repeat customers, a move to NFT-enabled physical goods is a viable way to evolve beyond the cold selling process.
Because our specialized NFC tags are able to deliver secure and exclusive content on engagement, a retail environment like this can offer exclusive deals for owners of particular goods when they use our redemption wallet solution to easily claim (or redeem) the accompanying NFT at home—creating an open loop that more easily draws satisfied customers back into the store.
Just like the solo-preneur or small brick-and-mortar business, scaling up is a pain point for a medium-sized team. Businesses that are able to earn multiple six-figures a year in profit often hit a wall when it comes to scalability—they either need a big break or a big customer to push them into the upper-echelon of sales.
And it's this reality that often leaves them at a disadvantage when industry trends seem to change overnight. They need to snag these big-fish clients or higher value customers, but if they’re chasing that need then they tend to miss the opportunity to adapt.
A business this size ought to consider integrating a Web3 model so they can better anticipate what’s next—while escaping the cycle of chasing their scaling needs. By building a Web3 community and offering more enticing products, they can cut out the need for those business-defining customers; which is the true boon of decentralization.
Their community can keep them in-tune with upcoming “metas” (or trends within the space) so that they can have a constant network of information coming to them—rather than trying to hound others for information that's already come too late. By offering NFTs integrated with their products, businesses can plug themselves into the present and regain agility like a small team.
It can be tempting to create something that can be reprinted or remade using cheaper materials—but this can have an overall adverse impact on a customer’s desire to own what you create. These NFTs have a unique utility because they act as a digital deed, enabling a radical level of ownership for owners of these items.
Often, companies hold to a practice of creating cheap items so that customers have to keep coming back and either buy another, or upgrade to a better version of the item in hopes that it doesn’t break as quickly.
Creators and artists who are working to scale-up into a larger business have a massive opportunity to help shift the narrative by creating items that give customers and community members their money’s worth, while also keeping them engaged with the creator’s ecosystem for far longer.
By actively challenging “planned obsolescence”—meaning a company or manufacturer builds a product to break or malfunction after a certain amount of time—these small to midsize companies can push both consuming and manufacturing into a more sustainable direction.
One of the biggest conversations in the NFT-enabled side of Web3 is on intellectual property ownership—and subsequently one of the biggest concerns for artists is having their art stolen and sold without their permission. Physical NFT-NFC goods are the best solution for solidifying intellectual property, ownership, and setting apart original goods from stolen items and forgeries.
Part of the SmartSeal and Notature synergy comes from creators pairing physical items with “digital twins” or a matching NFT. By having both the physical item and the digital NFT, ownership is proven. One of the largest benefits we see with the transparency available in Web3 is that it’s very easy to identify whether or not an NFT is real.
NFT collections are generated from the same source, and while it’s easy to create a fake NFT of something, if there isn’t a matching collection with the creator or company’s known wallet for the NFTs—Web3-native customers can know immediately whether or not the item they want to obtain is an original, fake, or stolen property. However, for the less technically confident, this is where Notature and NFC Smart Tags come into play.
One of the features that define Smart Seal’s Smart Tags and the Notature platform is the ability to manage embedded provenance, which allows on-chain history of key product events—like when it was purchased and sold, creating a lasting footprint. Another key feature is that NFT owners can flag when the physical item has been stolen, giving an NFT holder the rights to inform anyone else that engage with that stolen physical product through a change in its user experience. This level of transparency discourages malicious behavior, and provides a fail-safe for owners to utilize in the case of theft which de-values the stolen goods until they’re returned to the rightful owner.
Finally, utilizing specialized NFC tags when creating NFT-enabled goods provides encrypted linking of items and devices, while also enabling dynamic authentication—meaning that the authenticity of items, tags, and user data is always safe.
One of the most important ways creators if all sizes can benefit from integrating NFT-enabled products is the lasting digital footprint they leave behind. The nature of Web3 is transparency, which means if one does enough poking around on a platform like OpenSea almost any NFT on their integrated blockchains can be discovered.
With social media platforms being completely guided by the mercy of an algorithm, organic discovery in Web3 is much more viable. Where this lasting footprint really begins to take off is with the integration of a community. On popular Web2 platforms like Twitter, community members can make NFTs their profile pictures, enabling a deeper level of identification with a creator’s offerings. They not only get to show off that they own the art or item they purchased, it also means that the interactions they have online increase a creator’s organic reach.
In turn, these NFTs can remain unique when they are linked via our specialized NFC Smart Tags. By printing NFTs on a canvas equipped with a Smart Tag the one-of-one NFT can also have a verified one-of-one print. Additionally, because NFTs are the digital token (or deed) attached to the digital image, they can store features and instructions! And with apps like Notature, creators can create throughlines for existing and potential customers to follow to more products.
Weaving the physical and digital with SmartSeals and Notature accomplishes what the marketing industry wishes it could—and in the hands of creators, both large and small, the future's looking bright!
Notature is a SmartSeal Product. To enable your physical products, contact us here.