Web3 Marketplaces: The Next Direct-to-Consumer Frontier

October 13, 2023

Customers want a more intimate relationship with the brands they love. Web3 connects the dots with digital ownership, exclusive offers, and community membership. 

Brands have the opportunity to meet customer needs, increase sales, and build their presence on the evolving internet. 

But how can a brand jump into web3? They can meet customer needs with a web3 marketplace. 

Using a white-label solution, brands provide a great experience that meets their high standards, enforces royalties, and fosters a committed, passionate customer base. 

Together, we'll dissect and define the web3 marketplace. Then, we'll dive deeper into how a marketplace works in web3 and some use cases for consumer brands. 

What is a web3 marketplace?

Web3 marketplaces allow users to buy, sell, and trade digital assets peer-to-peer with automated transactions and enforced royalty payments to the brand.

Digital assets can be “digital-only” artwork, avatars/skins, trophies, and/or membership passes, and digital assets can also be “backed” by redeemable physical goods and experiences.

Sometimes they are initially earned or distributed for free by the brand or offered at a price. The vast majority of transactional activity occurs after the primary drop (if they’re in demand by a hungry audience). This means your customers want and need a place to discover available assets, interact with other customers, and ultimately trade. 

Why would brands want to drive this behavior off-platform to a third-party marketplace when they can host a white-label marketplace instead, thus controlling the experience and collecting royalty payments?

Key characteristics of web3 marketplaces 

Web3 marketplaces allow sellers to list their digital assets for a “buy now” price, while potential buyers can make an offer.

Mojito enables brands to accept payments with credit cards or cryptocurrency and facilitates royalty payments to multiple parties automatically and instantly, regardless of payment choice.

When customers make the purchase, a smart contract automatically kicks in to broker the transaction. It is then recorded on the blockchain, updating the asset’s provenance and showing proof of ownership.

Customers use branded digital assets to access special events and exclusive rewards, and to share their love for their brand through profile pictures and community engagement.

It's one of the most exciting new ways to build brand loyalty and increase market reach. As customers continue to adopt web3, brands can meet them right where they are and lead the way.

Web3 marketplaces offer direct engagement with and between fans, a global economy, provable scarcity, and engaging community features. 

Successful examples of third-party marketplaces include OpenSea, Rarible, and SuperRare. But third-party web3 marketplaces operate like Amazon or eBay—with your brand mixed together amongst many others, you have no control over user experience. 

Worse, the leading web3 marketplaces today do not enforce royalties, so trading on these platforms generates no revenue for brands. 

Alternatively, brands can provide customers with a white-label marketplace using Mojito that represents their organization and generates revenue from secondary trading.

Web2 vs. web3 marketplaces—and why web2.5 matters

Brands face several challenges they cannot ignore. They must strategize to maintain a tricky balance as customers progress at different paces within a fast-moving, innovative environment. 

1. Web3 is coming

Like its predecessors, web3 is a major era in the internet’s evolution. The adoption curve is up and running, and as time goes on and technology develops, new adopters will join in at each stage. One day, "web3" will be part of the unified internet experience. 

All that to say, brands need to invest in web3 marketplaces to serve customers today and prepare for the shift within the next few years. 

Marketplaces should provide all the tools for web3-savvy customers to take full advantage of web3—resulting in highly engaged and loyal customers who advocate for your brand.

2. Many people still only use web2 

Some customers will be slow to adopt web3 technologies. Others will only adopt web3 tools once they have no other choice. 

Brands need a web3 marketplace that is aware of this developmental stage. Marketplaces should be user-friendly so that anyone can participate no matter where they are.

The easier it is to understand the web3 marketplace, the more your customer base will respond.

Mojito's innovative solution ensures that a new web3 user can participate in these experiences without the learning curve. They can purchase with a credit card and manage their digital assets with an invisible wallet.

3. Web2.5 solutions are necessary

The last two considerations lead us to this critical point: Marketplaces should provide "web2.5" capabilities.

What does that mean? It's the ability to integrate web2 and web3 simultaneously during the internet's innovative transition.

This is key for customer adoption and brand success. Customers can purchase an NFT from your marketplace with either a credit card or cryptocurrency in a new ecommerce experience that feels familiar at the same time.

You provide a seamless process and functionality for new web3 users and an efficient, high-quality system for web3 enthusiasts. A web2 marketplace cannot fulfill these web3 needs, and not every web3 marketplace can bridge the gap. Mojito ensures every customer can get involved and join your brand’s community.

4. Web3 marketplaces should be secure and easy to use

By now, you've noticed many moving pieces in the web3 ecosystem (and that's not including web2 integrations). A lot can go wrong without the right partner, resources, and tools. 

Brands should pick a partner to facilitate all the above issues through a secure process and system while refraining from overcomplicating the customer experience.

Today, you can kickstart your web3 marketplace strategy and create unforgettable customer experiences and engagement opportunities with Mojito

Web3 marketplaces for consumer brands

Consumer brands can transform their markets with beautifully designed web3 marketplaces. And the experience doesn't end when a customer purchases your physical product. They can then use their assets to gain access to events, exclusive offers, and more with token gating.

Elegant web3 purchases

Since leading consumer brands hold their design to a higher standard, they need a marketplace to represent their brand well.

For example, when Sotheby's, the distinguished 300-year-old auction house, partnered with Mojito, it knew of third-party marketplaces like OpenSea. 

The dilemma was that the brand needed control over the experience. Selling on third-party platforms is like a retail shop selling a product on Amazon—there's almost no say over the experience, ultimate offer, and process.

Sotheby's knew that if it wanted to create a luxury experience that matched its long-standing expectations, it needed to build a high-class web3 platform everyone would love. Sotheby's was acutely aware of a new generation of wealth that wanted to purchase digital assets (and have the option to pay in crypto).

That's when the high-end auction house and Mojito created Sotheby's Metaverse. In this beautifully designed marketplace, collectors and investors can purchase some of the most valuable artworks in the world. 

Mojito took care of web3 complexities, compliance and security issues, and cryptocurrency payments—ensuring the high-quality Sotheby's customer experience. More notably, it can now serve a fast-growing, new-generation collector community that wants to participate in digital art and web3 assets.

Buyers have loved the experience. Sotheby's proudly offers the digital luxury auction experience it wanted. And the results speak for themselves with over $130 million in sales since!

Sotheby's now builds on top of its legacy by leading the future for digital ownership.

"Mojito has given us a platform to provide the best possible web3 experience for our clients and scale our web3 strategy for the future." — Sebastian Fahey, Managing Director of Global Fine Art, Sotheby's

Community and brand loyalty features

Brands don't have to stop at the initial purchase. They can use NFTs to foster ongoing engagement, glean more valuable insights from new data sources, and even create better logistical solutions.

When Mojito partnered with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, it wanted to create the best fan experience possible on and off the field. 

From that desire came the evolution of the Rowdies Digital Pass, an NFT for season ticket holders. Owners received a QR code to redeem discounts at third-party food and concession stands, providing data back to the Rowdies that was previously impossible to retrieve.

Incredibly, over half of the season ticket holders minted the digital pass, signaling excitement for innovation intertwined with brand experiences. 

How Mojito builds web3 marketplaces

We provide high-end white-label web3 marketplaces built for your brand and customers.

Brands can use Mojito to freely distribute or sell digital assets directly to their customers, and then facilitate secondary trading between customers. The best part? Brands control the entire experience.

Mojito provides all the features and tools you need:

  • Minting API 
  • Standard auction, dutch auction, buy now, and free-to-earn distribution options
  • Secondary marketplace SDK 
  • Commerce operations like taxes and KYC/AML
  • Crypto payments 
  • Fiat payments
  • And more

Web3 marketplaces require careful consideration of technical aspects like blockchain protocols, smart contracts, user wallets, scalability, and security. But Mojito takes care of all these aspects so that you can offer a great experience backed by vetted technology and a formidable team.

Click here to learn how to implement a web3 marketplace for your brand. Your brand has a huge opportunity to create remarkable customer experiences—answer the call to next-level innovation, meet customer needs, and increase sales.

WEB3 RESOURCES FOR BRANDS

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Adopting the Avatar: the Core of Consumer Customization

November 22, 2023

A brief playbook for brands building for the digitally-native generation.

According to McKinsey, fashion companies are expected to double their investment in technology by 2023. This statistic was one of many released during 2021's digital assets boom, revealing an important truth: consumers — and especially Gen Z — care deeply about owning their digital identities. In the two years since "NFT Summer," we've learned a lot about the evolution of consumer habits in digitally-native spaces. These insights can help guide the future of how brands operate and consumers engage in virtual environments. 

As a short follow-up to our last blog post on how web3 is driving a return to the internet's golden age of customization, we're sharing some additional thoughts on how you can build for the next wave of consumer adoption. This evolution is already showing signs of incredible value for forward-thinking brands like Gucci, Valentino, L'Oréal, Adidas, Nike, and many more.

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Web3 Returns the Internet to the Golden Age of Customization

November 17, 2023

This is what it feels like when the future enables what so many users loved most about the past.

MySpace, StumbleUpon, GeoCities, LiveJournal, Tumblr — the early internet thrived on user-driven, customizable experiences that, while rudimentary in design, clunky in function, and altogether useless for major brands (i.e., not monetizable or targettable), offered humans some of the earliest opportunities for representing themselves online. 

Two decades later, across multiple transformational eras of the internet (more on this below), what can we learn from these now archaic — and predominantly extinct — platforms? To start, let's set the stage of the golden age of the web and the subsequent erosion of online customization that followed.

These early platforms referenced above were among the first to offer users a customizable digital sandbox that lacked the restrictions — and intrusive, expensive, increasingly ineffective advertising practices — that is now commonplace across tech. These were platforms on which people created, not platforms on which products were sold.

FAANG companies undoubtedly standardized the internet user experience. These companies built easier ways for people to create and disseminate information while creating the ability for the world's biggest brands to reach these new, content-craving audiences through new experiences and digitally-native business models. However, FAANG-style companies have also contributed to the flattening of the once-loved, now-nostalgic digital aesthetic, eliminating (or narrowing) users' ability to find customization online.

Example: go to StumbleUpon right now, and you'll just get dragged between identical Pinterest boards.

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Implementing Web3 CRM: Wallets Are the New Email Address

November 2, 2023

How to Implement Web3 CRM for Consumers

Your customer relationship management system is your business's beating heart. It’s how you nurture customers, track vital information, and make strategic decisions. 

Now that web3 has entered the fold, traditional CRMs can be augmented. So the question is this: Is your brand prepared for it? And what does the future look like?

Brands can expand upon their CRM data with wallets and token interactions to build loyalty in the changing digital economy. 

If your CRM is the heart, what happens if it can't support your entire customer base along with their actions and interests? Consumers are adopting web3, and you want to be there from the start. 

And with increasingly more limitations on what consumer data brands can collect, store, and use, along with apps and systems that don't talk to each other, brands miss out on data everywhere. 

You need web3 CRM capability to connect wallets and token usage to your web2 data to accurately paint a picture of your customers. 

Enhancing your CRM with web3, you can track and reward engagement across virtually any physical or digital touchpoint and connect it all in one place to analyze and manage.

Onboarding customers to create web3 wallets is the first step to getting started. The good news is that, with Mojito, the process is seamless for new users. They can set it up and manage it with an email address. In many ways, wallets have become the new email address, offering more benefits for customers and providing brands with the holistic data and CRM capabilities they need.

Mojito's web3 CRM collects and pulls all these moving pieces from different parts of the web together to create one remarkably effortless customer experience. 

In this article, we’ll compare the differences between a web2 and web3 CRM, the benefits of using a web3 CRM, and how Mojito might be the right fit.

What’s the difference between web2 and web3 CRM?

The CRMs most brands use do not facilitate the needs that web3 has—the biggest one being connecting offchain and onchain data and creating an integrated portrait of customers across all physical and online interactions. 

Web2 CRMs provide essential data and communication tools to manage emails, SMS lists, social media followers, eCommerce buyers, event attendees, and more. 

But it's difficult to connect every data source you'd like to trigger into your web2 CRM, let alone add new data sources in web3.

Brands can instead use a web3 solution to augment their CRM by connecting data sources in a different way that brings everything together. Companies can create the most connected, data-rich CRM they've ever had. 

Brands require CRM solutions to capture the entire customer data picture across both the internet and real-life experiences. In turn, they create a community-driven customer base, increase sales, and use their CRM for better connections, communication, and data.

Wallets are the new email addresses

It's no secret that brands are losing data through their traditional channels. Big Tech companies are reigning in how much data you have access to, like Apple limiting cookies, and how brands now get an incomplete picture of their customers.

Additionally, as customers interact with web3, your brand is in the dark until you establish web3 CRM capability. 

Web3 wallet addresses are unique identifiers for users on the blockchain. Their address is recorded when they purchase an asset or trigger activity on the chain. With Mojito, onchain and real-life interactions join together in one familiar experience.

As your customers interact with your brand and create or log in with their wallets, you can associate that with their customer profile. 

When a customer logs in on your profile manager, they can add their web3 address, resulting in a holistic view of your customer. 

This is a huge opportunity for first-party data. Your brand can get direct analytics from your activities through a verified, authentic process supported by onchain and offchain interactions. 

Wallet addresses offer a more reliable and extensive way to gather data on customer behavior, help drive engagement, and make better growth decisions. 

Cookies are the new NFTs

While traditional solutions suffer from increasingly limited access to cookies, web3 offers brands a bright and better future.

NFTs are non-fungible tokens. A non-fungible token is a digital asset recorded on a public decentralized ledger called a blockchain. It can be verifiably owned and impossible to forge. 

NFTs make it possible for someone to digitally own an asset, which has changed the future of technology. But it also provides a unique opportunity for web3 CRMs, engagement, and data. 

"NFTs: your ticket into a brand's action." — Michael Litman

Dynamic NFTs utilize live metadata to gather customer information and drive engagement. 

Before solutions like Mojito's Dynamic NFT, non-fungible tokens didn't change. And why should they? People wanted a unique digital asset that would last forever and retain or grow in long-term value. 

But as web3 matured, so did the perspective on NFTs. 

What if the value of an NFT was change?

For example, artists began to experiment as they created NFTs. They would explain that the NFT would change and evolve. This in itself made it valuable and rose in popularity. 

Brands would learn how to use it for data and supercharge engagement only a short time later. Traditionally, metadata remained static, but now Dynamic NFTs update metadata based on consumer behavior. 

Brands can leverage metadata in many use cases:

Loyalty programs: Customers can join membership communities when they purchase a digital pass with Mojito's traditional, familiar checkout experience. Every time they interact with your brand across any first-party or third-party platform, like redeeming rewards or visiting an event, their token metadata is updated and fed back into your CRM.

 

Exclusive access: Brands can implement token gating, limiting access to your brand's NFT or memberships. Gate websites, apps, events, games, and more. When customers check in, their activity becomes trackable.

Enhanced membership and subscriptions: Dynamic NFTs allow brands to sell time-access passes with expiration dates. While owners can always retain the NFT, their subscription must be maintained for full access to benefits. Brands use the metadata to identify subscription holders and analyze their activity (while adding a new revenue stream). 

Customer interactions: Brands use NFC-enabled spaces to connect customers with their Dynamic NFTs and events, physical checkout experiences, and more, intertwining digital and physical customer engagement. When someone redeems a reward by scanning a code or object, your brand can track that activity. 

Web3 solutions like Mojito use webhooks to send data from third parties back into your CRM. Every time a user takes an action, Mojito sends that data to your CRM and vital tools. Your data is collected, verified, and authenticated in one place, on or offchain. 

Mojito offers a cohesive relationship management infrastructure. You can leverage a complete picture of your customers through thousands of interactions involving physical triggers, third-party apps, web2 tools, and web3 activity. Customer actions across the web or in real life can be configured to work with your CRM. 

You’ll be able to understand your customers better than ever and reward them for their engagement at a level that was impossible before. 

Benefits of using a web3 CRM

You don’t have to worry about a bumpy or complex ride when you adopt a true web3 CRM. 

You’ll have all the tools, resources, and tech stack integrations needed to make an enterprise solution for your customers that meets the standards of your brand. 

Below are several benefits you can expect when you connect your web2 CRM to a web3 solution.

1. Bring web2 and web3 data together

Mojito facilitates web2.5, meaning instead of "switching" web experiences, brands and customers can use web2 and web3 with no learning curve or friction at all. All is encompassed in one familiar internet experience.

Users can pay with a credit card or crypto and interact with the online apps they've used all these years (as well as easily using web3 apps). 

Mojito enables brands to collect and pull necessary data to understand their customers through all web iterations and experiences—all in one CRM solution.

They can use the full power of this web2 and web3 data for events, NFT collections, token gating (exclusive access based on ownership), and other digital ownership experiences.

2. Actionable data for better customer relationships 

Every brand wants to improve its customer relationships. Still, as the internet becomes more fragmented, especially with the introduction of web3, improving service and keeping up with expectations will be much more difficult. 

Web2 CRMs are not capable of putting all these actions and platforms together.

However, web3 CRM platforms improve customer relationships by incorporating off and onchain activities through a centralized database.

If brands adopt an enterprise web3 CRM, they can meet changing consumer needs and stand out in the market with better and improved relationships thanks to the tools and possibilities web3 offers.

3. Improved sales and marketing strategies

Now, more than ever, your sales, marketing, and customer service teams will have access to the most accurate and transparent data within multiple channels and communities, all in one place. Your CRM can include customer history, preferences, community management details, and more data points within web3. 

You can use accurate and more abundant data to analyze customer behavior for improved decision-making. A suitable CRM can also help sales and marketing teams provide personalized messages based on their data, increasing conversions and other KPIs. 

4. Next-level customer service 

Not only does better, more current information help improve customer relationships but so does the level of service you can provide.

Your team can proactively resolve issues with real-time data collection (for example, tracking customer engagement and pinpointing areas of opportunity), which increases customer satisfaction. 

Brands can go beyond positive experiences and create the best problem-solving processes and community-building opportunities for your customers.

5. Greater ROI potential

Web3 CRMs connect your stack, improving overall sales, marketing, and customer service and building long-term loyalty. 

These critical benefits offer bigger ROI potential and future growth. By analyzing blockchain activity, brands can track the popularity of certain products, use blockchain-verified data to track inventory and invest in the areas customers are most interested in. 

Web3 CRMs also open new revenue streams, like selling digital assets with NFTs. Brands can even test the reception of new physical products by selling limited sample releases with “NFT digital twins” (when a physical good comes with an NFT representation at purchase). 

6. Strategic positioning 

You can better position your company for the economic shift to the decentralized web with a web3 CRM. 

For example, Mojito's web3 CRM also includes "web2.5" features for the transition. 

Some customers won’t know how to navigate web3—they’ll want simplicity. Others will want every tool available to them. Web2.5 serves everyone. New users can pay with a credit card and have a user-friendly experience. At the same time, web3 adopters can take full advantage of innovation and opportunities with cryptocurrency payments and more.

Brands will serve web2 and web3 users for the internet's evolution, and they'll have a robust CRM foundation for the new economy.