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.


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Learn more about the Mojito-powered ‘Era of Technology’ NFT collection.

Our latest partnership with Mercedes-Benz NXT, the Mojito-powered ‘Era of Technology’ NFT collection, is officially live!

Launched on May 21, the 780 collectible drop is now on sale until May 28, and you can go mint an NFT from the collection at this link.  

ICYMI in last week’s blog: each collectible is on sale at 0.08 ETH, including collectors’ discounts, and you can pay via ETH or your credit card. 

The drop also features a slew of features built by our web3 studio at Mojito — including our APIs, SDKs, and white-labeled, on-demand wallet creation — which powered the sale mechanics (including a unique discount feature) and made it super easy for Mercedes-Benz NXT to get its collection into the hands (and wallets) of its community. 

To continue spreading the Mojito x Mercedes-BenZ NXT gospel, we spoke with Sebastian Ihler, Co-founder and Head of Product 0xNXT GmbH (Mercedes-Benz’s web3-focused product studio), to learn a little more about what sparked the project, gain some insights for web3 brand leaders like yourself, and celebrate the onchain collection of stunning digital objects.

Let’s get into it. 

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Learn how we helped the museum tell an essential cultural story through the power of digital art and community.

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Our recent collaboration with the forward-thinking museum turned this vision into reality. Mojito worked with Toledo's team to orchestrate a digital art experience by Osinachi & Yusuf Lateef. Our community engagement portal enabled Toledo to provide a smooth minting process, hassle-free claims, turnkey community management and reporting for the museum. The result? A powerful drop of 10,000 NFTs.

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The Web3-ification of Credit Card Loyalty Programs

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Visa's new web3 loyalty program is no accident.

Swipe (or nowadays, tap) your credit card, and earn points. A process that’s now commonplace has a lengthy history that can teach us more than a few things about customer loyalty — and its journey through technology. Let’s start at the beginning. 

From paper to plastic 💳

While the history of credit cards dates back thousands of years, things turned from stone to metal — and later paper and plastic — about halfway through the 20th century with the arrival of the modern credit card in 1950. Reportedly invented following a case of a forgotten wallet, The Diner’s Club Card (initially owned by Discover Financial Services before its acquisition by BMO in 2009) was the first multipurpose charge card credit card intended primarily for dining and travel expenses. 

The Diner’s Club was also the first to pair the concept of charging credit with fueling consumer loyalty through the inception of points. Through partnering with dining, entertainment, and later, travel entities (i.e., airlines, rental cars, and hotels), Diners Club cardholders paid a tiered annual fee to gain special perks based on how much money they spent. The greater the yearly fee, the greater the perks. 

About eight years following Diner’s Club in 1958, American Express entered the credit card industry with the world’s first international charge card, which initially had an annual fee of $6 (one dollar more than Diner’s Club). Shortly after, Bank of America and Mastercard followed suit. During this initial period, most credit cards focused on offering customers just that — credit — with loyalty and reward yet to take off.