Web3 tools powered by layer-1 blockchain Solana are driving tangible returns and delivering deep customer data insights, according to prominent mainstream brands and companies that attended Solana Breakpoint.
The four day conference hosted in Amsterdam in 2023 attracted a wide variety of businesses and projects from Web2, Web3 and traditional backgrounds. A prominent takeaway was adoption of Solana-based tools and services innovating payments and loyalty programmes.
Boba Guys, a growing United States-based bubble tea brand in the mold of Starbucks, unpacked how its pilot programme for a new customer loyalty app delivered insightful data while seemingly incentivizing customers to return to its stores in San Francisco.
Related: Visa taps into Solana to widen USDC payment capability
The five week programme relied solely on in-store promotion to customers in the area. 600 users were onboarded, with 31% of orders being attributed to the loyalty programme after the fact. Co-founder Bin Chen and Andrew Chau also reported that the app resulted ina 67% increase in monthly visits of loyalty programme users and a 65% increase in spend.
Solana Foundations head of commerce business development Josh Fried tells Cointelegraph that the development of the loyalty programme provides a tangible use case for commercial clients looking for Web3, blockchain based tools to build their businesses and customer base.
“The Boba Guys pilot initial data shows that we’re actually improving their business results. A real retailer with 25 locations got on stage and said this Solana-based programme was bringing a return of investment of 800%,” Fried explained.
For every $1 that Boba Guys puts into the programme, the company is seeing $9 revenue in return. It’s a “legitimate business uplift”, Fried said, with the company planning to roll out the app across its stores in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles.
The recent integration of Solana Pay into e-commerce platform Shopify is another indicator that Web3 based payment tools are becoming a viable alternative for conventional businesses. Fried unpacked how merchants are beginning to provide meaningful feedback on the adoption of its payments rail.
The MadLab NFT project noted a material uplift in sales from crypto native users that were holding crypto. “These users were holding USDC on Solana, waiting for the utility to use it to pay for something rather than just trading. The community used the integration to start buying merch,” Fried said.
Another anecdote came from an entrepreneur based in Denver, Colorado, who has turned to Shopify’s Solana Pay integration to drive sales of bespoke fragrances. The attraction to the payment solution is the ability of Web3 to help drive e-commerce sales:
“When you’re buying e-commerce, you can’t smell something. Right. He’s like, ‘for a storyteller, I need metaverses, I need Web3 technology that’s going to bring new layers to the sale’.”
While optimistic, Fried concedes that there is a significant amount of work to drive adoption of Solana Pay and Web3 tools built on Solana. Having worked at Google for a decade on the development of Google Pay, he highlights that event the tech behemoth took years to see adoption of its increasingly ubiquitous payment service.
“What helps is when somebody like Visa comes along and says, hey, we’re going to start doing interbank settlement on the Solana blockchain,” Fried explains. Major payment processors and payment rails will be crucial in driving Web3-based payments adoption.
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