Hey guys! Today I want to introduce to you about an upcoming ICO called Universal Reward Protocol or URP for short, it’s a very new coin that has only just started it’s private sale. I think this is a very promising project and I’m excited to share it with you.URP is a shopper’s reward project. It’s very similar to Nucleus Vision, in the sense that it asks permissions from shoppers to collect their data and sells that data to retailers who can better tailor make discounts and rewards for the shopper to create loyalty.
The thing that captured my attention, is that URP is already live and being used by mega retail companies such as:
- Auchan—the world’s 12 largest retailer and partner of Sun Art Retail. Auchan has over 600 hypermarkets and over 2800 supermarkets world wide across 15 counties. Their annual revenue is over $44 billion dollars.
- Carrefour—The largest French Retailer, with over 12000 shops in 30 countries, and an annual revenue of $78.9 billion in 2017.
- Galeris Lafayette—an upmarket French Department Store Chain.
- And I believe their whitepaper stated that Nestle was also using their product currently.
Furthermore their equipment is already live in over 100,000m2 of shop space, has recorded over 10million visits of 350,000 shoppers and sent out over 40,000 customised offers.
So this is a project that’s already running with big partnerships and working product. I’m very big on Blockchain in the retail space, if you’ve watched my Nucleus Vision video, you would know I’m big on Nucleus Vision, but I actually think URP has the potential to overtake Nucleus Vision. Furthermore, it’s currently only in private-sale, so imagine getting into Nucleus Vision back in private-sale days!
Currently over 90% of all retail sales are still done in brick and motar stores. People still like going to an actual physical store to see and try the clothes before buying.However, times are changing and it is also shown that digital interactions influence 56cents of every dollar spent in brick and motar stores. So that’s more than 50% influence weight.Shoppers who use their smart phones in stores are 40% more likely to convert to sales, and digital marketing on mobile phones is estimated to reach $70 billion in 2018 which is 40% of all ad spend in the world.
Shoppers are complaining that they want a more personalised experience in-store, with 77% of shoppers stating a loyalty program should have personalised rewards, and 75% (Majority) of them also want to be rewarded for engagement besides purchase, e.g. rewarded just for browsing, visiting the shop etc.
Loyalty programs are lucrative for businesses. 72% of shoppers, say that all other factors equal, they will buy from a retailer with a loyalty program over another. I can relate to this, I buy my coffee every morning from a shop with loyalty stamp card.And check this out, large retailers have reported that they now make over 50% of their revenues from members of the loyalty program.These numbers show us why services like URP who create that loyalty program are highly valued and why retail shops are willing to pay to be a part of the system.
The whole process will begin with the retailer.The retailer will have a software known as the campaign manager. There are two main components of the campaign manager,
i) The Reward Manager which allows the retailers to create a campaign e.g. improve return customer rate in the shop etc… and then create a reward to incentivise customers to achieve that goal. E.g. tokens for returning to the same shop.
ii) The Redemption Campaign Manager which is a tool that creates personalised offers for the shoppers.Once the Campaign details are filled in, the campaign will be translated into a smart contract which is deployed on the Blockchain. At the same time, the reward tokens for shoppers will also be held into Escrow and released to shoppers as required.
All the time, the Campaign manager will be gathering information e.g. the performance of the campaign, the amount of tokens redeemed etc… so that retailers can get a summary of the data and use it to further experiment different marketing strategies to find out what is the most effective for their business.
Now the shopper will interact with URP from an app on their mobile device.The app will have a 3 main components:
i) A wallet to store the URP tokens they earn.
ii) The Profile Manager that allows the shopper to browse the campaigns they are eligible to fulfill. The shopper can choose to automatically opt-in for all campaigns or to be informed and authenticate before their data is collected.
iii) The Privacy Manager allows shoppers to decide which type of data they share with which retailer and also when they share it.
So it’s a very nice model where the shopper has full control of their personal data and rewarded for providing it. As opposed to google and facebook who take our personal data and sell it to other parties for millions of dollars without our real consent and without giving us any benefit.
Data Collection will happen via a simple plug and play IOT device. This device collects signals from smartphones and sends them to the retailer and Blockchain.
The actual device is auto-calibrated, so it’s very easy to use, just plug and play literally. It will also have a store mapping software that can analyse in-store behaviour and where to best locate each product category. So it’s very frontier technology, even modern day retailers rarely have access to this level of technology.
Now, here things get interesting, there is a feature technology of this project called the Occi dApp. So as you can imagine, all the data collected is collated and processed into some useful recommendations for marketing etc.
The Occi dApp is the world’s first in-store solution that confronts real-time shopper data with their actual purchases.So using an ever growing dataset, which currently already has over 10 million individual shopping paths, there will be an AI layer that will do the following
i) It will validate presence in store
ii) Accurately extract each shopper’s hottest interests,
iii) Build clusters of shoppers with similar shopping behaviour and
iv) Suggests an optimal target for a digital marketing campaign.
And it is a system that is continuously fed with new data from tens of thousands of customers and producing new market leads very day.All of these data are then presented to the retailers in a digestible manner in a simple dashboard on the dApp.
Finally, the entire process, from the from shopper’s choices, to the sensors and collection of information, is called the Proof-of-Behaviour. It is what validates the smart contracts. So until the behaviour is received and the user receives proof of that by being rewarded with tokens or loyalty rewards, the smart contract is not fully executed. The full process of everyone getting what they want is called Proof-of-Behaviour.
So this is a project that has IOT hardware, smart contracts and Blockchain Technology, as well as AI technology. It’s all the next-gen tech in one place. If you’ve seen our Matrix AI article, you will know that I think the fusion of these technologies is the future. Blockchain, AI, IOT (internet of things) are all great technologies individually, but they not meant to work independently, they all complement each other and the best projects will combine them cleverly to bring out the best of each technology, which is what URP does. I like this project guys.
Now very quickly, lets take a look at the token use. There are 2 main use cases for the URP token, the first you already know:
- It is a reward token that Retailers give to shoppers who participate in their campaigns.
- The second is the curation of the campaign contracts. Think of this like the mining of the project. So another way to earn URP tokens is to check the contracts. To prevent retailers from putting up unreasonable Campaigns that cannot be practically fulfilled, there will be curators who will check these contracts. Every time a contract is published, the retailer has to put a small sum of URP tokens as collateral. If the contract is deemed invalid, the collateral will be lost. So this system of curators and checking of campaign contracts, encourages good behaviour in the system and fair campaigns for the shoppers.
There is a table that compares URP to other competitors e.g. Shopkick, RetailNext etc.. but really the only real competitor I reckon is Nucleus Vision.
Both are Blockchain projects, in fact they are the only 2 blockchain projects in this space, and they’re based in different parts of the world geographically, so there’s a lot of room to grow without the projects competing against each other.
But if you wanted to, here’s how they compare
i) Control of data—both provide the shopper with control of their own data. Both have opt-in and out features. Pretty similar.
ii) In terms of rewardable behaviors—in Nucleus Vision, shoppers are only rewarded for visiting stores with the ION sensors. In URP, the rewardable behaviour is actually not linked to the physical visiting of stores. So you will get rewarded if you visit a store, but because the core of the reward is based on behaviour, some rewards would be as simple as logging on to a website which you can do at home. So the campaigns are app based and a wide range, basically infinite number of behaviors.
iii) Both projects are secure and easy to implement both hardware and software.
iv) With Nucleus Vision, retailers need to negotiate with Nucleus to enter the network, but in URP, it’s abit more open source and retailer or dApp can join the network to launch a campaign
v) Finally in terms of the consumer knowledge, for the retailer, URP is unlimited due to the fusion algorithms from their AI system. It says here that Nucleus Vision’s consumer data is from In-store only, that’s not entirely accurate, the consumer’s data in Nucleus Vision is stored and built upon on the Blockchain, so overtime, it does become more and more accurate as well, but it’s individual based, not AI fusion based.
So overall, both are solid projects that are heads and shoudlers above the other non-blockchain solutions. But based on this table, URP seems to have the advantage of having a broader scope. You guys know I’ve reviewed Nuclues Vision and I do think highly of that project, but I also think that URP will give them a run for their money.
This is the team behind the project.They have 3 co-founders:
- Thomas Wolf is the former CEO of France Catalina and Regional Director of Europe Catalina. Catalina is a world leader in digital couponing with the largest database of shopper purchase history globally. Tomas Wolf is also the COO of this project.
- The next two co-founders are young. Yves Benchimol and Louis Millon both graduated from Ecole Polytechnique and got their respective masters degree in UC Berkeley. They both started a company called Occi.io in 2015 that is basically the URP project without Blockchain, and that is originally the project that got the partnerships with AuChan, Carrefour etc.. That is also the company that won the award-winning patented technology beween retailer data and shopping paths.
So if I’m guessing this right. Occi was the original project, it was a very smart project with award winning patents, and it took off very fast with very big partnerships. But then the next step was to integrate it with Blockchain with security, ledger etc… and at the same time, they probably realised they needed a bigger team and some more experience, and that is where Thomas Wolf came in and URP as a project began. I think that’s what happened. And it’s good, it means that this project is building on a success and the two young genius co-founders are humble and smart enough to invite in a world leader in the field to help them take this project to new heights.
You can go through the rest of the team’s resume in your own time, but it’s a well balanced and capable team.
Token Sale :
For more information:
- Medium : https://medium.com/@RewardProtocol
- Telegram Group : https://t.me/UniversalRewardProtocolOfficial
- Twitter Account : https://twitter.com/RewardProtocol
- Web Site : https://rewardprotocol.com/
- Blogs : https://rewardprotocol.com/blog/