The internet has touched and revolutionized many aspects of our lives. Most industries, if not all, now use the internet and e-commerce grows every passing year. Regardless of these facts, offline sales still represent 90% of all retail sales, as consumers still find it indispensable to touch and feel the product before acquiring it. Between these two different realities, offline and online retail, there is a huge gap. Decentralized ledgers are able to not only bridge that gap but also easily and transparently connect customers and retailers together. Let us explain how.
What is Universal Reward Protocol?
Universal Reward Protocol is a blockchain based platform that allows retailers and brands to interact directly and transparently with their customers. As a decentralized protocol, it allows any retailer, shopped or dApp developer to participate in the network in a secure and trustless way. It also automatically rewards shoppers for any kind of shopping behaviour in a personalized and streamlined way.
The team is also developing a new protocol, supported by ConsenSys, that is centred around the concept of “Proof-of-Behavior”: a cryptographic proof that an oracle produces to certify a shopping behaviour while guaranteeing data privacy for shoppers and accurate ROI for the retailer.
How Does it Work?
It all sounds good, but how exactly is URP going to accomplish this? Firstly, customers will be rewarded for various shopping behaviours. Be it participating in brand campaigns, simply entering a physical store, browsing online stores, or sharing personal information is a reason for being rewarded with URP tokens. The user can rest assured that he will be rewarded as smart contracts will be in place.
Customers will also have full control over the information they want to share. This is highly relevant as data privacy is a growing concern in our current paradigm. The frequent scandals and data leaks by large corporations reinforce the idea that not only are we not getting rewarded for our personal information, but that same information is taken without our consent.
By sharing personal information in a decentralized way, offline retailers and small online retailers will have access to what big online retailers such as Amazon already have, valuable information about their customers. In this way, they will be able to predict accurately what shoppers are interested in and make specific and personalized promotions.
The protocol will be even more useful for physical retailers, as they will be able to know their customers' shopping preferences when they enter the door. Contrary to online retailers, physical retailers currently have no way of interacting directly and personally with their customers outside of loyalty programs. And even loyalty programs are very limited and inefficient, as they are often not used and are incompatible with each other (most are non-fungible). The Universal Reward Protocol will not only make loyalty programs universal and efficient, but it will also make it possible to personalize them depending on the customers shopping preferences.
Who is Behind Universal Reward Protocol?
The project has a promising roadmap and an experienced team composed of Yves Benchimol (CEO, Ecole Polytechnique and UC Berkeley alumnus), Louis Millon (CTO, Ecole Polytechnique and UC Berkeley alumnus), and Thomas Wolf (CMO, former CEO France and Regional Director Europe of Catalina Marketing, world leader in digital couponing).
The company has also built a terrific team of advisors around the project, including François Poupard, former Head of Innovation at Auchan who is also a member of the Mulliez Family (owners of Auchan group, world's 12th retailer and partner of Sun Art Retail in China), Jeremy Bokobza, Lead Blockchain Developer at Stratis, Eddy Travia, CEO of Coinsilium and Ken Timsit, Managing Director of ConsenSys Legal.
Having partnered with some of the largest retailers/brands worldwide including Carrefour, Auchan, Galeries Lafayette, and Nestlé, Universal Reward Token seems to be in an excellent position to disrupt the global retail market. Only time will tell, as the project is still in an embryonic stage. However, if you believe in Universal Reward Protocol and want to be part of the retail revolution, you can invest in the ICO that will start on the 30th of September.
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