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Universal Reward Protocol is fixing broken loyalty programs of retailers and brands.

Nearly all U.S. consumers think retail loyalty programs are broken according to a new survey but Universal Reward Protocol finds that consumers value reward programs and feel they need to be greatly improved. This is not the end of loyalty programs but the beginning of a new rewarding system thanks to Universal Reward Protocol (URP)

On June 6, 2018, URP blockchain-based protocol which allows retailers to reward consumers for any type of shopping behaviour, from visiting a store, to making a purchase or simply sharing their location, released its first Reward Program Survey. This revealed what consumers value most about retail reward programs, how they would like them to improve and how much personal information they’re willing to share for better shopping experiences.

This new survey showed that nearly half of U.S. consumers (43%) feel that traditional reward programs are too restricted.

Despite the popular idea that consumers are not willing to share their data freely, the survey shows that 57% of consumers are willing to share their data with stores that they frequent. This isn’t all that surprising considering that, over 77% of shoppers also believe that a store that understands buying behaviours could create more useful rewards programs. In other words, the retail industry is primed and ready for disruptive technology like blockchain, which can connect them on a deeper level with shoppers.

The survey was made on a sample of 500 consumers in the U.S. to highlight their preferences for shopper rewards, which revealed compelling results including:

American shoppers like receiving rewards from retailers, but think the traditional loyalty programs are broken and need to be fixed

  • Over 80% of consumers feel that rewards programs could benefit their shopping experience
  • Nearly 50% of people feel that too much work is required to benefit from a traditional rewards program

People tend to prefer digital coupons/reward notifications, and don’t mind sharing their data with retailers if it means they get more personalized rewards

  • 73% of consumers like receiving promotional notifications from stores that they frequent
  • 46% of consumers prefer digital rewards programs

Most consumers are willing to spend money, and share their personal information to receive better rewards from retailers

  • 57% of consumers are comfortable sharing their data with stores that they frequent
  • 53% of people are willing to spend money on as many as 10 coffees (or similar products) to get one for free

 “The findings from the Reward Program Survey show exactly why retailers need to improve the way that they incentivize their customers,” states Yves Benchimol, Universal Reward Protocol CEO and co-founder. “Nearly all consumers feel that rewards programs are beneficial, but about half of them still feel that traditional rewards programs are too restricted, and more than half are actually willing to share their data with their favourite stores. This means that retailers are potentially missing out on a big opportunity to better understand their best customers, and we’re looking to fix that through URP. Blockchain will help retailers implement more personalized rewards for their most loyal shoppers, in a way that benefits both their brand and their customers.”

Universal Reward Protocol (URP) and its founders who are deeply involved in retail tech, announced it will launch its ICO to develop their blockchain-based protocol that streamlines interactions between shoppers, retailers and brands. The company is already gaining traction in the cryptocurrency space and retail environment, and is planning to raise around €20m against ETH and fiat during the sale.

Universal Reward Protocol is a blockchain-based protocol that serves as the overarching infrastructure for decentralized applications (dApps) that analyse shopping behaviour. Using smart contracts, retailers define behavioural conditions to be fulfilled by shoppers to earn a reward: The Proof-of-Behaviour (PoB). Each dApp on URP defines a set of behaviours it is able to certify by producing PoB.

Upon presentation of the PoB to the smart contract, the shopper is rewarded and receives tokens. The collected data is then sent to retailers to tailor personalized and exclusive offers to shoppers. Finally, shoppers can redeem earned tokens through these deals.

“We have created the URP to disrupt the shopper experience and redefine the relationship between shoppers and retailers,” states Yves Benchimol, CEO and Co-founder. “URP is a new way for retailers and brands to interact directly and transparently with their shoppers, and automatically reward their behaviour and data sharing in a tailored, streamlined way.”

For the past three years, the team behind URP has developed an in-store geolocation tool that provides retailers with previously inaccessible data by coupling indoor geolocation, AI technology and data fusions. With over 10M total store visits recorded, 350K shoppers identified, and 40K customized offers sent, they have gained an understanding of the pain points that retailers face. They work with companies like Auchan (2nd largest grocery retailer in France and China), Carrefour (biggest French grocery retailer, 9th worldwide) or Nestlé (biggest food company in the world). This in-store geolocation solution will become the first URP-compliant decentralized application, able to audit in-store shopper behaviour.

This new blockchain-based protocol will let retailers reward shoppers for any type of shopping behaviour, online and offline, such as store visits, online browsing, or making purchases. By accepting to share their shopping behaviour data with the retailer, a shopper earns URP tokens while the data is used by retailers to build redemption offers that best suit each customer’s needs. Shoppers can redeem their tokens through exclusive and personalized offers with any retail partner.

In URP, shoppers have complete control over which data they share with which retailer, according to the trade-off between the level of personalization they are looking for and the privacy settings they are comfortable with.

Thomas Wolf, former CEO France and Regional Director Europe of Catalina Marketing, world leader in digital couponing, joined the URP team in March as Chief Operating Officer and will leverage his experience in the retail environment to deploy the protocol worldwide.

There is 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) and Jeremy Bokobza, Lead Blockchain Engineer at Stratis.

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