Since 2013, Shopify has been enabling the use of crypto for Shopify merchants by allowing retailers to accept Bitcoin as payment. Considered an early adopter in the crypto space, Shopify has not been shying away from working with the biggest brands and projects in the crypto industry to deliver valuable online shopping experiences for the new generation of consumers.
Despite the volatility that we’ve seen in the market over the years, Shopify is continuing to throw its bets on crypto by investing in a suite of crypto-related features. From crypto payments to NFT collectibles, to reward programs, the eCommerce giant is anticipating a future where crypto will change the way people shop online and engage with brands. Though it’s early, Shopify is giving their 2 million merchants the opportunity to get ahead of the competition and become early crypto adopters.
Why integrate crypto into your Shopify storefront
The internet has come a long way since its early days. What started as static web pages to store information has now evolved into an interactive experience for people to engage with brands and generate their own content. Though it may seem fully developed, the internet is constantly evolving and changing along with the trends of society. Today, the internet is going through another major shift. In this new era, the internet will be built on the blockchain where digital currencies and NFTs will play a big role in supporting the infrastructure.
Shopify, along with some of the biggest mainstream brands recognizes this impending change and are preparing for the transition by experimenting with different ways to use crypto in business today. Beyond the opportunity to win over competition, integrating crypto into your storefront also offers a unique chance to reach and connect to the growing population of crypto-native consumers.
However, the biggest challenge for retailers is how to technically integrate crypto into the business and navigate the unclear regulatory environment. Luckily, Shopify offers easy-to-use crypto apps and tools that any merchant can easily integrate with. Here are some ways you can begin to leverage digital currencies and collectibles within your Shopify store.
1. Accept cryptocurrency as payments
One of the most popular ways businesses are using crypto is by accepting digital currencies as a payment method. Shopify makes this easy for merchants by partnering with major crypto companies to seamlessly integrate crypto payments into the storefront.
Most recently, Shopify announced its integration with Crypto.com’s Pay feature to allow merchants to accept more than 20 cryptocurrencies as payment, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin. The feature is said to offer instant, zero-fee transactions and no settlement fees for one month. In addition to its partnership with Crypto.com, Shopify also offers integrations with Strike, Coinbase Commerce and BitPay to accept crypto.
Depending on your business and target market, accepting crypto as payment can be a good way to attract consumers that align with your brand values. Aside from leveraging it as a marketing tactic, crypto as payments also offers several operational benefits.
If you are an international company, accepting crypto as payment is the fastest and most cost-efficient way to process cross-border transactions. You no longer have to worry about lengthy settlement times, expensive payment processing fees and the hassle of currency conversions. Crypto has no borders and allows you to reach customers globally.
Crypto transactions are also irreversible. Once it’s processed, it can’t be returned without merchant permission. This greatly reduces the risk of returns and chargebacks that is common among credit card payments. As a merchant, payments made in crypto will give you more control over potential returns and could reduce your fraud costs.
2. Launch an exclusive NFT collection
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are quite possibly the most interesting way brands can use crypto. It can come in any shape or form, such as collectible cards, tickets, avatars and much more. The possibilities are endless to create a truly unique, brand-driven digital asset for your most loyal customers.
Whether you use NFTs for giveaways, launch promotions or limited edition drops, creating a digital art collection can help strengthen your brand and relationship with customers. NFT holders can keep the digital asset as a valuable collectible, sell it for a higher price, or even claim it for utility.
With Shopify, instead of directing your customers to external marketplaces, you can sell your digital art directly in your Shopify store. An example of a successful Shopify NFT launch was the NBA Chicago Bulls’ first-ever NFT collection. Fans were able to purchase the NFTs directly in the Shopify store with a credit or debit card—a process so simple and easy that within 90-seconds of launch, the NFT collection sold out.
What makes NFTs so powerful is that even after the primary sale, the original creator can continue to earn royalties on every trade. For instance, Nike broke the record as the brand with the highest-earning NFT sales with $93 million in primary sales and $92 million in secondary royalty sales. When done right, creating and selling NFTs as a merchant can provide a great opportunity to generate ongoing sales revenue, while mutually providing value for your customers.
3. Offer exclusive token-gated experiences
As an extension to the buying and selling of NFTs on Shopify stores, the e-commerce giant recently began the beta rollout of token-gated experiences. To further incentivize loyal fans and customers, merchants can now create token-gated stores on Shopify that can only be unlocked by people holding specific NFTs. Think exclusive merchandise, discounts, special events and access to much more. This elevates the NFT collecting experience to another level and introduces a whole new utility and value to non-fungibles.
One of the first brands that Shopify partnered with to deliver token-gated experiences was the popular NFT project, Doodles. During the SXSW conference, Doodles NFT holders were granted special access to buy exclusive merchandise and a ticket to an in-person Doodle event experience. By doing this, Doodle is bringing loyal fans and customers closer to their brand by rewarding them with exclusive experiences. In return, the bond between the consumer and brand grows stronger and the value of the NFT has the potential to go higher.
Another way to utilize token-gated experiences if you don’t sell your own NFT collections is by collaborating with other brands. Earlier this year, toy company, Superplastic partnered with the top NFT project, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) to release an exclusive collection of vinyl toys for BAYC holders. With Shopify’s token-gated experiences, NFT holders can unlock access to exclusive merch by simply connecting their crypto wallet to the Shopify store to verify ownership.
4. Crypto rewards program
While NFTs have great utility in business, it still requires considerable effort and resources to design and launch a unique collection. There is also a level of uncertainty to accept crypto as payment because most investors are looking to hold their crypto, not spend it. Instead, the simplest, risk-free way to start integrating crypto into your store is to offer crypto rewards.
The Shopify Marketplace comes with plenty of third-party apps to integrate with, including the crypto-back rewards platform, Peopletail. Just like a traditional cashback program, Peopletail enables Shopify merchants to easily offer rewards back in crypto on every purchase. Particularly during a bear market, giving customers the ability to earn free crypto rewards is a great way to attract consumers of all types. Any shopper can earn crypto, with or without prior crypto experience.
This is a great way to start integrating crypto experiences into your Shopify store and see how your customers will respond to it, while simultaneously gaining a competitive advantage.