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The bulk of the online retail world still depends on intermediaries. Small businesses and independent sellers rely on distributors like Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba to sell products at scale, but this has created myriad disadvantages for both brands and consumers.
Distributors are aware of suppliers’ vulnerabilities and have for decades been purchasing their products at remarkably low wholesale prices, while also leveraging suppliers’ customer data to sell other products, all at the expense of the suppliers. The distributors then sell products with high markups, making a substantial profit at the expense of both the supplier and consumer.
Second era: Direct-to-consumer
A trend has emerged within the past few years in which brands are relying on their social media audiences to promote products through Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) marketing. DTC is a form of e-commerce in which suppliers sell to consumers directly, rather than via an intermediary platform or retailer.
A staggering 55% of consumers now want to buy from suppliers directly rather than multi-brand retailers. Social media channels allow consumers and fans to connect directly with brands, where they can ask questions and keep up to date with new releases, making it the preferred tool of choice for both parties.
Although the rise of DTC marketing has given consumers more access and convenience while shopping, it can still be limiting due to the fundamental nature of targeted advertising, in which a consumer’s demographic often determines the recommendations offered to them.
If consumers only see a small selection of brands advertised to them on social media and through friends, the notion of choice is undermined. Additionally, in some instances, those brands who cash in with such targeted techniques are able to get away with charging consumers more, despite the elimination of intermediary retail costs.
Consumers today still feel like they are not provided with personalized shopping recommendations, not given enough reliable information about products, and that DTC marketing pushes prices up. (These problems are notably seen within the controversial pharmaceutical industry.)
For brands, DTC marketing may seem like a logical choice for companies like Nike, who have had the advantage of establishing themselves before digital took over and who have the profits to support such endeavors, but it is not a realistic option for many small businesses.
As consumers demand authenticity, choice, and transparency, and as small businesses try to break away from the trap of intermediaries, it’s important to wonder: Is DTC marketing really the best option we have?
Or is blockchain the solution?
Cryptaur solves these problems with blockchain
By implementing blockchain technology, suppliers can connect with consumers directly, offering a tailored shopping experience without needing to rely on costly middlemen.
Through our observations of projects live in the cryptosphere we have noticed Cryptaur, a blockchain-based retail ecosystem that presents the most viable solution to these issues. Cryptaur’s token has been trading on markets since April 2018 and has already gained impressive traction through its substantial user base.
While the terms “blockchain” and “crypto” can deter consumers due to the learning curve required to understand and use them, Cryptaur has offered a solution that focuses on creating a better user experience. Their efforts work to ensure that suppliers and consumers alike can use the platform without needing to understand the inner workings of blockchain, while still enjoying all its benefits.
Although DTC can be liberating for many merchants, consumers still left only seeing shopping recommendations from the brands who have the most effective marketing campaigns and large budgets needed to achieve omnipresence—even if those products are not the best match for them.
Cryptaur is the best blockchain e-commerce project we’ve seen that truly levels the playing field, offering an environment in which products and services are vetted by community consensus rather than advertising and paid product sponsorships.
The introduction of community consensus allows customers to make decisions based on fully transparent information from their peers, rather than simply being inundated by brand advertisements on social media for products of questionable quality.
Cryptaur is incentivizing community participation with CPT tokens, rewarded to users when they engage in certain activities, such as:
- Referring friends or new suppliers
- Sharing honest reviews
- Using CPT token to pay for products or services
Cryptaur values its users in a revolutionary way, elevating them above the status of mere consumers. Users on their platform become content creators, rewarded for their opinions and time. They can also gain new levels of control and confidence in their purchasing decisions.
The Cryptaur platform allows for a wide range of goods and services in one convenient marketplace, where merchants and customers are connected directly, without expensive intermediary interference or marketing manipulation. They offer a truly seamless experience, with all transactions recorded onto immutable ledgers, thereby making any disputes easy to fix without the need for long and expensive investigations.
Learning from the success of DTC
Shortcomings aside, the rise of DTC marketing cannot simply be dismissed. When brands such as Glossier can secure $52 million in Series C funding and triple their active customer count within twelve months, it’s a clear indication that they might be onto something.
“We like to think that whenever we talk to [our customer] through captions on Instagram or through email or through copy on the site, that we’re writing text messages to a friend . . . Staying true to that voice has created a lot of loyalty and trust with our customers.”
Another DTC giant, Warby Parker, entered the space in 2010 and was recently valued at a whopping $1.2 billion, making it the second most valuable e-commerce start-up in the United States.
Both of these brands, as well as a variety of other successful DTC start-ups, curate their image to perfection, targeting their niche demographics directly through social media. Their efforts are focused on perfecting one product to a high quality, and of course, understanding and maintaining close relationships with their customers
Ultimately, the successes and failures of DTC have revealed that the world of online shopping is poised for another upgrade, ushering in a new era for blockchain projects like Cryptaur.
Upgrading DTC for the blockchain era
The likes of Amazon and Alibaba have made immense profits from being the dominant intermediary platforms within the first era of e-commerce. The second era, dominated by DTC marketing, has now taken the reins, riding on the influencer marketing boom and social media’s big data addiction. Although more ethical than the first era of e-commerce, DTC marketing has demonstrated its limitations.
DTC marketing relies on the entrepreneur’s ability to target the desired audience through meticulous social media marketing and current trends. If they or their desired audience are not technology or social media savvy, it means they miss out on the opportunity to reach a wider demographic.
Cryptaur is among the leaders in the space currently leveraging the benefits of the DTC marketing era with the accessibility and democracy offered by blockchain.
With platforms like Cryptaur, blockchain can be integrated in such a way that users will not need to change their behaviors, ensuring a seamless and inclusive approach to e-commerce.