[THE INVESTOR] E-commerce giants, such as Amazon, Taobao and Rakuten, have one thing in common. They collect an extensive set of customer data and actively deploy them in their own marketing schemes. They know which items their users have bought and when such purchases frequently take place. They can also predict what kinds of stuff the users may need in the future.
In the offline realm, however, businesses have not been able to implement data-driven marketing schemes although the offline commerce market, valued at some 27 trillion won (US$24.15 billion), is quite huge.
Richard Choi, co-CEO of Carry
Among other reasons, they lack technological capabilities and tend to avoid sharing business information with others in the fear of losing customers to potential rivals.
By deploying the emerging blockchain technology in traditional commerce markets, blockchain commerce solutions firm Carry aims to become a game changer.
“We want to capture what happens in the offline world by building the biggest open database of what people do in the real world,” Richard Choi, co-CEO of Carry, told The Investor in a recent interview
“Right now, you have no idea of who bought what or which products people prefer, but once we have a catalog of what customers do in the offline world that will be a very big data set you can work with.”
He said the Carry Protocol platform is all about empowering everyday users with full control over their transaction data as average consumers can choose whether they want to share and monetize it or keep some of the data private. In addition, brick-and-mortar businesses can utilize customer data in conducting promotional schemes specifically targeting individuals on the blockchain platform.
“The biggest difference is we are based on a proven team, Spoqa, whose services are being already used by 10,000 merchants in Korea, and some 20 million consumers, which is one-third of the nation’s entire population,” said the CEO, adding. “We are not making empty promises by saying we am going to build this since we already have.”
Choi serves as chief executive of the seven-year-old Spoqa, which runs customer loyalty service DoDo.
The DoDo solution allows customers at brick-and-mortar restaurants and shops to receive membership points by simply typing in their phone numbers on tablet PCs installed at the restaurants and shops across the nation.
One of the company’s initial goal is to create an ecosystem where every business -- even competitors of Spoqa -- can conduct marketing schemes with customer data collected from offline shops and restaurants.
Coin Manager, Korea’s largest crypto wallet company, and Root One, a subsidiary of crypto exchange Upbit, are some of Carry’s partners, and more partnerships will be announced soon, according to Choi.
“A lot of companies are thinking of building their blockchain ecosystem, but they cannot do it on their own, considering cost, labors and resources associated with it,” he said. “It is better to partner with established projects like Carry’s.”
In order to attract more partners, Carry will dish out 25 percent of its entire token pool. The sooner companies join the platform, the more incentives they will get.
Carry’s platform consists of four types of business partners -- device providers, online wallet service operators, ad service companies and settlement service firms.
In the presales held in June, some 373 million Carry tokens, equivalent to 5,000 Ethers, were sold out in one minute and 38 seconds.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)