Bringing Web3 to DTC with Novel Founder Roger Beaman
From Budweiser to Adidas, big-name brands are entering the Web3 conversation and launching NFT (non-fungible token) collections. These collections are comprised of uniquely identifiable digital assets, ranging from images, video clips, audio, and everything in between.
For DTC brands, NFTs are not just a way to stay in the know and be a part of the “next big thing.” Rather, they’re an opportunity to reach the next generation of consumers, build brand loyalty, and lean into community. The possibilities are endless.
We can’t talk about Web3 and the future of ecommerce without bringing up Novel.
Founded by Roger Beaman, Anna Merzi, and Brian Sugar, the no-code platform for NFT commerce is removing the barrier to create and buy NFTs and forever changing merchandising mechanics. They recently raised a $6 million seed round, backed by Lerer Hippeau Ventures, VaynerFund, Costanoa Ventures, Roth Martin, Sugar Capital, and others.
How can DTC brands lean into Web3, and what tools will skyrocket brands into this new ecosystem? Roger shared his insights and expertise from Novel with the Tydo team.
The Second Killer Use Case for Crypto: NFTs
In Roger’s mind, the first killer use case for crypto is the currency itself. It’s how most of us discovered crypto in the first place. The second killer use case? Roger says NFTs.
Consumers are excited about NFTs. They want to buy them. And, they want to own them. That’s one of the key observations that led him to founding Novel.
He explains, “Brands and their customers want to build a stronger relationship, and Web3 is a great way to do that, but they don’t know where to start. Our job is to make that first step into the Web3 ecosystem as seamless as possible.”
But despite all the interest in the space, there’s one key issue: It’s hard to create, buy, and sell NFTs.
That’s exactly what Novel is solving for.
“There are huge hurdles on the supply and demand side. By solving for this, we bring together two parties who are eager to transact."
Novel is the Shopify-friendly platform for NFT commerce.
The team has built tools that radically simplify the creation and purchasing of NFTs on Shopify storefronts. Brands can launch a collection without touching a line of code.
On Novel’s comprehensive platform, brands can both create generative art and deploy smart contracts, allowing them to sell their NFT collections directly on their Shopify stores.
And the coolest part (in our opinion): Novel allows consumers to check out with a credit or debit card. No Metamask wallet or cryptocurrency needed. Plus, there’s no concern about losing that private key.
What are the use cases? From building new communities to creating exclusive products, the sky’s the limit.
One of the most exciting opportunities is gated storefronts. With Novel, brands can create gated products and content for NFT holders within their Shopify store.
Imagine allowing NFT holders to book one on one time with a founder (e.g. Pharell of Humanrace) or a brand team, or imagine gaining exclusive access to a celebrity brand owner’s unique YouTube series.
To summarize (and simplify), Novel:
- Helps brands and consumers create NFT projects using no-code.
- Democratizes the NFT purchasing process so it’s not daunting.
- Facilitates unique experiences for NFT holders.
"With Novel, we create a new relationship between brands and their customers through the Shopify ecosystem. That’s a huge opportunity."
Brand value is intangible. People try to measure and quantify it through NPS, but it’s not that simple.
For brands confident enough to create their own NFT collection are an innovative way for them to quantify their engagement.
Brands can get real answers about the strength of their brand:
- How quickly did the collection sell out?
- How eager are people to become a part of it now?
- How engaged are consumers with premium features such as gated experiences and discounts?
Brands can leverage this data to further engage their community, make smarter decisions, and launch relevant, entertaining content.
With their platform, Novel is bringing more and more DTC brands into the Web3 ecosystem. And, they’re just getting started.
“NFTs are a powerful tool to bring consumers deeper into the fold of their favorite brands and give them a real sense of ownership over the brand’s success.”
- What to pledge
- How to improve
- Which tools will set you up for success
I think the most important thing brands can do in 2023 is to better manage their customer data—both ethically and effectively. There’s an opportunity for brands to know their customers better than ever before—a clear benefit for both the customer and the brand. When you manage your data correctly, you’ll create stronger and more personalized ads, creative, site experiences, and so much more.
This is a classic: Let the data guide you. Go where the buyers for your products are and communicate with them on a personal level (i.e. by persona and funnel position) and nurture those relationships (past, present, and future customers). It’s possible—all through data.
We recommend that Shopify brands analyze and update their websites using data-driven decisions. Using analytics tools such as heatmaps and scrollmaps can help brands better understand how customers are interacting with their store.
Store owners tend to make assumptions about the way customers interact with their website. Most never go back and analyze their design choices to find pain points or areas of opportunity. By using heatmaps and scrollmaps, they can see where real customers are clicking and concentrating their attention. Leveraging this data, brands can start to iterate on design and make their online store experience streamlined and intuitive.
Hotjar provides a simple way to implement heatmaps, scrollmaps, and recorded user sessions on your site, helping you acquire incredibly informative user data. Additionally, it gives you the ability to create on-site surveys, which allows you to obtain direct and often critical feedback from users about their experience.
Test various attribution models and analyze the impact on your business. At Fifty Six, we are always here to help our clients identify and optimize their approach—a critical step in any successful marketing strategy.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times–Customer Lifetime Value. And even more importantly, Future Lifetime Value (FLTV). With the ever-growing importance of first-party data, it is crucial that brands take a good look at their CRM and FLTV metrics.
Stop allocating budgets to low-hanging fruit that doesn’t move the needle on conversion. Think about what’s really going to improve your CX and the return of undertaking different initiatives—not just on what’s top on your list of bugbears on the site!
One of the best ways to understand your customer behavior is by using HotJar. Their heat-mapping and screen recording tools shine a light on where customers are navigating to and from on your site, where they're rage clicking and experiencing frustration, and where conversion is dropping off within real life customer journeys and flows!
Understanding your customers’ pain points via data and analytics , will allow you to work with your CRO/CX Agency to solve customer frustrations and improve conversion.
Rewind backs up all product, customer, and order data for Shopify sites—essential since Shopify itself doesn’t provide this solution. It's saved so many of our clients time and money from administrative accidents.
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33% of customer service inquiries are pre-sale questions. What does this mean? If you’re not investing in customer service, you’re missing out on revenue-generating opportunities.
The benefits of elevating your customer experience:
- 10% to 25% increase in AOV for customers who engage with live chat pre-purchase
- 21x higher conversion rate for customers who reach out via Live Chat or SMS compared to other site visitors
- 87% of customers who have a great customer experience will make another purchase
- 72% of customers share positive experiences with 6 or more individuals
Gorgias is our favorite Helpdesk platform. They can reduce costs by 35%, primarily by decreasing the average ticket handle time. Their machine learning algorithms are trained on millions of ecommerce-related interactions across Gorgias’ customer base and provide accurate, automated replies for the most common ecommerce inquiries. This helps our agents resolve tickets faster, which provides the customer a seamless experience.
Trust your agency! Agencies do the same things across multiple brands and niches, so we see the trends and have the practice and experience!
Don't be afraid of data and insights. If customers aren't clicking on your emails, try a new CTA. If your ads are driving good metrics at a small spend, start scaling. If your customers are complaining about a product, look into QA! If the data tells you something isn't working, let it go and try something else!
I'm supposed to say Tydo, right? 😉
Double down on differentiation. There will be a lot of headwinds this year and standing out from the crowd will set you apart.
A picture is worth 1,000 words. A video? Probably millions. In ecommerce that value translates into engagement, acquisition, and retention—everything you need to impact your bottom line.
At soona, we've seen the we've seen the impact of creative and the continuous split testing of it yield results. Our resolution is to challenge ourselves and double down on innovation and creative optionality so that each brand we work with can distinguish themselves in a crowded sea of D2C ecomm. We'd love to see our brands share this resolution and keep pushing the creative limits.
Klaviyo. We're using it to power our email and newsletter at soona too!
Optimize your returns strategy! This can lead to valuable customer insights, enhanced user experiences, and increased revenue and customer loyalty.
Brands need to dive deeper into understanding their customers to set themselves up for success. Conduct research to gain insights into customer needs, preferences, and behaviors. By doing so, you can develop targeted strategies that will enhance customer experience and boost overall retention.
Right now I would say Gorgias. Having a good customer service tool is crucial to building strong customer relationships.
Start paying heavy attention to data, specifically around retention. We see a lot of effort put towards acquisition with the assumption that once someone buys, they are your customer forever. Instead, get to know your customer, understand their needs, and analyze their behaviors once they are on-site and judge their sentiment after they have visited. Work with a retention focused and data-driven agency to implement tools that contribute to repeat business and customer delight. It will pay dividends.
When surveyed, about 80% of ecommerce merchants think that they are delivering a great experience to their customers. However, when the same customers are surveyed, only 8% of those customers think that they are getting a great experience from the merchant. Now, more than ever, retaining loyal customers is an essential part of any online business and you should spend time with your customers to judge their experience with your website and products and offer improvements based on that feedback.
Tydo's report cards are an essential tool, along with Klaviyo for email and SMS, Recharge for subscriptions and memberships, Okendo for reviews and surveys, Rebuy for AI driven collections and upsells, Loop for self service returns... each tool is great on their own, but their strength as the ultimate tool comes from when they are used together!
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