Web3 tools powered by layer-1 blockchain Solana are driving tangible returns and delivering deep customer data insights, according to prominent mainstream brands and companies that attended Solana Breakpoint.
The four-day conference in Amsterdam attracted a wide variety of businesses and projects from Web2, Web3 and traditional backgrounds. A prominent takeaway was the adoption of Solana-based tools and services, innovating payments and loyalty programs.
Boba Guys, a growing United States-based bubble tea brand in the mold of Starbucks, unpacked how its pilot program for a new customer loyalty app delivered insightful data while seemingly incentivizing customers to return to its stores in San Francisco.
The five-week program relied solely on in-store promotion to customers in the area. Six hundred users were onboarded, with 31% of orders being attributed to the loyalty program after the fact. Co-founders Bin Chen and Andrew Chau also reported that the app saw a 67% increase in monthly visits of loyalty program users and a 65% increase in spending.
Solana Foundation’s head of commerce business development, Josh Fried, tells Cointelegraph that the development of the loyalty program provides a tangible use case for commercial clients looking for Web3, blockchain-based tools to build their businesses and customer base.
“The Boba Guys pilot initial data shows that we’re actually improving their business results. A real retailer with 25 locations got on stage and said this Solana-based program was bringing a return of investment of 800%,” Fried explained.
For every $1 that Boba Guys puts into the program, the company sees $9 in revenue in return. It’s a “legitimate business uplift,” Fried said, and the company is planning to roll out the app across its stores in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles.
The recent integration of Solana Pay into e-commerce platform Shopify is another indicator that Web3-based payment tools are becoming a viable alternative for conventional businesses. Fried unpacked how merchants are beginning to provide meaningful feedback on adopting its payments rail.
The MadLab nonfungible token project noted a material uplift in sales from crypto native users who were holding crypto. “These users were holding USDC on Solana, waiting for the utility to use it to pay for something rather than just trading. The community used the integration to start buying merch,” Fried said.
Another anecdote came from an entrepreneur based in Denver, Colorado, who has turned to Shopify’s Solana Pay integration to drive sales of bespoke fragrances. The attraction to the payment solution is the ability of Web3 to help drive e-commerce sales:
“When you’re buying e-commerce, you can’t smell something. Right. He’s like, ‘for a storyteller, I need metaverses, I need Web3 technology that’s going to bring new layers to the sale.’”
While optimistic, Fried concedes that there is a significant amount of work to drive the adoption of Solana Pay and Web3 tools built on Solana. Having worked at Google for a decade on the development of Google Pay, he highlights that even the tech behemoth took years to see the adoption of its increasingly ubiquitous payment service.
“What helps is when somebody like Visa comes along and says, ‘Hey, we’re going to start doing interbank settlement on the Solana blockchain,‘” Fried explains. Major payment processors and rails will be crucial in driving Web3-based payment adoption.