How Companies in the Loyalty and Rewards Sector Compare
Traditionally, when investors make decisions about which companies to put money into, they ask about competitors. Angels, Venture Capital (VC) and Private Equity investors all need to know one thing: How big is the market?
Although our token sale is still in the pre-sale phase (at time of writing), we are delighted that the soft cap target has already been reached. It shows that our team, product and goals for the future are all something that token sale investors have confidence in.
But back to the original question: The market, in this case, is huge. Retail and E-commerce are worth trillions globally. Giving e-commerce retailers an advantage, any advantage, as we have done through our parent company, GIFTD, isn’t easy. And yet, on average, GIFTD clients generate 17% extra revenue when they use the companies products and services.
Our experience with GIFTD demonstrates that the need exists for e-commerce retailers. As you would expect, we aren’t the only company to realise this and attempt to address the need. Several others, some startups — others more established — are in this space, working to solve loyalty issues for retailers with blockchain-based solutions.
At the time of writing, the competitor landscape is fragmented, and no one else offers compelling products for our target market — small and medium retailers and e-commerce companies.
Competitors fall into to broad camps.
There are marketplaces, operating a B2B > B2C model, whereby they connect Cost Per Action (CPA) networks (e.g. ClickBooth, MaxBounty, Admitad), which gives cashback in a fiat and also convert fiat into cryptocurrency. Marketplaces are notoriously difficult to scale. And expensive. Not only do they have to convince businesses to join; they also need users. Millions of them.
In practice, that means throwing millions into a customer-acquisition funnel to convince them to download and use an app. Margins are awfully tight in this model, since everyone needs to take a cut, including individual users every time they make a purchase. Validating these assumptions will be difficult, making it very difficult to achieve profitability and continue to scale organically.
Other competitors are creating B2B tools; although, for the most part, the focus is on providing services to offline retailers. Although this market is much larger, compared to the e-commerce sector, scaling in this market is costly and time-consuming. A traditional sales team is needed.
Whereas, we benefit from knowing and understanding e-commerce. Working with new clients in this sector is not as challenging for us with the experience and expertise we have, making our business model far less risky and easier to scale and grow.
Competitors and Similar Businesses
PlusCoin is a B2C marketplace, connecting online shoppers through affiliate networks to retailers, with customers getting cash back when they make a purchase. Built on the Ethereum blockchain, it looks as though PlusCoin is trying to scale into ten countries at the same time. On their website, they mention over 1500 partners and 115,000 users.
Marketplace testing is complete, after their ICO, with plans to launch the product, DS Plus, soon — requiring users to download and use an app to get cash back from purchases. Once they’ve got PlusCoin from purchases, they can be spent with other stores or converted into a fiat currency.
Scaling marketplaces is extremely difficult and costly, especially when you want customers to change habits. BitRewards will also come with a marketplace, giving customers the chance to spend loyalty rewards with other retailers, and we don’t need anyone to download a mobile app. Customers will naturally come through merchants, which makes our approach less risky and easier to scale.
LoyalCoin, created by Appsolutely, have also completed their ICO and require users to download an app to earn loyalty points from retailers. LoyalCoin also comes with a peer-to-peer (P2P) rewards transfer feature. Looking at their website, LoyalCoin, are mainly focusing on the South East Asian market for now — where their parent company has clients — with plans to expand into the US and Europe later in the year.
It looks as though the focus is offline point-of-sale loyalty redemptions, with an app and cryptowallet. Unlike LoyalCoin, our software is free of charge to merchants.
Competing with LoyalCoin, GatCoin transforms traditional discount coupons, loyalty points and shopping vouchers into liquid, tradable digital tokens. Customers need to download an app to convert existing loyalty rewards into crypto-tokens, which they can then use to buy products/services from retailers on their network, or convert into another form of crypto or fiat currency.
It looks as though it will largely act as a mobile wallet/marketplace, which is only one feature amongst several key ones for BitRewards.
Loyyal is building enterprise solutions with blockchain and smart contract technology. This is a different side of the loyalty sector, and not one we are looking to enter at present, with our 5+ years of experience working with small and medium enterprises.
Incent, in Australia, completed an ICO in 2016 and their tokens have been available to buy and sell through exchanges ever since. However, until recently, not much else seems to have happened. It looks as though they’ve recently launched a proof of concept product to the public, but there is no clear sign which retailers they’re working with or how many users are earning loyalty points through the platform.
And there we have it:
All the companies we are either competing with, in an exciting sector, or partnering with to provide mutual benefits for our clients and end-users.