Today Publicis Sapient announced a partnership with NFT art marketplace Portion to help Publicis Sapient clients extend their brands into web3, including the metaverse. They also want to use NFTs linked to physical items to see what consumers buy across different channels.
Sapient, which describes itself as a digital transformation company, was acquired in 2015 by giant marketing group Publicis for $3.7 billion.
Portion operates an NFT marketplace and has the ability to mint NFTs. It was founded back in 2016 and ran an ICO. However, unlike other startups with multi-billion token market capitalizations, Portion’s token is worth a couple of million.
The companies have partnered to create a metaverse-based experience to enable ‘legacy channels’ to expand their brands. The initiative aims to appeal to a younger generation of consumers with different expectations. Portion will develop a project to enable brands to expand their sales and service channels within the metaverse.
NFTs to link purchases across sales channels
A separate initiative revolves around identity to enable brands to create an omnichannel view of a single consumer. This might enable them to link an in-store purchase to another online purchase by the same person. To achieve this, they want to link transactions for physical products to NFTs.
While few additional details were provided on the identity side, NFTs are usually held in a user’s wallet. While some people might have multiple wallets, most people prefer to keep all their NFTs in the same place.
If all sales are linked to NFTs, then brands can start to get an idea of what has been bought by a particular wallet address. If that wallet address is associated with a loyalty app, brands can see what’s been purchased through different outlets. But if there’s a loyalty app you could probably do that without blockchain.
If instead, these physical purchase NFTs used a more generic crypto wallet, blockchain’s transparency can raise privacy issues.
Blockchain wallets are usually pseudonymous, but if a transaction is made with a credit card, they’d be able to link the wallet address to an identity. If a general crypto wallet is used, not only can they see what’s been bought from their own brand, they could also potentially see what a consumer has spent on other brands.
However, there are simple workarounds to address these privacy issues. These include a user having several pseudonymous addresses—either one for every purchase or one per brand. And that’s effectively how a loyalty app would work.