Tchibo and SAP Brew Up Web3 Innovation

Tchibo and SAP Brew Up Web3 Innovation

Since its foundation in 1949, the German-based coffee and consumer goods retailer Tchibo has always based its business model on innovation. From its beginnings as a mail-order distributor of roasted coffee beans, the company has continually pushed the boundaries of new technology, even dipping the mixer into the growing game console market in 1986.

When Tchibo worked with SAP to develop the NFT Launchpad, it wasn’t just “stirring the pot”. Tchibo’s innovation-driven DNA and SAP’s 50-year history of tackling business challenges with the best of leading technology were the perfect pairing to help unlock the potential of Web3.

The result was the NFT Launchpad, which allows users to create, manage and manage Web3-based non-fungible tokens (NFT) in a Web2-friendly application. The Lighthouse project concluded with the premier launch of a Tchibo NFT collection called the “Tchibo Royalty Club.” Using the NFT Launchpad, Tchibo minted 1,000 unique NFTs on the Polygon blockchain. To get an NFT, collectors entered their email addresses on the Tchibo Royalty Club’s NFT Launchpad page. After receiving a link via email, recipients could claim and view their NFTs on the launch pad or transfer them to their digital wallets. “Golden” NFTs could be redeemed for prizes such as Tchibo coffee cans and Lapressa branded pens.

I am so proud of the results and the significance of this collaboration. Because it combines the best functionalities of Web2 and Web3, NFT Launchpad lowers the barriers for both businesses and collectors to join the Web3 revolution. For context, the Internet we’ve come to know over the past quarter century is Web2. Web2 technology drove the democratization of the Internet, allowing users to contribute and interact with content. Web3 decentralizes the Internet, making transactions more secure and verifiable by using a distributed blockchain network to validate those transactions. Web3 also allows businesses to take advantage of the new consumer digital asset class based on blockchain technology and smart contracts that include NFTs, tokens and more.

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The project also revealed a compelling array of applications perfectly suited to the growing challenge of meeting customer expectations. Among the most pressing concerns for all retailers today is capturing an increasingly fragmented share of consumer loyalty. More than ever, engaging customers while remaining profitable increases the urgency for businesses to transform the customer experience. Fortunately, the features of Web3 suggest a multitude of use cases.

From loyalty programs to digital twins, NFTs can help increase brand loyalty, engagement and revenue. Crucially, Web3 can also propel businesses forward in their digital transformations, keeping their brands relevant even to digitally sophisticated Gen Z and Alphas, as well as the generations of consumers beyond. As a marketing and loyalty tool, NFTs can be issued as branded rewards, promotional or exclusive collectibles and advertising that younger consumers are likely to engage with. Digital twins, for example, are unique ways for companies to engage, interact and build relationships with audiences.

Digital twins are digital representations of physical objects. NFTs of digital twins, used as promotional items, invitations, passes to special events such as exclusive sales, or redemptions for discounts and physical goods, can be affordable entries in the Web3 universe. As a sales or service tool, digital twins also provide excellent opportunities to improve the customer experience after purchase. Imagine the next time your car’s check engine light comes on. Instead of driving it to the garage, you share a digital twin that a mechanic can use to virtually examine and diagnose the problem. You can bet if I get consistently reliable service without leaving my home, I’m a repeat customer.

Internally, companies can also use NFTs such as POAPs (Proof of Attendance Protocol) to increase employee engagement. Tchibo has issued POAPs to increase engagement in training, while SAP has a similar program that allows tech talk participants to collect NFTs.

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From marketing to commerce to service applications and more, it is clear that Web3 has great potential to unlock key drivers of success – engagement, revenue, loyalty and digital transformation – in the new digital landscape.

Coverage of engagement, loyalty, revenue and transformation using Web3. Click to enlarge.

NFTs as Sustainable Swag

The NFT Launchpad has an additional benefit that speaks to changing consumer and business values. Without manufacturing, packaging or shipping, NFTs can claim sustainability that increases when combined with the more energy-efficient proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. POS uses about as much energy as a Google search. Minting an NFT on Polygon, as the team did, uses only one-tenth of the energy required to post a tweet, which is forty-four thousandths of the carbon footprint required to mint an NFT on a proof-of-work (PoW) network .

How proof-of-stake outperforms proof-of-work in terms of energy efficiency comes down to the way transactions are validated.

  • Proof-of-work, used by networks such as Bitcoin, involves miners solving complex mathematical problems to validate transactions and create new blocks. This process is energy intensive, requiring a significant amount of computational power, as each miner in the network performs these calculations in a race to mine the block and win the block reward. When the first miner finishes the calculation, all other miners stop processing the block and move on to the next block of transactions. The process repeats itself, and uses significant amounts of energy in the process.
  • Proof-of-stake networks, on the other hand, are more energy efficient. In PoS, validators are chosen to create new blocks based on the amount of cryptocurrency they have and are willing to “bet” as collateral, which they lose if other validators determine that the block was manipulated with malicious intent. Since only a single node in the network creates the block, no complex, energy-intensive, concurrent processing is performed. PoS uses significantly less energy than PoW, making it a more sustainable option for blockchain networks.
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Furthermore, NFTs have a longer lifespan than physical goods, as they can be stored, transferred and traded without deterioration in quality.

Alpha release of the NFT Management Solution from SAP

This year at SAP Sapphire, SAP introduced its alpha release of the non-fungible token management solution, an enterprise-ready, no-code, software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution for creating, managing, deploying and claims on Web3 digital assets. Via the solution’s dashboard, companies can create NFT collections and campaigns and manage and distribute NFTs to customers. NFT fundraisers and campaign managers can configure the experience of NFT claimants by customizing benefits associated with NFTs, adding destination links, and more.

I couldn’t be more excited to test the alpha release with our partners at Tchibo. I’m also excited to share a preview with you. Scan the QR code to receive a limited edition customized NFT from the alpha release of the NFT management solution from SAP. NFTs will be distributed to the first 50 people who claim one of these cool, sustainable, custom digital artworks.

With heartfelt thanks to Tchibo, I look forward to our next innovation project. Tchibo’s German slogan, “Jede Woche eine neue Welt” means “Every week is a new world.” It refers to the changing selection of goods, which is updated weekly, in the stores. This sentiment also applies to business technology, and I’m excited to see what happens next for Tchibo and Web3.

Ritu Bhargava is president and CEO of SAP Industry & Customer Experience.

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