Qiibee: An Ethereum Blockchain-Based Loyalty Ecosystembr>
Gabriele Giancola is the Co-Founder and CEO qiibee, an ethereum blockchain-based loyalty ecosystem. By providing a loyalty platform and developer interface on which every loyalty application can be tokenized, qiibee aims connect a fragmented market, increase its efficiencies, and remove the central data authority.
Giancola holds a Masters in Business Management from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland and, as serial entrepreneur, co-founded different companies such as gratis-auto.ch, a start-up focused on mobile outdoor advertising and a mining farm with around 60 miners.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Could you tell us a bit how qiibee got started?
GABRIELE GIANCOLA: The loyalty system market faces major challenges, from high fragmentation and operational inefficiencies to concerns with centralization and data ownership. By creating a loyalty platform and a developer interface, we not only provide organizations and brands with the opportunity to tokenize their own applications but revolutionize the outdated market.
With these issues in mind, qiibee started its journey in the loyalty market by building a multi-branded and multi-activity loyalty program, which brands could use to reward their users for activities such as shopping or creating and engaging with content. This prototype was launched in late 2016, with a Swiss user base of 75’000, making up approximately 1% of all Swiss internet users. Furthermore, qiibee had the chance to work with more than 900 local, national and international brands; such as Subway, Burger King or Swiss Federal Railway.
Not only did we build an impressive user base and establish valuable relationships with companies, but we also came to the conclusion that we were not fully solving the challenges faced by the loyalty sector. We believe that loyalty program owners, companies or developers should have the freedom to build a bespoke application that meets their needs while not concerning themselves with the integration of blockchain technology and tokenization.
This is why we are now creating qiibee, a decentralized, blockchain-based loyalty ecosystem where data is decentralized on the blockchain. By accessing our developer kit and platform any company can easily decentralize and tokenize their loyalty program and in turn the whole ecosystem is connected by the qiibee wallet, where customers can store all loyalty tokens earned and exchange them within the community.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What’s the most important element of a rewards program?
GABRIELE GIANCOLA: Apart from a super accessible user experience on the reward and redemption side, there are few specific elements that make a program successful: How substantial the rewards are for the customer, how fast the customer receives the reward, and what activity is the customer actually rewarded for? When spending the points or tokens it needs to be transparent – the consumer needs to know the number of points needed to buy a certain product, the options of where the customer can spend his points, and how fast can the points be redeemed.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: How can a business best measure the effectiveness of a loyalty rewards program?
GABRIELE GIANCOLA: There are some basic indicators that can be used in order to measure how useful a certain loyalty program is, such as the Net Promoter Score (how many of your customers would recommend your brand to their network), the amount of reviews produced by existing customers vs. the amount of revenue received from new customers, the lifetime value per customer and the customer retention rate. For example, a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 25-100% increase in profit for your organisation, reducing customer defections by 10%, profitability of a credit card company rose by over 120%.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What should business owners consider before creating a loyalty program that offers extrinsic motivators?
GABRIELE GIANCOLA: It’s widely known that extrinsic motivation has a crowding out effect on intrinsic motivation. In the aspect of loyalty programs, this could suggest that true intrinsic brand loyalty starts to fade away through extrinsic motivations. On the other hand, extrinsic motivations are used to trigger repeating actions which should certainly be incorporated into loyalty programs.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Why is blockchain believed to be the future of loyalty programs?
GABRIELE GIANCOLA: There is a constant underlying risk that data associated with loyalty programs could be attacked or manipulated. If this data is decentralized and stored on the blockchain, companies can remove the majority of costs associated with management and security of data, and additionally they decrease the risk of attack and manipulation completely. Thus, the blockchain not only cuts away a central data authority but saves these companies a lot of capital.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What is needed to develop a functional blockchain network for loyalty rewards program providers?
GABRIELE GIANCOLA: One of the most important components to have a blockchain-based loyalty network is the platform layer, a set of smart contracts that can, and know how to, rule and govern the network and its stakeholders. The logic behind the redeeming and rewarding actions, or the ability to create a new token that will co-exist with the rest of the ones in the network are some examples that are part of this component.
As blockchain is still not yet mainstream, loyalty owners might not have the necessary resources to adopt it, this interaction is definitely a concern that must be tackled, which is why we identified another component that must be provided: a development kit. This kit is the bridge between the loyalty apps and the platform layer. By providing an API, a community, and a strong support service we ensure an easy integration for anyone interested in joining the network, a sort of plug and play service.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What do you hope to accomplish with your ICO?
GABRIELE GIANCOLA: Our upcoming Token Generation Event will allow us to reach the full-potential of our ambitious project while encouraging the larger loyalty community to come join us on our journey, the funds raised will go towards the development of our developer kit, the qiibee platform, and the qiibee wallet/exchange. We will also use the funds raised to assist in educating the market, through organizing conferences and hackathons, creating tutorials and best practices and working with academic research labs.