An owner of a ski shop smiles directly at the camera. Before him on a table is a pair of skis.
The possibilities for using an NFT in your business are unlimited. They can be used for product discounts, a customer loyalty program, or a freebie, like a ski tune-up. — Getty Images/Thomas Northcut

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are still a relatively speculative new technology. But they could present an interesting opportunity for your business to foster customer loyalty, open a new revenue stream, and gain a competitive edge. Here are some compelling reasons to learn about NFTs and ways that you can use them for your small business.

Launch a membership-based loyalty program

Consider issuing NFTs to customers who join your loyalty program to ensure exclusive access and prevent fraudsters from taking advantage of benefits. Customers can join your loyalty program by buying an NFT, which they then display in-store or online to get special discounts, early access to sales, or to try new products first.

“Using NFTs as proof of membership also benefits members. Members are freed from the burden of remembering their passwords or carrying with them physical cards; instead, they can simply demonstrate membership through the NFT in their digital wallet,” wrote Entrepreneur.

Loyalty programs are a great way to boost customer retention, and minting NFTs gives you a little additional revenue to support the program.

[Read more: How to Monetize the Metaverse: Big Brands' Tech Partners Share Tips]

Sell event tickets

Rather than using a traditional ticketing platform for your next product launch, conference, or networking event, consider using NFTs as tickets. This option gives you more control over the number of people who attend, as tickets can’t be resold or transferred without your knowledge.

One way to sell tickets is to mint NFTs and charge for them in the same way you would a regular ticket. This is the most simple option and comes with the added benefit of promoting your event: Attendees can share images of their NFTs and generate buzz online. Because the NFT can’t be copied, you don’t have to worry about someone printing fake tickets.

Another way to use this technology is to encourage repeat attendance by rewarding one ticket holder with an NFT for a loyalty program or a future event. The Dallas Mavericks experimented with this option during the 2021 season. Fans could scan their Ticketmaster ticket at the stadium before the end of the first quarter to receive a free NFT. The more NFTs someone collects, the more rewards they earn.

An NFT can be configured such that your business receives revenue every time it is sold.

Run giveaways or sweepstakes promotions

Giveaways are one of the best ways to boost engagement with your audience. Again, there are two ways to make your next contest better using NFTs. The first way is to require participants to enter using an NFT. This method of entry reduces the risk of someone trying to hijack the contest by using multiple aliases to boost their chances of winning. It also ensures that the person who wins is the person they claim to be.

Alternatively, you could offer an NFT as the prize. Work with a creator or make your own NFT from something unique to your brand. “NFTs are unique, so they’re both collectible and may become very valuable over time,” wrote Woorise. You may be able to gain additional entries by offering an NFT to the winner.

Acquire new customers

In addition to boosting customer loyalty, NFTs can be used to bring new customers through the door. Use NFTs during a new store opening, product launch, or as a lead magnet. Because NFTs are recorded on the blockchain, ownership is easy to verify and reward. “A new local cookie business could have a grand opening special where the first 100 people to buy an NFT would get a free cookie each week for a year,” wrote Forbes.

Open new revenue streams

NFTs are still somewhat speculative, and whether or not you can earn an income through selling NFTs depends on your customers and your industry. The story of Jack Dorsey selling his first tweet as an NFT for $2.9 million is unlikely to happen to others. However, NFTs present a way to earn passive income while reaching potential new customers.

An NFT can be configured such that your business receives revenue every time it is sold. For example, an accounting firm could sell an NFT that grants the owner a free session of bookkeeping. The NFT holder could resell the NFT, and the accounting firm would gain new clients and a percentage of the sale every time it is resold.

[Read more: What Businesses Need to Know About Non-Fungible Tokens]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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