Web 2 and Web 3 Collide, NFTs and Shopify
As the founder of Ambaum, most of my 9-5 is spent on hiring, strategy and client services in support of merchants. However, in my free time, crypto (web 3) has been a passion of mine – I bought my first Bitcoin in 2014 and the Pandemic reignited my interest, especially in NFTs. I thought of my time in the NFT space as a way to learn new technology and when I started out I didn’t think it would impact ecommerce, at least for a few years. Fast forward to 2022 and NFTs and ecommerce are converging in unique and fun ways and it’s happening much quicker than I could have imagined.
I just got back from ShopTalk 2022 and it was fantastic to see our partners in person, shout out to ShipStation, ReCharge and Rebuy from the Shopify ecosystem. There was an energy in the air following the almost 2 year absence of in person events. The majority of the exhibitors at the conference were in the following categories: payment providers (buy now pay later, so many!), headless commerce and retail analytics. I was amazed at how many of these exhibitors had raised more than $100M in the last year with a handful raising more than $300M.
ShopTalk and NFTs
The first session the Ambaum team attended was a Shark Tank theme pitch presentation event, companies had 3 minutes to present and then 3 minutes for questions. Out of the first batch Niftmint, a NFT Commerce Infrastructure company stood out – loved the QR code on the back of Jonathan’s t-shirt. We have already partnered with NFTeapot, a NFT minting app that allows customers to purchase NFTs through the Shopify checkout, but it’s exciting to see more companies jump in the space.
NFTs are so new that most brands don’t yet have a clearly articulated strategy, which is why I was so impressed by PacSun’s President Brieane Olson and her Metaverse presentation on the ShopTalk main stage. PacSun has minted their own NFTs: Pac Mall Rats and they clearly have considered scarcity, authenticity and long term value which is very important for brands as they get into NFTs. In addition PacSun has partnered with Roblox to show off clothing NFTs in Roblox, this is ideal as PacSun’s average customer is 17-24 years old.
Shopify and NFTs
Tobi Lutke, Shopify CEO has started warming up to NFTs since the summer of 2021 and the first clue was changing his profile picture on Twitter to a Cryptopunk. Then in the Fall of 2021, Shopify created a landing page for selling NFTs on Shopify, that explains how merchants can mint and list NFTs for sale through their Shopify store. In February 2022, Shopify and Doodles (a popular NFT collection) combined to create an in person experience for people to use NFTs as tokens for gated merchandise, all powered by Shopify and their POS system.
It’s still very early for NFTs and brands have to be careful how they choose to introduce their customers to the concept while staying true to their core. Here at Ambaum we are following very closely and getting engaged with our brands already as we want to help our merchants navigate the NFT landscape. This is an exciting time for Shopify and NFTs, I see an opportunity that could be as large as subscriptions are on the Shopify platform. It’s going to be an exciting time for those who are willing to get out of their comfort zone and dive in!