Shping Uses Cryptocurrency to Incentivize Shoppers

February 21, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Customers are increasingly digital-savvy, and are making investigations into potential purchases that go way beyond anything ever seen before. Yet the environment works against these astute consumers; there’s a lot of information to crawl through, and eventually, even the most stalwart will likely give up. However, there may be a way to beat this thanks to a combination of incentives, cryptocurrency and an Australian startup known as Shping.

Shping—which sounds a lot like “shopping” if you say “shopping” fast enough—is giving users a new option when it comes to product information searches, and marketers a new way to reach shoppers. Shping starts right in the store—a definite plus to brick-and-mortar outlets desperate to keep users off computers and mobile devices—by allowing shoppers to scan a product barcode. From there, the customer can learn more about the product’s history, origins, or even how it’s made.

Most shoppers don’t actually do this, so in order to make it more palatable, Shping offers rewards to the shopper in the form of digital coins. It rewards other behavior as well, like registering for a product warranty, offering reviews on products, or even just watching a video. By joining in with Shping, marketers have a way to access the user at his or her most engaged.

Rather than paying a site, show, or similar for advertising space, the advertiser pays the user directly to interact with the brand. This represents something of a shakeup to the advertising concept, and may have significant ramifications for marketing in general. We’ve known for some time that the attention of a market is valuable; that’s why advertising exists in the first place. Marketers pay for access to a market’s attention, which is where advertising on television, radio and newspapers got its start. Now, Shping is cutting out the middleman and going straight to the market itself, offering what amounts to payment directly to the consumer for his or her attention.

It’s a clever idea, though only time will tell if it works sufficiently. Still, Shping may be on the bleeding edge of a whole new development in marketing, one that could change the way we shop.