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ArkPromo - a loyalty program on the blockchain

Sun, Jun 30, 2019 8:41 AM | 1 Development - Software Submitted by CryptoMC
Estimated Work Hours
150
Funding
3000 USD
Status
Under Review

ArkPromo enables retailers to distribute points / savings stamps (as a token) to customers on a blockchain built with Ark’s Ecosystem. The amount of tokens the customer receives (this is configurable) depends on the spending amount in fiat. When a customer has made the purchase a Raspberry Pi with camera and touchscreen module will scan for a wallet address. The customer opens the Ark Mobile app, shows his QR-code and the app will send the tokens to the scanned address. A few weeks later the same customer enters the store and sees that there is a promotional offer. At the cash register the customer selects the offer from the touchscreen (1$ discount for 5 tokens). The app prompts the user to send the tokens and shows a QR-code. After confirmation the discount is calculated and the user can make the purchase. Retailers can add more promotional offers at any time.

With ArkPromo retailers can track the token distribution and this enables stores to monitor how promotional offers are performing.

Prerequisites

Requirements

- Hardware: a Raspberry Pi 4, camera module, touchscreen module and casing / stands.
A bridgechain with a fast block-time (research / prototyping needs to be done in order to
define ‘fast’, https://deployer.ark.dev/customize/configure-bridgechain-parameters/#blocktime-seconds shows that anything below 5 seconds needs to be tested so I’d like to take this challenge). The bridgechain will run on test- / devnet
- An software application with its own wallet (for monitoring each cashier) which is able to send (by scanning QR codes) and receive (by outputting QR code to the touch screen) bridgechain tokens.
- The app has to show certain instructions / status messages to the user in order to enhance the user experience.
- The app has to list the promotional offers and according to the selection the app has to show the QR-code.
- The app has to be able to add / remove promotional offers (retail store owner has to enter an expiration date so that the offer will be automatically removed from the list).
- A video will be recorded and posted once the product is finished in order to showcase this project.

Cost-benefit analysis

1) This project demonstrates that retailers are able to work with a points / savings system running on a blockchain.

2) Dutch grocery stores often have a paper savings card with stamps for customers to collect. Each amount of Euro spent is equal to one stamp. When your savings card is full you are eligible to receive your promotional offer. ArkPromo saves the hassle of handing out stamps since they are all digital. It also saves the time to design and print your stamps / savings card (often retailers have different stamps / savings cards for each promotional offer).

Milestones

Design

A) Created application and scenario flowcharts.
B) Promotional offer selection and token distribution GUI’s.
C) Setting up RPI with modules.
D) Bridgechain is up and running.
E) Finished software development.
F) Usability testing and potential modifications are completed.
G) Created video with a demonstration of the final product.

Testing

Usability testing will be used in order to get user feedback. I will create scenario's for users, other than me, to test the product. Feedback will be noted and potential modifications will be handled.

Launch Plan

I will post / deliver a video which demonstrates the whole experience from different points of view (cashier / customer).

Support & Maintenance

- The source code will be available on Github for others to use / expand.
- For support people can contact me on the Ark Slack or on Reddit, my username is CryptoMC.

Additional Information

Community Feedback

I’ve approached multiple community members with the goal the gather feedback. All members were positive about the project and some had some great feedback:

Q: What about sellers on markets / delivery guys? It is very likely that they aren’t able to carry a Raspberry Pi around.
A: This project is focused on retail stores, a future development could be a smartphone application. This application could be a fork of the current Ark Mobile app with additional functionalities to handle promotional offers and token distribution.

Q: What about new customers, how do they create a new wallet fast whilst they are at the cash register?
A: Customers need to have the Ark Mobile app installed, the bridgechain configured and a wallet in order to receive tokens. This is something you don’t want to do at the cash register because it might take some time (other customers will have to wait). I imagine retail stores to show advertisements / tutorials at the entrance of the store on how to setup the Ark Mobile app.

The forked app mentioned above could have the bridgechain configuration already setup out of the box. This should save a step in the process for the customer.

Miscellaneous

1) The purchase of the hardware is included in this proposal (around $200). The rest of the funding is a compensation for the man hours spent on prototyping, development, testing and creating the video.

2) Possible future developments (not included in this proposal, gathered from community feedback):
- Forked Ark Mobile app to enable ArkPromo on the go (no need for a Raspberry Pi).
- Add ‘Pay with ARK’ option to enable customers to pay their products with ARK.
- Add ArkPromo to the Marketplace.
- Collaborate with retailers.

3) The software application will be developed in NodeJS with package https://www.npmjs.com/package/@zxing/library in order to scan for QR-codes.

4) I could only select a single category for this proposal, this project has two categories; software + hardware.

Votes

Approval

There have been 2 votes for approval by Marc, SuperCool.
Marc Tue, Jul 2, 2019 3:12 PM

I feel that this is a great application for a blockchain. and that the IOT aspect is something that will benefit other projects as well.

SuperCool Tue, Jul 2, 2019 7:14 PM

I'm glad you decided to make a proposal. After our conversation on slack I was excited about your idea. hope to see your proof of concept soon!

Rejection

There have been 2 votes for rejection by fun, RayAlva.
fun Wed, Jul 3, 2019 10:45 AM

I will be a dissenting voice here. The implementation would need to be refined before I would feel comfortable approving this because it seems to me that existing merchant PoS terminals could be upgraded to use one of the many ARK SDKs to achieve this already, much like existing terminals were upgraded to support contactless payments via Apple Pay and similar; and many merchants already provide loyalty schemes digitally through their own systems that could be upgraded without introducing a new cumbersome device setup.

RayAlva Thu, Jul 4, 2019 2:45 AM

This is a very ambitious project and as such I would like to see a proposal with more details. It sounds very interesting but also difficult to attain especially considering the amount being requested.


From a legal perspective, a loyalty program does have some legal pitfalls that need to be accounted for: A clear operating procedure for the loyalty program needs to be set. The structure of the program and how points are calculated and tracked need to be publicized and furthermore accepted by consumers using the machine. Misunderstandings turn into liabilities. I can point you towards the example of Staples (a large office supply retailer). Consumers were upset on how points on their reward program were being calculated. Staples was hit with a class action lawsuit and paid out 2 million dollars in damages.


Terms of Use, Legal structure of the loyalty program, and more have to be carefully considered in my opinion.

Leave a Comment

Comments

CryptoMC
Thu, Jul 4, 2019 6:50 AM

Hello Ray and fun, thank you guys for your feedback. I understand your statements, allow me to clarify. This proposal has to be seen as a prototype to showcase a loyalty program on the blockchain. If this project is a success I can further development / improve the prototype as in researching PoS implementation, app development, UX improvement etc. I'm depended on a fast blocktime, which is according to the Ark Team experimental, so that's why I think I have to start with a prototype to determine what's possible. Terms of use, legal structures and PoS implementation are in my eyes 'a step 2' which are relevant when the prototype is finished (and is considered to be successful). As far as I can tell do terms of use and legal structures differ per retailer since they are able to setup their own loyalty program's with different variables. I think, for now, that this is out of scope for this proposal. My goal is to develop a prototype to showcase what Ark is capable of. Hopefully I was able to clear things up, please let me know if you have further questions.