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ArkPromo - a loyalty program on the blockchain

Wed, Jul 17, 2019 6:32 AM | 34 Development - Software Submitted by CryptoMC
Estimated Work Hours
150
Funding
3000 USD
Status
Completed

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. A physical device will scan for a wallet address when a customer has made the purchase. The customer opens the Ark Mobile app, shows his QR-code and ArkPromo 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 physical device (for example 1$ discount for 5 tokens). ArkPromo 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 manage their promotional offers on the physical device at any time.

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

This proposal is about creating a prototype which is able to showcase a loyalty program on the blockchain. ArkPromo depends on a physical device with a screen for interaction with the customers. A Point of Sale terminal integration would be ideal but since I don't have a terminal available and the high purchase price the decision has been made to use a Raspberry Pi with touchscreen and camera modules. With this setup customers and retailers are able to interact with ArkPromo. Customers may interact in order to receive, send tokens and select promotional offers. Retailers may interact in order to manage the promotional offers. Also, the final result will depend on a bridgechain with a fast blocktime because customers don't want to wait too long at the register, the experience has to be fast and smooth. A fast blocktime 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. This is also a reason for using a RPi to stay in the scope of the project (RPi is cheaper than a Point of Sale terminal). If this prototype is a success further developments such as Point of Sale terminal implementations can be addressed. More possible future developments can be found in section 'Miscellaneous'.

Since this project is a prototype no legal structures have to be addressed. I can see this will be a concern when the time arrives when ArkPromo has evolved into a fully working product. But this is far into the future and, for now, it is out of the scope of this project.

This project has multiple goals:
- Demonstrate a physical interaction with an application built on Ark.
- Test Ark by creating a bridgechain with a fast blocktime (Ark's Team says that this is experimental and need to be tested thoroughly so I'd like to take this challenge, see https://deployer.ark.dev/customize/configure-bridgechain-parameters/#blocktime-seconds).

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’. 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) This project shows the results and findings on creating a bridgechain with fast blocktime.

3) 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 prototype.

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 prototype. 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). I will also note my findings in order to publish them later for other developers to work with.

Support & Maintenance

- The source code will be available on Github (or similar) for others to use / expand.
- For questions / 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.

This proposal is a resubmission, I've contacted ACF board members to address previous concerns. I've decided to resubmit my proposal with more details.

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).
- Get hold of a PoS terminal and implement ArkPromo (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 for this prototype 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 3 votes for approval by SuperCool, fun, Moon (biz_network).
SuperCool Wed, Jul 17, 2019 8:06 AM

Like last time, I approve. excited to see the proof of concept.

fun Fri, Jul 26, 2019 11:53 AM

I will approve this as a result of the additional clarification provided since the previous submission.

Moon (biz_network) Sun, Jul 28, 2019 8:08 PM

Good use of ACF funds, interesting concept.

Rejection

There have been no votes for rejection yet.

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