Retail in Asia


Decrypting the metaverse: Chapter X – Bringing NFTs into the real world

Alongside the rise of Metaverse, non-fungible token (NFT) has taken the world by storm as a powerful catalyst for digital transformation in finance. The virtual investment tool also opens up new opportunities for business growth and marketing endeavours.

Taking advantage of the vast opportunities this new technology presents to businesses innovation, tmtplaza of Sino Group has incorporated NFT into its latest business development strategy.

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tmtplaza has launched its “Beauty Me NFT Community” parallel with the new BEAUTY WORLD, the renewed beauty hub in tmtplaza. The expansion is one aspect of the company’s effort to bring together over 40 trending and international beauty brands and imitates a multimedia campaign. It also makes tmtplaza the first shopping mall in Hong Kong to offer an NFT-enabled membership programme.

Members of this trailblazing community are in for the first-of-its-kind experience to personalise their NFT Avatars, with exclusive beauty experiences and offers to top off the membership privileges sustainably.

Source: tmtplaza Beauty Me

Retail in Asia had the exclusive opportunity to speak with Ms Bella Chhoa, Director of Asset Management at  Sino Group and Mr Ho, representative of Articoin, the NFTs provider for the campaign. We discussed the relation of  NFTs with loyalty programmes and the benefits of the metaverse to the retail industry.

RiA: The collaboration with Articoin breaks the wall between the reality and the virtual world, bringing NFTs and the retail industry together. What led to this initiative in the first place? And what are your expected outcomes? 

Chhoa: tmtplaza has recently revamped the beauty zone namely “BEAUTY WORLD”, bringing around 40 international beauty brands together and becoming the largest beauty hub in the Northwest New Territories.In the new era where the real and the virtual converge, the inauguration of BEAUTY WORLD marks the beginning of the relaunch campaign, including Hong Kong’s first membership programme run by a shopping mall to encompass NFT.

We realise the potential growth of adoption of NFTs in relation to CRM strategies and NFTs would have key future role to play in brands’ core CRM plan, therefore tmtplaza considers the collaboration with Articoin, a good opportunity to deploy the NFT project in building and sustaining our “Beauty Community”.

Through establishing this community, we hope to forge a lasting connection with our loyal customers, enhance customer engagement and loyalty while drawing in footfall, sales and repeat customers. tmtplaza will continue to grow this beauty-dedicated community, sustain via real-life membership offers and privileges and promote through regular beauty campaigns.

RiA: tmtplaza is a pioneer in launching NFTs for shopping malls in Hong Kong. Why is it limited to BEAUTY WORLD among all other sections of the mall? What opportunity is there for female clients getting into the world of NFT? 

Chhoa: tmtplaza aims to draw in 1,000 NFT owners to the “Beauty Me NFT Community” as founding members. Our focus in particular is on tech-savvy Millennials who have purchasing power and a creative mindset. Our NFT project is not a one-off event – this is the edge and unique selling point of our project. We aim to develop a long-term engagement with all NFT owners with ongoing member privileges provided. BEAUTY WORLD is just a starting point of the project. We are dedicated to developing the community and exploring all the possibilities of expanding the community.

RiA: Is the “Beauty Me” initiative a part of the customer loyalty program? 

Chhoa: Beauty Me NFT is an example of online-to-offline initiative combining NFT identification and real-life perk redemption. Serving as a non-monetary virtual ID, the exclusive NFT comes with the membership of the “Beauty Me” community. Different from the e-membership or offline membership card, NFT is a unique identity. The avatar NFT is created & tailormade by our customers representing their own. Each NFT owner will sync with the actual membership to enjoy further privileges and offers.

RiA: What makes Articoin stand out among other startups in Hong Kong? How did tmtplaza land on this partnership?

Chhoa: Sino Group is always supportive to local start-ups with resources put to nurture them on a long-term basis. As a staunch supporter of sustainability, it is our pleasure to collaborate with Articoin, the local green NFT platform, which provides NFT minted in a greener approach. In comparison with traditional NFT, Beauty Me NFT reduces a large number of energy emission and carbon footprint. Meanwhile, we are happy to see more start-ups implementing their creative ideas. Sino Group initiated this partnership with a view to creating a platform for start-ups like Articoin to promote their messages and shared passion for sustainability.

Sino Group shares the same vision of integrating technology in everyday life and carrying through sustainability. The process emits an amount of carbon equivalent to “a minute’s human respiration” for one “Beauty Me NFT” – a substantial drop compared to the traditional minting method which gives off carbon of “two day’s breathing”.

The project drives forward Sino Group’s vision of supporting sustainable development and entrepreneurship by reducing energy emission and carbon footprint, as well as helping start-ups in their efforts to transform innovative ideas into consumer experiences.

Source: tmtplaza Beauty Me

RiA: Besides the aforementioned initiative, what are your other plans for tmtplaza to embrace the metaverse?

Chhoa: The emerging trends of metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been swirling around the world. The application of NFT presents a wide array of business & marketing opportunities, accelerating the transformation of promotion and CRM tactics in the arena of retail properties.

Beauty Me NFT is an example of online-to-offline initiative combining NFT identification and real-life perk redemption. Serving as a non-monetary virtual ID, the exclusive NFT comes with the membership of the “Beauty Me” community. We see this as a win-win approach to enhance customer engagement and loyalty while drawing in footfall, sales and repeat customers.

More online-to-offline marketing tactics are to be leveraged continuously, including but not limited to CRM tools, tactical campaigns, social media activation, digital media advertising tools etc. Utilising these tactics would enable us to obtain the necessary data, including but not limited to customer demographics, spending pattern and behaviour, for our further analysis and strategic planning on retail mix and marketing programmes.

Aritcoin is a startup green NFTs provider. The company is collaborating with tmtplaza to launch avatars for the loyalty programme. We are glad to talk with Mr. Ho, representative of Articoin. Together we talked about what green NFTs are and how NFTs can be brought to reality.

RiA: The “Beauty Me” initiative consists of the minting of green NFTs, can you explain what they are? How is it different from ordinary NFTs? 

Ho: Serving as a non-monetary virtual ID, we give out exclusive NFTs for free, along with the membership to the “Beauty Me” community. Customers do not need a crypto wallet to receive or store their own NFTs. This will allow all creative beauty enthusiasts to experience the innovation at the crossroads of the virtual and the real in an accessible way. Special technologies are adopted during the minting process, which allow far less use of electricity (2,600 times less).

Source: tmtplaza Beauty Me

RiA: Besides being sustainable, the tmtplaza NFTs are also non-monetary, are there limitations to this kind of NFTs? What is its value in the metaverse? 

Ho: There are many potentials from both direct and indirect perspectives. The transaction of the NFT is only one of the possible aspects. There are other possibilities of using NFT’s to unearth values in other offerings. As a matter of fact, we are currently working with a few leads.

RiA: How will the launch of NFTs be beneficial to retailers? 

Ho: We are seeing retailers benefit from acquiring more loyal customers, expanding their offerings and also expanding their customer base.

RiA: What is the process of NFT personalisation on site?

Ho: Customers can create their own avatars with the one-stop functionality of styling their favourite beauty looks at BEAUTY WORLD popup store. Customers with same-day spending totalling HK$2,000 at BEAUTY WORLD are eligible to create their own personalised avatars. Just a few simple steps of registration, customers will then receive a designated link by email to get and own an NFT minted by the local green NFT platform Articoin.