Marketplace Platform Update From SWYFT
Imagine a place where anyone can create their own personally branded retail shop on the Internet. Next, imagine having access to an ever-growing inventory of merchants’ products and services to sell from that shop. Now add a central shopping cart and payment system that pays shopkeepers a nearly-instant commission for product sales. Add a dashboard that tracks sales and commission metrics in one place. Back everything up with a customer service system and fulfillment for product orders, and you have a powerful online retail business in a box.
Welcome to Tapestry!
Tapestry ** (project code name) is a complete e-commerce, affiliate, and payment platform that allows professional marketers and anyone interested in retailing to aggregate all of their affiliate product deals into branded shops that gives shopkeepers a single point of entry for their audiences and customers.
The Tapestry platform provides access to an array of merchant affiliate programs and tracks which products are sourced by which merchant; freeing shopkeepers from dealing directly with multiple merchants and affiliate codes and allowing retailers to focus their efforts on generating traffic for their boutique stores.
Customers come directly to product pages or to a shop’s product catalogue, make their purchases and pay in one location.
The Tapestry platform then calculates the shopkeeper’s commissions, manages the delivery of purchased goods and forwards the balance of the purchase to the appropriate merchant/supplier.
By aggregating their sales efforts and driving traffic to their own online stores, marketers can realize the benefits of reclaiming lost time, receiving instant commissions at the point of sale and consolidated reporting.
Merchant Suppliers reap the benefits of clear sales communications, a transparent database of sales that are recorded to a blockchain and sales dashboards that give a clear picture of their affiliate memberships.
The Tapestry platform also facilitates merchants and marketers finding each other. Marketers can choose from a central list of affiliate programs, and merchants can locate and approach specialist marketers for their product space.
Tapestry acts as an agent for specific sponsorships, and even allows for the creation of one-off affiliate contracts for high-value marketers.
All of this takes place on a configurable customer-facing store interface that displays products, manages the shopping cart experience and receives payments. Customers can purchase multiple products from multiple merchants in a single sale, and Tapestry takes care of recording the sales and making sure the correct commissions and merchants are paid.
Affiliate Marketing. Most people who purchase products online are probably familiar with the term. Many have also participated (often without even knowing it) in affiliate marketing deals as customers. Others have probably joined affiliate programs at one point or another.
Affiliate Marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.
What Wikipedia doesn’t tell anyone is that Affiliate Marketing is a $12 billion industry and that 81% of brands rely on affiliate programs for sales. This is a system that is well known and well-liked by merchants throughout the world.
Merchants do not need to be educated about how affiliate marketers can help their bottom lines, so no effort is needed to convince merchants to take advantage of the affiliate industry; most of them already do.
Even huge retailers like Amazon offer blanket affiliate programs; programs that are used by reviewers and marketers to drive traffic/sales and earn commissions. Anyone who has ever watched a product review on YouTube or an un-boxing video has probably seen affiliate links littering video descriptions.
With that said, anyone considering breaking into this large industry may be tempted to ask – exactly why does the world need another affiliate marketing system?
“63% of companies still feel their biggest challenge is generating traffic and leads”
The answer to that question becomes apparent with an examination of how marketers operate their businesses. If one dives into how existing affiliate programs work, weaknesses and complaints quickly bubble to the surface and it becomes obvious that current programs do not fit marketers’ business models very well.
A professional affiliate marketer may be part of dozens or hundreds of individual merchant programs, which means they have to maintain an ever-changing database of affiliate codes and deal with a great many separate “employers”.
Even worse, most affiliate links take potential customers directly to merchants’ retail web sites and run the risk of losing the critical reference code links that connect customers to the affiliate who helped drive the sale.
Following up on each expected commission can be difficult for the professional marketer, and it can be an absolute nightmare for an influencer who is simply looking to monetize their creative business.
What Makes Codename:Tapestry Unique?
In a typical affiliate marketing business, a marketer receives a referral code for each and every merchant they promote. Sometimes, this referral code is as granular as a product-level code. This means that the marketer has to track each sale’s performance individually.
For a professional marketer, this a lot of work, since each merchant offers different commission rates and pays on different schedules.
Merchants with affiliate programs are also notorious for losing referrals and not paying earned commissions, so the amount of time needed to track sales and commissions takes away from the marketer’s time for writing reviews, advertising and promoting products.
With Tapestry, all of that work and complexity is removed. Marketers simply drive all their traffic to a single address…their branded shop. Any products purchased through Tapestry shops are automatically credited to the shopkeeper and commissions are calculated and paid by the Tapestry platform, according to the source merchant’s affiliate program within the system.
This removes the grunt work of tracking sales across multiple affiliate programs, consolidates sales metrics into a single location, pays higher commissions than the large blanket platforms and pays more quickly because of our escrow transaction system. Since Tapestry processes payments for purchases, commissions are paid at the same time (following escrow) that merchants are paid.
Marketers also can negotiate deals with merchants to “control” certain products and regions. That means that shopkeepers have the opportunity to earn commissions on sales made through the main Tapestry store instead of being limited to sales made through their branded shops.
According to our market research, this approach to aggregating affiliate programs is completely unique in the affiliate space.
Add wholesale, white label and sponsorship opportunities to the mix of shopkeeper benefits and Tapestry delivers a complete solution for both the professional affiliate marketer and the part time influencer looking to leverage their influence for retail commission income.
Features and Benefits
Social Media Influencer Benefits
Working with a decent influencer whose niche relates to your products gives merchants access to a relevant target audience. Since your message reaches a relevant audience, the chances of conversion are higher. This is the main reason for the success of influencer marketing. Now pair that with a personalized store with driven traffic.
It is reported 92% of consumers trust recommendations of people, companies or influencers they know. Working directly with affiliate markers who then promote your products to their established audience offers more opportunities for quicker volumetric sales.
The motivation to push more product sales through influencers will mean a greater volume for the merchant / wholesaler. Let’s look at the beauty industry, for example. The top 100 influencers for that vertical have a combined audience of 100’s of millions of followers.
These influencers are typically paid per social media post. Our niche converts these audiences into sales with pop up stores, very much like Shopify but as branded boutiques that wrap merchant’s products. Shopkeepers can hand-select the products they want to sell or even set up their own department store that incorporates a merchant’s entire catalogue.
Schedule For Product Delivery
At this early stage, it is difficult to produce a schedule with meaningful milestone dates; owing to the fact that the Tapestry platform has yet to be formally designed. We understand the market opportunity and also have a reasonably complete list of features we want to deliver.
That said, the formal design of the platform is part of the first phase of the project. Currently, we are looking to drive the design process forward, prepare B2B marketing and investor materials, identify programming resources, acquire technical infrastructure while preparing a formal project schedule and budget.
The design phase is scheduled for 1-2 months.
Phase 1 deliverables:
- Engineering specification
- Formal features list for MVP
- Development budget
- Investor materials (pitch deck, explainer videos, etc)
Phase 2 deliverables:
- Fully working beta platform
- Tutorial videos (shop setup, merchant inventory setup, fulfilment)
- Expanded/enhanced investor materials
- Marketing materials targeted for merchant and affiliate acquisition
- Initial set of merchants and affiliates to validate the platform
- Official Branding of Project
Phase 3 deliverables:
- Fully operational platform stack
- Network Operations Center (NOC) with technical staff
- Initial Customer Service infrastructure
- Investor materials for public consumption
The final phase (phase 4 – scaling) is a full introduction of the platform to the public, and a full-court marketing plan to acquire merchants and affiliates.
What all of this means for SWYFTT
Whilst the Tapestry platform will accept multiple forms of payment and currencies, our goal is for SWYFTT to be available to be used against goods and services at a discounted rate to fiat to enhance market liquidity. Merchants, other chains of custody or the shopkeeper must all have the choice on what forms of payment solutions they would like to receive for Products.
However, for SWYFTT to be widely accepted as a form of payment, the conversion of SWYFTT, or any other cryptocurrency for that matter, must produce enough liquidity to render hard currency for the actual wholesaler / merchant.
Building a platform dedicated solely to cryptocurrency is closing our outlook on a larger business model and market share. It is the wrong business decision to make SWYFTT a dedicated use-case for Tapestry, as that turns our project into a “one trick pony” deployment; just like most of the projects that have failed previously to gain traction in any area.
The only real way forward is to create business value first, then find ways to integrate SWYFTT to raise its liquidity and value whilst educating the user base to the benefits of cryptocurrency .
As the designers and owners of Tapestry, we plan to initially accept SWYFTT for all payments made for services rendered. This will be against setup fees and monthly fees; to remove SWYFTT from circulation, which we feel given the low supply is a good way to start to create scarcity and apply market pressure to raise SWYFTT prices.
Whilst there will be a fiat option to pay Tapestry fees, paying in SWYFTT is intended to create a healthy discount for users. Those that are using the platform that are familiar with cryptocurrency may choose to set up a vesting contract to negate their fees annually which would drive the building of bigger lockout contracts.
Merchants may initially be biased against accepting any crypto due to the volatility and the way in which they need to convert themselves. We will endeavour to set up a very quick solution to settle cryptocurrency payments that they have received into fiat, but at a higher exchange rate to the market.
Where SWYFTT is concerned, once it reaches a certain level of buying pressure and liquidity, it can fall into this product payment category and should raise the price significantly.
Conversion costs of other cryptos will be a percentage higher than the market, any recovery will satisfy the merchant and give us the ability to buy back SWYFTT; thus applying upward pressure to market prices.
We plan for SWYFTT to be used as a utility and potentially a currency against our native products.
Our promise to you is that once revenue has been established and net profit understood (weekly / monthly), a portion of our business model in all currencies will be allocated to buy back SWYFTT to remove it from the market.
This should help generate a return for anyone currently in our ecosystem as well as those entering it.
** DISCLAIMER – “Tapestry ” is an internal code name for the project described above. We are in no way affiliated with Tapestry, Inc. or any holders of the Tapestry trademark.
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