The following article has been put together to provide an insight into the origins and evolution of the WABI token and its surrounding ecosystem. This is not a whitepaper or a proof-of-concept; WABI is actively being used by thousands of consumers and has cemented itself as a useful tool for consumer-brand interactions.
- Value exchange between brands and consumers is broken. No trust, no fairness, poor integration quality of data.
- WABI solves it by being an efficient and fair value transfer mechanism between brands and consumers.
- WABI addresses one of the largest active industries in the world, relevant across billions of transactions per day.
- Our unique business model has given us the opportunity to implement two blockchains within the WABI ecosystem, each optimized for their unique purpose.
- The adoption of WABI is growing rapidly, with a long list of partners and over 50,000 active consumers now using WABI. In line with this, the number of WABI transactions has increased to over 500,000 at the time of writing.
FMCG is one of the largest industries in the world with global annual sales volume exceeding 1 trillion USD. Unlike other such behemoths, it is an industry where virtually every one of the global 7.5 billion population participates every single day, resulting in billions of items exchanging hands every 24 hours.
Every time you purchase a bag of chips, buy a bottle of water or a pack of cereal, you are participating in the FMCG industry. But how much do you know about the things you consume? You probably saw some product commercial either offline or online where the ad tried to convince you that if you buy that particular brand of beer it will put you within an exclusive circle of very discerning and sophisticated consumers. You can also read whatever the manufacturer decided to communicate to you on the product packaging, that often includes some brand logos, a nutritional table, and product ingredients that tend to include increasingly incomprehensible combinations of letters and numbers typically starting with an "E". But what can you do with such information?
Did you know that the order of the items in the ingredients list represents the volume of the said ingredients in the product you are about to consume? You probably know that "aqua" is simply a common designation for water? But what about items like E110 or monosodium glutamate that are listed on the 7th and 9th place respectively? You might think that if the product is being sold in your region then the wise people in the government deemed it safe and therefore you have nothing to worry about, but you'd probably be surprised to know that it can take up to a decade for the food safety authorities to update standards and requirements, whereas new research concerning the effect of various chemical compounds on human health comes out every few months. Also wouldn't you want to know if the product you are about to give to your child would pass the most stringent of the international standards, especially if you live in an area where the quality control is not quite on par?
Now, there is another side of the story...
Few people realize how much companies spend on marketing and that the items they buy could be 20-30% cheaper without there being any decrease in quality whatsoever. Such a mark up is simply the result of the manufacturer's pricing in marketing expenses. It would be premature to put all the blame on the manufacturer, however, since he doesn't have a choice given the way the current system is set up with a handful of the intermediaries controlling most of the communication channels between him and the consumer. This fee is ultimately added to the prices consumers pay.
As a brand you want to communicate as much as possible about your product to as many people but so does a huge multitude of other brands. As a result, the communication channel operators such as offline retailers, e-commerce platforms, and social media websites are in a position to levy a hefty fee for access to the eyeballs they control.
Moreover, a lot of brands are operating under the "fog of war" condition when it comes to their visibility of the market. Existing communication channels don't only severely restrict the "what" and "how much" can be communicated to the consumer - they also limit the amount of feedback that they receive that can help them gauge and fine-tune their efforts.
The WABI ecosystem addresses this very problem by enabling a direct 2-way communication channel between brands and consumers. Eliminating this informational uncertainty allows us to significantly increase the operational efficiency of the industry, resulting in a cost reduction that directly benefits both brands and consumers.
How the WABI ecosystem works
WABI for Consumers
1) By scanning either an NFC label or a common product barcode you can access the most comprehensive overview of an FMCG item available on the market today. This ranges from manufacturer's record of past product safety violations to nutritional information, ingredients safety analysis, independent product reviews and rankings, to the item's journey to the market.
The next time you are buying a toy or a piece of candy for your child you can make sure that the company that made it wasn't fined for using industrial paint with lead, or that the harmless food coloring was not found to be linked to cancer by a recent study. Moreover, your scan history and preferences help manufacturers save their marketing spending, and as a result, you'll be benefiting from this saving and optimization by receiving WABI loyalty points.
WABI scanning tools
2) You are often invited to share your feedback about your experience with some product or service, provide your opinion and recommendations to the manufacturer and share information about your daily habits. Your information is invaluable to the manufacturer who wants to keep improving their products and thus you are compensated with WABI loyalty points for your effort.
3) You can seamlessly redeem your loyalty points through any of our participating merchants.
The WABI User Interface
WABI for Businesses
1) Experimentation and Rapid Testing
WABI allows businesses to instantly deploy targeted surveys and opinion polls to customers with a proven consumption history and get results within minutes, eliminating the inaccuracy of self-reported participants on mass poll resources and/or high set-up cost and slow implementation of the professional research consultancies. Additionally, brands can run A/B tests with live audience testing pricing, messaging, color, etc, to optimise offerings to target consumers.
WABI Survey Tools
2) Digital Ad Optimisations
Things that a person regularly buys are a very good predictor of what their product preferences are, even when it comes to a product that he has never seen before. Virtually every e-commerce platform has an AI-driven recommendation engine that leverages the user's past behavior to show him suggestions that typically lead to better conversions. Our ecosystem allows us to build a much deeper and more holistic user preference profile as it combines the data from the e-commerce platform as well as the scanning record that is completely channel-agnostic. As a result, we can build much more effective consumer seeds for look-alike targeting that can supercharge digital marketing across all top social channels: WeChat, Facebook, Tiktok/抖音, Weibo etc.
Our marketplace allows a rapid route to market for your product. As a part of a listing package, we provide extensive and in-depth behavioral data analysis that brands can use to supercharge marketing across all your channels. Marketplace already offers over 500 products and is quickly growing to make thousands of products available to consumers.
The WABI Marketplace
4) Brand Protection
Virtually any manufacturer is interested in having visibility and control over their supply chain. Moreover, there are quite a few software solutions often based on blockchain available on the market, that claim to provide exactly that. However, most of these solutions are found lacking after a while since most of them cannot deal with the problem of imperfect data. That is, no matter the smart contract, if, for instance, a sea port intermediary only deals in handwritten records, the meticulously planned system collapses.
WABI ecosystem has the "last mile authentication" i.e. enough users scan the products before consuming them to ensure that we can track where and which product batch is being sold, thus significantly diminishing the possibility for the distributor distortions. Moreover, this crowd-sourced authentication allows for rapid fraud and counterfeit detection that could potentially save the brand billions in fines, recalls and reputational damages.
WABI 'Touch to Authenticate'
WABI ecosystem also allows you to minimize the risk of consumer purchasing expired or "soon to expire" items further safeguarding user experience and customer satisfaction. We realize that a few brands invested a lot of effort and resources into such things as organic certification, raw ingredients traceability, fair trade, etc, but that they have limited channels to communicate to the end consumer. We, therefore, offer a front end to display this information to the consumer and to ensure that those who make an extra step are rewarded accordingly.
WABI cooperation between users & brands
WABI taps into the marketing budgets of companies. These budgets are generally between 10-24% of sales for consumer-facing industries.
Consider the figure below:
There is no question the size of the consumer industries is massive. Only the consumer packaged goods - is over 1 trillion USD globally (source). Consumer industries are touching pretty much every individual on the planet. The opportunity is there, it is now up to ecosystem performance to not only capture a good share of the market but to improve the market performance overall.
WABI Adoption Statistics
The adoption of the WABI token has grown rapidly over the previous two years. As the WABI ecosystem grows and more users join, more WABI is taken out of trading circulation.
WABI Adoption Statistics
The number of WABI total transactions exceeds 561,888, with the vast majority of these originating from consumers within the WABI ecosystem scanning, purchasing, or verifying products within the WABI ecosystem. Statistics above are gathered from WABI.io - our portal for daily adoption statistics.
Where does WABI currently stand with regards to adoption:
- There are 69,732 WABI token holders
- 52,934 of these actively use WABI tokens to earn rewards
- The remaining 14,639 are WABI token holders with a stake in the digital asset ecosystem.
- The average number of tokens held is 56 tokens,
- Token holders are spread throughout over 500 areas in China.
Relative to the opportunity these are, of course, only the first baby steps.
Note: The above data is of 30th July 2020. The current adoption numbers can be seen here.
WABI is an Ethereum-based ERC20 token with a total supply of 100m. As WABI adoption and user activity continue to grow, an increasing number of tokens is locked across user wallets, diminishing the circulating token supply.
The WABI token works on the Ethereum blockchain, allowing for seamless integration with exchanges and giving token holders ample storage options, as with any other ERC20 token out there. Due to Chinese regulations and capital controls however, WABI loyalty points used in marketplaces may not be directly traded on an exchange. As such we have, for legal reasons, developed a WABI loyalty point which is 1:1 connected with the WABI token. These loyalty points are called WABI points.
Consumers can exchange WABI tokens into WABI points, but cannot possibly exchange points back into tokens for the same legal reasons stated above. This has important implications on the WABI business model.
WABI loyalty points operate on their own blockchain, based on Hyperledger code, but with additional functionalities allowing for further future implementations. Since WABI tokens and WABI loyalty points are 1:1 interconnected, they always have the same value. Moreover, in order for one WABI point (called “jifen” in Chinese) to be issued to a consumer, 1 WABI token gets locked out of circulation. As such, as soon as someone in China receives bonus points from a purchase, a scan, or any other action in the ecosystem, Ethereum-based WABI tokens are instantly locked in the back-end.
This system has given us the opportunity to implement two separate blockchains within the WABI ecosystem, each optimized for their individual purpose.
The central ERC20 WABI token wallet with WABIs locked for consumers usage can be located here.
The Evolution of WABI
The WABI token has always existed as a loyalty point between brands and consumers. The first WABI product was largely supply-chain focused, and observers therefore often associate WABI with supply chain projects which is an incomplete view.
Whilst supply-chain security and support is an aspect of what falls under the WABI Ecosystem, WABI has evolved to now act in a much broader domain: as a point of value between consumers and brands/merchants. In line with this, the role of WABI has evolved from a product-verification token to now cover brand-consumer interactions generally.
The evolution of WABI
In the bigger picture, the WABI ecosystem allows partners to retain authentic relationships with consumers and to establish mutually-valuable connections.
The latest step in WABI progress also makes WABI much more relevant internationally. While the problem of counterfeit products that WABI focused on during early stages of development was mostly relevant only in few countries, the brand-consumer relationships work is global. This opens up the international markets for WABI. Team is already working on capturing some of the early international opportunities.
WABI has different kinds of partnerships: Product, Logistics, Brand, and Merchant partnerships, and it’s important do understand the role of each kind.Product Partnerships
Product Partnerships expand the number of products available on the WABI marketplace through direct agreements with brands and their distributors. Product partnerships within the WABI ecosystem include Nestle, Nature’s Care, SmileMakers, and more.Logistics Partnerships
Brands, distributors, and retailers interact with WABI to improve the distribution and marketability of existing products through their usual sales channels. From these partnerships, consumers can verify product authenticity and share insights to earn WABI rewards. Current partners include SmileMakers and New Zealand Cherry Corp.Merchant Partnerships
Merchant partnerships use the merchants’ sales channels to drive WABI use-case. These are partners that have integrated the WABI loyalty scheme and have made a dedicated push to reward consumers shopping on their platform. Current merchant partners include Rakuten (one of the top e-commerce companies globally) and Odakyu (iconic department store at Tokyo’s Shinjuku station, the busiest metro station in the world). Merchant partnerships provide WABI with a range of promotional opportunities in prime locations across their platform, allowing WABI to rapidly grow user base through integrations with some of the largest brands, retailers, and e-commerce platforms in the world. For more information on this, refer to Odakyu partnership announcement.
The WABI Community: