Tool Review: Novel
Create, mint and sell NFTs on your Shopify store
Let’s dive deep into a very exciting new tool: Novel.
In very short: Novel enables Shopify merchants to sell NFTs directly on their storefront, next to physical products. Their customers can check out using a debit card. No need for crypto wallets, no need for cryptocurrency.
To frame the piece further: Novel thinks of NFTs as virtual tickets to access real communities, perks & benefits. Almost like digital VIP cards. Once an NFT holder no longer finds use in the benefits provided by the NFT, they simply resell it. With that in mind, Novel gives meaning and purpose to NFTs and everyday customers. Novel helps us cross the bridge into mass adoption of NFTs, removing all confusion and friction once there. Out with the metamasks, weths, monkeys, and gas fees and in with real life perks, served via a radically seamless integration to Shopify.
Now let’s begin. In the Novel app, a store can start by creating their NFTs in one of two ways:
1) Manual upload (typically for 1/1 art): Merchant creates art & uploads it directly to Novel.
2) Generative: Merchant uploads art layers and sets rarity parameters for their NFT collection. From there they can run the Novel generator to create every unique combination of those layers, all at once. This is how NFTs like Bored Ape Yacht Club are able to create design consistency across their artwork, whilst still publishing 8,000 at once. See the video below if you need more clarity.
Once the merchant deploys their collection, they can sell it directly on their Shopify store. What’s more is that they can set a “royalty fee” on the NFT, so that with every re-sale of the NFT, the merchant gets a kickback.
From here, your customers can just buy the NFT directly on your store using Shopify checkout. What’s also neat is that Novel is built on a blockchain called “Polygon” which almost eliminates “gas fees” when minting / buying / reselling your NFT. The gas fees are so minimal that Novel pays for them so you don’t have to.
Boom! Your NFT is now listed on your store. But… who cares, right? What’s the value to the everyday consumer? For the doubters in the room: Just shift your mindset. This NFT can simply be a radically more efficient way to create a digital membership for your customers. We understand digital memberships right? Amazon Prime benefits anyone? Instead of creating a complex system like that, just sell memberships via your NFT.
Let’s get even more tangible: Here are the 4 ways brands are leveraging Novel’s technology:
1st obvious use case: Community.
Every NFT holder gets access to “community”. This could come in the form of a Discord, a Telegram, an IRL event, a private conference - whatever you dream up. As the community value grows, some customers will resell their NFT to someone else who is dying to get in. Members are active in the community to collectively grow the value of the membership they're holding onto.
I can totally see Ten Thousand having this. A community of micro-influencer fitness addicts who share insights, workouts and meet up on crazy adventures.
2nd obvious use case: Charity donations
If you as a merchant want to significantly contribute to charity, then pick one and donate to them a percentage of every sale / resale of the NFT (on top of the royalty fees).
If a brand like Swell decides to partner with a charity like Charity:Water and create an NFT which gives customers access to impactful volunteering opportunities, then they could choose to program a rule that donates a small percentage of the NFT sale / resale directly to Charity:Water. What’s nice here is that Charity:Water becomes inherently deeply involved in managing the member community alongside you.
3rd obvious use case: Gated Storefront
Because your NFT is tied to your Shopify account. As soon as you enter a Shopify where you are an NFT holder, the store recognizes you and can show you a completely different version of the store. That can mean access to exclusive products & gated content for your NFT holders.
This one’s perfect for Glossier. I can see the team making custom swag only accessible for purchase to their NFT holders.
4th obvious use case: Store-wide discounts / perks
Enable your NFT holders to purchase goods from your store at a discount or to unlock special perks such as free-shipping. This is exactly what Amazon Prime offers, or an even the more relevant D2C brand of the moment: Italic. Italic’s entire business is built upon customers purchasing a membership to buy luxury goods at cost. Check out H&M owned “Singular Society” too who offers a similar promise.
Treating the NFT, like, like a digital black card that gets you access to a lifetime membership (until you re-sell) or automatic discounts for 10% off for members. Because we're tied to your Shopify store and, uh, and to your customer Shopify accounts. So we create an account with novel when they purchase on your store. And so their Shopify account reads that they have an NFT tied to a store.