We previously wrote about SOMA. They’ve been busy since, acquiring many brand partners for their upcoming marketplace launch. This post is a republication of a recent article on the SOMA website, and looks at how SOMA’s innovative reselling functionality could be a game-changer for how brands approach distribution.
Satisfied customers are a brand’s best ambassadors.
Why not incentivize them to promote you even more?
It’s every brand’s dream: pulpit-pounding customers telling everyone who will listen how great you are. These evangelists cost you nothing and bring a level of credibility no other marketing channel can. Not to mention astronomically sweet conversion rates.
Now, with SOMA, brands can reward this evangelism—and encourage much more of it—by allowing your most loyal customers to monetize their passion. In the process, you can exponentially grow your distribution network; distribution, as we all know, presents one of the largest bottlenecks to brand growth.
Given that the SOMA marketplace integrates social media functionality as a core component, all of your customers will have a profile, a newsfeed, and the ability to follow you, comment, like, and share. Because SOMA is built on blockchain, we can add one more interaction to the these. If you enable the feature, a customer can choose to ‘resell’ your product, and when she does so, all her followers will see it for sale on her newsfeed and profile. If one of them buys it from her, a ‘smart contract’ takes her commission out of the sale automatically…no paperwork on your part.
Let’s say you’re a watch microbrand and would like to scale (SOMA has chosen the wristwatch scene as our first market). You decide to amplify your distribution efforts with SOMA’s reselling function.
On your SOMA retail management system (storefront backend), when you create item listings, you’ll have the option to enable reselling (a setting also allows universal enabling of this feature). You choose to do so, and a prompt asks you to set the commission.
If you leave the commission blank, you’re allowing the would-be reseller to set their desired commission, after which you receive a notification and can accept or reject their reselling offer. A chat feature allows haggling. If you want to skip all that, just set the commission you’re willing to pay and be done with it.
Say you offer 10% commission on a $1,200.00 watch. Does an easy $120 motivate your SOMA followers and customers? You’ll find out. Considering how easy it is for them, probably. You can always increase it later if you’re not getting enough quality takers.
Horology nut George Wilkerson of Manchester, UK follows your every update on his SOMA newsfeed and owns several of your watches. His friends have admired them and have hinted at purchasing one for themselves.
Additionally, George has several hundred followers on the SOMA platform, who interact enthusiastically with his posts (which usually involve a #wristshot of his watches in various locales).
To top it off, George maintains a WordPress blog with a couple thousand subscribers, on which he posts every other month or so. A mix of travelogue, stream-of-consciousness, and life updates, George’s writing amuses and engages his readers—and he almost always manages to weave a watch review aspect into his blogging.
Scanning his SOMA newsfeed of a Saturday morning, coffee in hand, George notices that your brand page has a new update: you’ve just listed your latest creation. George ‘likes’ the post instinctively and comments ‘another masterpiece guys…wouldn’t expect anything less from you.’ He then pauses over the ‘resell’ button. This is new: he clicks it and sees that he can make $120. That’s small potatoes to him, but he’s intrigued regardless and follows through on the reselling prompts.
Almost immediately, George sees a notification that ‘Beckett has liked your post’ and ‘Beckett has commented on your post.’ ‘What’s this? You an authorized distributor or what?’ Beckett says. ‘Lol I guess so’ you respond. Beckett gives a thumbs up, and more likes and interactions pour in. An hour later, one of your friends has clicked ‘Buy’ on your post and you have your commission in your SOMA wallet.
(Understandably, not all brands prioritize growth. We respect the dedicated artisan who produces limited-edition products and cares nothing for expanding operations. Such brands can still benefit from SOMA in other ways (most notably, our ability to verify the provenance of products to successive owners and tell a story about each product over its lifecycle) without availing yourself of our reselling function. Growth is a huge priority to many brands, however, and we’re assuming you fall into the latter group if you’re still reading.)
How would you like to have a hundred Georges? A thousand? Ten thousand?
A similar increase in distribution would normally require substantial administrative scale-up, but not with SOMA. Not only do you not need to train George, manage George, and pay George’s commission—you don’t even need to know George’s identity! Hundreds or thousands of anonymous resellers bring no workload to you: all you need to know is that sales are booming, profits are incoming, and commissions are being paid on autopilot. SOMA’s robust reporting system provides any visibility you need, when you need it, but otherwise you’re free to focus on making watches, fishing, or…whatever.With your finger on the commission dial, you can shut off resales or alter your commission payout (higher to attract more resellers, lower if you’re having trouble keeping up with demand).
George, meanwhile, plays around with reselling a few more of your watches, then does so with some of his other favorite brands. Easy peasy, and soon a nice stream of side income tugs his attention away from his accounting job. He realizes that he can promote his SOMA listings across the web: in addition to selling within the SOMA marketplace, he begins to feature them at the end of his blog posts, on Facebook, and elsewhere.
Eventually, George does this fulltime, makes more money than he did before, and loves every minute of it. Beyond watches, he reviews and sells other men’s fashion items, travel gear, and, eventually, luxury automobiles.
On legacy ecommerce platforms, anonymous usernames and depersonalized storefronts strip trade interactions of an important social element. Additionally, buyers lack a definitive way to ensure the authenticity of items. Enter SOMA. Our Heimdall Protocol stops forgeries and counterfeiting by validating ownership and provenance history on the blockchain. Social media elements bring personalization and interaction to trade, and allow users to monetize social influence, while a rewards system incentivizes beneficial collaboration. SOMA is a free-market ecosystem—free of market manipulation, price-fixing, gouging, and bloat.