What is Shping?
Shping is a global shopper-marketing and consumer protection platform that empowers brands and retailers to reward shoppers with cryptocurrency for their attention, actions, and choices in store.
— Gennady Volchek, Founder & CEO
ICO Alert Quick Facts
- Shping empowers consumers to quickly and easily connect with brands by scanning barcodes to access product information.
- $0.01 = 1 SHPING token
- February 22, 2018 — March 23, 2018
- 5,000,000,000 total available / 10,000,000,000 total supply
- Over 21,000 members in Shping’s Telegram
Q&A with Gennady Volchek, Founder & CEO
ICO Alert: For those who are not familiar with Shping, can you explain what it is, and what the team aims to accomplish?
Volchek: Shping is a global shopper-marketing and consumer protection platform that empowers brands and retailers to reward shoppers with cryptocurrency for their attention, actions, and choices in store. It starts with the Shping App (available from the App Store and Google Play), which consumers can use to look up important product information that can influence their purchase decisions, simply by scanning a conventional product barcode.
Our mission is to make shopping a safer, smarter, and more rewarding experience for everyone.
Shping is here to solve one of the biggest problems all brands are facing: gaining attention, informing, and influencing customers’ decisions about their products at the critical point of purchase in store.
It is a deep solution with a sublimely simple commercial proposition allowing businesses to push rich information to customers to inform and influence their buying choices while receiving valuable insights in return.
The problem we are trying to address is multi-faceted, but we see Shping having the most significant impact for product makers and product buyers in two ways:
1. Preventing counterfeiting, food fraud, and unsafe products from being purchased. Counterfeit goods and food fraud continues to present significant challenges to brands, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers worldwide. For businesses, the cost to ensure that only genuine products are sold in retail stores can be exorbitant. Shping can help combat the issue for any business and adds one major distinction — it enables shoppers to act as the last line of defense by rewarding them for scanning the barcodes of participating brands with the Shping App to determine their validity. Suspect scans will trigger alerts for shoppers, dissuading them from purchasing and alerting brand owners to investigate any anomalies.
2. Relaying succinct product information to shoppers at the critical point of purchase (when they need it most). Today, there is more data available at consumer’s fingertips than ever before. Yet finding product information, reviews, and opinions can be time consuming, especially when you’re short on time and you’re in a store. By scanning a product barcode, Shping hopes to bring important information to shoppers at the point of purchase, when they need it most. By enabling brands to reward consumers with Shping Coin for considering promotional material and taking desired actions, shoppers are incentivised to scan products with the Shping App to learn about products before purchasing them. Shping can also be used for product recall alerts, giving shoppers who have scanned or are scanning products a timely warning and further instructions.
ICO Alert: How does the Shping Coin (SHPING) function within the platform and why is it needed?
Volchek: Shping Coins are essential, as they act as the reward token to incentivise and reward the new behaviour we want shoppers to engage in: scanning product barcodes with the Shping App before purchase and engaging with the product in new and dynamic ways. The value that Shping Coin’s platform can bring to participating businesses and shoppers is extensive: e.g., encouraging users to take pictures of products on shelves to see how they’re displayed, completing satisfaction surveys, watching videos, submitting reviews, and even registering warranties after making a purchase.
It is estimated that the global retail sector will be valued at around $USD28 trillion by 2019. Since shopping permeates all of our daily habits, we see the Shping App as useful to millions of people every day.
ICO Alert: Shping already has a functioning rewards platform. What are the benefits of transitioning your existing platform to the blockchain?
Volchek: Blockchain is quite critical to our solution.
Customers are becoming much more discerning about the products they put in their shopping cart as there are more choices available than ever before. Furthermore, our shopping habits and preferences are changing. Product quality, content, and source have become far more crucial to our purchase decisions.
As a constantly updated record of immutable information, blockchain is ideal for tracking the provenance of products and chain of custody through the supply chain. As a result, the next generation of shoppers will demand more access and more transparency of information about the products they are considering than they have ever had before. This is going to present significant changes not only to the way products are packaged, presented, and marketed, but also to how they are manufactured and produced. We believe this is going to be much better for everyone involved.
Shping provides brand owners with the ability to activate powerful brand protection and security features such as tracing the chain-of-custody of products through the supply chain, providing a range of benefits including compliance with serialization requirements to prevent food fraud in export markets, verifying the authenticity of products as a measure to stop counterfeiting, monitoring the temperature logs of perishable goods, and validating the provenance of products, even down to their raw source material in some instances.
To achieve this, Shping is building the world’s biggest product database on the blockchain. It is bolstered by a range of trusted data sources including brands, certification bodies (e.g Australian Certified Organics), standards issuers (GS1), product recall portals (e.g OECD), customs and government authorities (e.g. AsureQuality). The database will also enable consumers to validate and add to the data pool ensuring a healthy cycle of verification and additions to occur. Over 30 million products have been added to Shping’s Global Product Database, and that number is growing every day.
The Shping Platform is powered by Ethereum smart contracts and manages product traceability on the back of Hyperledger and GS1 standards. Shping combines the GS1 EPCIS standards (https://www.gs1.org/epcis) with powerful blockchain technology. Shping has also partnered with Everledger to create a private blockchain based on the Hyperledger Fabric (https://www.hyperledger.org) to play the role of a register for EPCIS events, allowing information to be exchanged quickly and securely — information such as product serialization, item movement through the supply chain, sales, and product recall alerts. All brands, distributors, and retailers can become members of this network, start up their nodes, and use EPC Codechain. Shping’s blockchain integration agent will provide blockchain information to consumers and third parties via the EPCIS SOAP service.
As the Shping Platform is designed to be used seamlessly and globally, it has become evident that fiat would be a costly and inefficient way to contend with the thousands of micro-transactions performed every day to reward consumers who use the App. Cryptocurrency was the answer, so we created an ERC20 compliant token called Shping Coin to act as the reward currency for users of the ecosystem.
ICO Alert: How is Shping different from other shopper marketing and rewards platforms? What are the advantages that it holds over competitors such as Plenti or rewards programs offered with credit cards?
Volchek: Shping uses the industry-standard conventional product barcode to house information and reward consumers for their attention and actions. This enables any brand to adopt the platform immediately to start rewarding consumers for paying attention to their campaigns through the Shping platform.
Because Shping’s solution is built upon industry standards, this gives us a significant advantage over “competitors” who use QR codes or more expensive RFID technology that requires product makers to introduce and integrate new conventions, protocols, receiver technology, and new packaging that can be costly, disruptive, and difficult to scale — especially if you are rolling the solution out worldwide.
On the other side of the fence, credit card rewards programs are solely designed to get you to use their payment methodology. As a result, the main drivers for participation are going to be focused on accruing purchases in order to get discounted products and giveaways. This is great for the credit card company, but participating brands and retailers who are giving away these discounts and giveaways often have to sacrifice their profits to make it worthwhile.
As a mobile product search engine, Shping is different, as it puts the emphasis on influencing preference before purchase. In this way, it is not only brand-agnostic but also plays an important role in priming consumers with information that does not require them to commit to purchasing, therefore opening up a greater variety of brands for them to evaluate and consider.
Another aspect of our system is that we are enabling brands to set their own reward value and pay the shopper directly for their actions, intentions, and loyalty.
As such, we do not see Shping as competing with credit card rewards, but rather being more complementary. How many universal reward programs do you know that can do that?
ICO Alert: How does Shping work with brands to influence consumer buying behavior? Why would large consumer product brands join Shping’s platform?
Volchek: There are countless studies and articles proclaiming “the death of brand loyalty,” and given that consumers are now faced with a plethora of choices, new innovations, and new ideas when they shop, it should come as no surprise that habitual brand-switching has become the new normal in retail situations.
A McKinsey study released in November 2017 showed that of the 125,000 US consumers surveyed, 58% change brands from one shopping cycle to the next. This demonstrates a need for marketers to become smarter about influencing decisions at the critical point of purchase.
Our methodology motivates consumers to scan product barcodes with the promise of useful product safety and source information and crypto-rewards. Product brand marketers who have activated their barcodes with Shping can also then serve engaging and useful content about these products such as provenance information, ingredients, quality promises, features, and benefits, and even video content to inform and influence the engaged consumer’s choices and reward them for their attention. They can even trigger post-purchase behavior by encouraging reviews, warranties, and completion of surveys.
Because the consumer is already predisposed to purchase a product, the opportunity to persuade at the point of sale becomes the extra push product marketers should consider to push them over the line. Given how frequently product packaging changes to compete for share of shelf, and to combat switching behaviours, we see Shping as a highly useful method to communicate new — or reinforce existing — value propositions quickly to the masses at the critical point of purchase.
ICO Alert: What incentives does the Shping platform provide for end-users (shoppers) and what is your strategy for growing the user base?
Volchek: As a mobile product search engine, Shping will grow to become a highly useful tool. In the same way people use Google as the front-end for all information about the web, we see Shping serving the same purpose for products.
We have gamified the experience by placing the reward system at the centre of the design of the Shping App and introduced extra incentives for accumulating Coins and adding Buddies to each account. By doing so, we hope to grow the App adoption organically and exponentially.
We will also be partnering with brands and our strategic partners to help spread the word about their integration with Shping, which should result in a steady flow of fans of the brand using the app.
We have also allocated a vast majority of our Shping Coin distribution to what we refer to as the Shping App Incentive Reserve. Right now, users can acquire Shping Coin by scanning products, even of non-partner brands! These coins come from the Reserve, and this was introduced to ensure a seamless experience for users as they adopt these new behaviours so that when brands come on board with richer, more rewarding engagement experiences, the user will be even more enamoured with the App’s capabilities and content.
You’ll also start to see traditional and non-traditional advertising for Shping once our Token Sale is complete. Keep an eye on that space!
ICO Alert: Tell us about the Shping bounty and referral program — how does it work?
Volchek: It is one of our core values to enable people with access and agency. That’s why we designed our Bounty Program to offer something for a wide variety of skills and influence. We also reward participants based on the quality, merit, and reach of their performance — the better and more engaging their contribution is, the better the reward will be.
So yes, there are expected things such as rewarding participants for posting about us on social networks, endorsing us with Bitcointalk signatures, and creating videos and blogs. But because we believe in authenticity, we are also only interested in rewarding participants who create original material rather than simply sharing something that already exists.
There is even a “special achievement” category for participants who offer and demonstrate extraordinary services that significantly help raise awareness of the Shping Token Sale.
We also think our referral is one of the most generous out there at the moment. In addition to allowing referred parties to receive an extra 5% SHPING bonus on purchases made during the token sale, the referrer receives a 5% commission from the sale of each purchase made through their referral links, which is paid at the conclusion of the token sale in ETH.
We’re hoping to attract smart participants who understand meritocracy-based bounty and referral program we’ve created and choose it above others because they can see how much value they can gain if they put in the care and effort.
As we like to say at Shping, it pays to shop smart.
ICO Alert: How do you see Shping’s platform evolving into a mobile payments methodology?
Volchek: Most cryptos we’ve seen are built for a single use case. Furthermore, acquiring crypto currently involves a complex set of tasks, file management, and exchanges. This complexity is the greatest barrier to crypto adoption.
In our scenario, people can acquire our cryptocurrency as easily as using our App while they do something that they do almost every day — shop.
Our hope and vision is that by making cryptocurrency this accessible, not only will Shping Coins become a desirable reward token but also brands, instead of having to buy Shping Coin from exchanges to reward consumers who use the Shping App, will simply sell their products in exchange for these tokens.
In doing so, we see a real-world, fungible, circular system that ensures that crypto becomes integrated into the real-world everyday economy.
ICO Alert: How far along is the project today and when can contributors expect to use the platform? What does the roadmap look like for 2018?
Volchek: Shping is already a working platform with a working App which they can use right now!
For 2018, with our token released to the market for brands to acquire in order to run campaigns, our plans are to focus on getting users and brands to adopt the platform, and we have a bold marketing and business development plan to deliver upon once the Token Sale is complete.
ICO Alert: As a non-Shping question, we like to ask for unique predictions for the ICO and cryptocurrency space in the future. Where do you see both in the next 3–5 years?
Volchek: Identity management, big data, ownership-validation, provenance, security, and of course cryptocurrency are all areas which will boom as a result of blockchain technology in the next few years. As Shping encompasses all of these areas, we think it’s going to be a stalwart participant in this future.
So many blockchain projects out there are met with confusion, as they don’t seem to have an everyday, real-world scenario to communicate their value proposition.
Likewise for cryptocurrency. Currently the market for crypto seems to be built for day traders rather than those who want to see crypto become a real-world substitute for fiat that can be exchanged for everyday goods.
So we have a scenario where the decentralized, democratized, “fair-for-all” vision for blockchain is currently at odds with the capitalist, self-preservationist’s vision of cryptocurrency.
If both are to become mainstream, the tipping point will be the point where both of these concepts intersect easily.
Shping has thought about all of these elements and applications as part of its ecosystem, and we would not be surprised to be celebrated as a working case study of blockchain innovation for years to come. Shping can use the language of shopping to help communicate the new frontier, and in doing so we hope to make shopping smarter, safer, and more rewarding for everyone.
The Pre-ICO began on January 22, 2018 and ended on January 31, 2018. There were a total of 300,000,000 Shping tokens (SHPING) available during the pre-ICO, representing less than 1% of the total SHPING supply. The pre-ICO reached its hard cap of 300,000,000 Shping tokens (3 million USD) set for this period.
The main ICO began on February 22, 2018 and will end on March 23, 2018. There are a total of 4,700,000,000 Shping tokens (SHPING) available during the main ICO, representing 47% of the total SHPING supply. A hard cap of 4,700,000,000 SHPING (47 million USD) is set for this period.
$0.01 = 1 SHPING token
Current accepted currencies for Shping include USD, AUD, BTC, ETH, ETC, LTC, DASH, ZEC.
There are a total 10,000,000,000 SHPING tokens being created, with 5,000,000,000 available during main ICO.
Shping is an ERC-20 token, so it’s important that contributors use ERC-20 compatible wallets to send funds to the ICO smart contract, and to receive the Shping tokens.
Contributors will have their tokens distributed shortly after the end of the ICO. Visit the Shping website for more information and the contribution address.
Use of ICO Proceeds
*Use of proceeds will be determined by the total amount of funds raised during the ICO (see Amount sold):