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ONR Report: Blockchain and Other New Tech Can Alter Consumer Experience

Implications Are Significant on Customer Relationships, Data Transparency, and Consumer Loyalty

Blockchain and consumer experience

New technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrency have the potential to radically reshape the consumer experience, empowering consumers to take control of their personal data while presenting brands with a rare opportunity to shape, alter, or improve the CX for this tech-savvy and financially well-heeled group, states a new report examining the wider adoption of blockchain.  

The report is from ONR, the Canadian-based CX strategy specialist, which had sought to understand how consumers as well as businesses were incorporating novel financial instruments as digital currency for transacting business or purchasing specialty goods in specific markets. These instruments include the financial ledger technology known as blockchain; the digital cryptocurrencies of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other similar examples; and more recently, non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, non-interchangeable units of data with which digital files like photos, videos, and audio can be associated for the NFT to be traded or sold.

“From a consumer-centric perspective, blockchain technology has the potential to substantially transform consumer relationships by enhancing data and information transparency and improving privacy and security,” says Jason Ten-Pow, CEO at ONR. “This blockchain innovation allows for innovative forms of consumer loyalty programs, which have the potential to create additional value and deeper customer connections.” 

Ten-Pow says deeper customer relationships are possible with the new technologies because of the increased volume of customer information that can be safely shared across platforms and then transformed into greater customer knowledge and used to build bespoke customer experiences.

Users of cryptocurrencies and blockchain also present markets with an opportunity to reach and engage them in a new way. Previous studies have shown that consumers using cryptocurrencies or blockchain are more open and ready to engage in transactions of a specialized and unconventional—but still completely legal—nature, for which a new type of tailored CX might prove to be the winning factor in clinching a deal. The complete lack of physicality of the tokens being sold, exchanged, or recorded also very likely means that emotions play a much larger role in any decision-making that is taking place in using the new technologies—an aspect of possible high interest to brands in crafting their CX approach. 

For brands, the new technologies can be impactful in additional ways. Consumer loyalty programs could be reshaped, with blockchain providing instant redemption and exchange for multiple loyalty point currencies, the report notes. For consumers, the transparency of data—a given in these technologies—will have the potential to create visibility around the use of their own personal information, a way to realize individual empowerment. Even so, data transparency could present its own issues, as the placement of customer data on a permanent ledger technology like blockchain is bound to produce significant implications affecting consumer privacy, industry regulation, and government oversight.  

Author Information

Alex is responsible for writing about trends and changes that are impacting the customer experience market. He had served as Principal Editor at Village Intelligence, a Los Angeles-based consultancy on technology impacting healthcare and healthcare-related industries. Alex was also Associate Director for Content Management at Omdia and Informa Tech, where he produced white papers, executive summaries, market insights, blogs, and other key content assets. His areas of coverage spanned the sectors grouped under the technology vertical, including semiconductors, smart technologies, enterprise & IT, media, displays, mobile, power, healthcare, China research, industrial and IoT, automotive, and transformative technologies.

At IHS Markit, he was Managing Editor of the company’s flagship IHS Quarterly, covering aerospace & defense, economics & country risk, chemicals, oil & gas, and other IHS verticals. He was Principal Editor of analyst output at iSuppli Corp. and Managing Editor of Market Watch, a fortnightly newsletter highlighting significant analyst report findings for pitching to the media. He started his career in writing as an Editor-Reporter for The Associated Press.

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