Whichever statistics you read, the global coupon market is expanding dramatically. A study from Juniper Research predicts that there will be 1.05 billion mobile coupon users by 2019 and another report on the prospects of the global mobile coupon market forecasts growth at a CAGR of 73% between 2016 and 2020.
Shoppers want coupons and as per the old adage, the customer is always right, retailers want to provide them.
Right now, however, the industry is in dire need of an upgrade. Many retailers and shoppers still rely on physical coupons, which are expensive, inefficient and prone to a range of issues – double spending, repudiation, etc.
One company is positioning itself to solve this issue – The Rouge Project.
Rouge has applied distributed ledger technology (DLT) or, to use a term that’s perhaps more familiar to readers, blockchain technology, to the coupon space and, in doing so, has created a solution that not only promises to meet the above discussed growth in demand for coupons (and, specifically, mobile-based digital coupons) but that also provides a technological framework from which the industry can reinvigorate itself.
These are grand claims, of course – how has Rouge achieved the above?
The company’s solution is rooted in what’s called the Rouge Token (RGE), an ERC20 compliant token that’s built on top of the Ethereum platform and that is designed to be used by all actors on the Rouge Network platform (so, issuers, publishers, users) and that also serves as the basis of the Rouge Network’s smart-contracts.
So how does it work in real life?
We took a look at the company’s White Paper (available here for anyone that’s looking to do a deep dive into how all this works) and Rouge provides a neat example that outlines the process flow associated with this sort of blockchain based coupon transaction.
We’ll simplify the example a bit, but it’s essentially as follows:
A blog owner wants to rent some of his display real estate to an advertiser and registers the space with the Rouge blockchain, with a minimum bid (the minimum he’s willing to accept) logged as part of a smart contract.
A retailer wants to advertise some coupons and they register their terms on the Rouge blockchain, which then connects the retailer with the above blog based on match-points between what the blog owner is willing to accept and what the retailer is willing to pay for the campaign (also the two are matched based on targeting, so if the retailer is looking to sell some jeans and the blog is a fashion blog, they’ll be matched).
The blog displays the coupon and a user sees it and claims it using the Rough platform (accessible via a smartphone). Once claimed, the coupon in linked only to that user and, either at this point or at the point at which the user redeems it with the retailer, the blog owner picks up a commission for the display ad.
It’s worth noting that this is a simplified version, there’s plenty that goes on behind the scenes to ensure that this process runs smoothly, but conceptually its as outlined above.
The idea, in a nutshell, is that the Rouge Project will replace centralized coupon middlemen with smart contracts on the decentralized Ethereum Virtual Machine. That’s the major upgrade here and it’s the change that allows for the removal of all of the above-outlined issues and inefficiencies that exist within the coupon world today.
The company is currently in the pre-sale phase of its ICO, during which RGE tokens are available at a discount in return for participation (note, the discount tokens are tickered as RGX as opposed to RGE, for clarity purposes).
Any readers that want to pick up some discount tokens as part of the pre-sale should register interest here.
As far as implementation is concerned, full implementation of the Rouge Network platform is expected during the second quarter of 2018.
Check out Rouge’s White Paper here.
The company’s website is available here.
Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency.