Shopify and NFTs
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are digital representations of goods which publicly show their ownership, history, and scarcity.
The "token" part of "Non-fungible token" refers to this digital representation and that the NFT is only a reference to the original. "Non-fungible" refers to the token's property of being unique and unable to be swapped for another token. For example, a 1 USD coin is fungible because you could replace that coin with another coin with no issues. But each NFT is unique, and you cannot simply swap them out for a different NFT, even if they are both a representation of the same good.
NFTs are a new technology, and their full impact and implications are still being explored. Currently, NFTs are most popularly being used to prove ownership over digital copies of media, such as digital artwork, but they have many other uses.
Creating an NFT is called “minting”. When an NFT is minted, it's given ownership and recorded on a digital ledger called a blockchain. The most common blockchains for minting NFTs are Ethereum, Polygon, Near, and Flow. You manage any NFTs that you mint or own through a crypto wallet.
Crypto wallets are digital accounts that help process transactions of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin or Ether. You must have a crypto wallet to mint or purchase an NFT. The ownership history of an NFT is easily traceable and verifiable by the public.
Tokengated commerce is when access to part of an online store, such as certain products, discounts, or collections, is restricted to customers who own a particular NFT. With the help of Shopify's tokengating app partners, you can select specific NFTs and smart contracts and choose what content they allow access to. If a customer owns one of these NFTs in their crypto wallet, then the app partner grants them access to the restricted content.
In addition, brands are using tokengating to form partnerships through collaborative products and collections based on NFTs created by other brands. These types of partnerships allow brands to grow their potential audience beyond their own typical customer bases.
Tokengated commerce can be an integral part of your blockchain strategy, especially when it comes to community building, customer retention, and revenue growth. Shopify's app partners are continually building integrations that allow you to provide additional value to all of your NFT holders, across supported blockchains.
The tokengated experience
NFTs are owned and stored in a customer's crypto wallet. A tokengating app is used to check the customer's wallet to validate that it contains any required NFTs. The customer is prompted to give permission for the store to view their NFTs in their crypto wallet. After the tokengating app confirms that the customer has the required NFTs, the customer can access the exclusive content and place orders from the store as normal.
Tokengated commerce use cases
Tokengated commerce offers many benefits to your customers, including the following:
- exclusive access to collections, products, and discounts on your Shopify storefront
- NFT ownership that grants access to future NFT releases through the Shopify NFT Beta Program
- NFT ownership as a requirement for airdrops
- enable potential collaboration with other brands on Shopify that use tokengating
- exclusive access to community engagement channels, including online Discord channels and communities, and in-person events and retail store activations
To enable tokengated commerce on your store, contact our tokengating app partners.
Selling NFTs through Shopify's NFT Beta Program
If your store is based in the United States and is on the Shopify Plus plan, then you might qualify to join Shopify's NFT Beta Program. The NFT Beta Program lets customers purchase NFTs from your store using credit cards or cyptocurrency.
To determine if you qualify for the NFT Beta Program, contact one of our minting app partners.
Selling and minting NFTs through your Shopify store is similar to selling any other product on Shopify. You can leverage your current store setup, analytics, and customer management.
With the help of Shopify's minting app partners, you can define the smart contract and assets that your NFTs contain for your blockchain of choice. You aren't required to own any cryptocurrency or to have a crypto wallet in order to sell NFTs through your Shopify store.
If you’re looking for help with building out your Blockchain strategy, then visit the Shopify Plus Services Partner page.
The customer experience: buying NFTs
Similar to any other product on your Shopify store, a customer browses your store and adds an NFT to their cart. Your customers can pay with a credit card through Shopify Payments, or with a supported cryptocurrency through a cryptocurrency payment processor. After the order has been confirmed, the customer has successfully purchased an NFT from your store.
After the order has been fulfilled, the customer is sent an email with a link to an NFT claim page. The customer is then prompted to connect their crypto wallet, after which, the NFT is minted or delivered directly to their wallet. This process is enabled by your minting app partner.
If the customer doesn’t have a crypto wallet, then they're guided through a wallet creation flow from the NFT claim page. Afterwards, the NFT is minted or delivered directly to their wallet.
The merchant experience: selling NFTs
Merchants participating in the NFT Beta Program can work with a minting app partner to create and sells NFTs through Shopify.
You can capture credit card payments through Shopify Payments, or if you want to offer cryptocurrency payments to your customers, then connect a cryptocurrency payment processor.
The NFT claim page design and experience is created with your minting app partner. To ensure you keep a consistent brand image, create an NFT claim page that has a similar look and feel to your current store's branding.
If you're not eligible to participate in Shopify's NFT Beta Program, then there are other ways to mint and sell NFTs.
NFT marketplaces offer ways to mint and sell NFTs. These marketplaces are where your customers can go to buy or sell NFTs on the secondary market. However, there are fewer ways to have your business stand out within the marketplace, and you have limited control over your branding, analytics, or customer management.
Some common marketplaces where you can mint and sell NFTs are the following:
While NFTs represent a new way for you to do commerce, there are concerns regarding the environmental impact that the underlying blockchain technologies might have.
Shopify maintains the stance of being blockchain agnostic, meaning that Shopify works with you and app partners to develop integrations on any blockchain. Shopify has ensured that there are apps available to help you with your carbon offsetting strategy, no matter what blockchain you’re using for your NFTs.
To help with your carbon offsetting strategy, contact our carbon offsetting app partners.
FAQ about Shopify's NFT Beta Program
What is Shopify's NFT Beta Program?
The NFT beta is a program that allows for first-party, primary sales of NFTs using Shopify Payments through a Shopify storefront or the Storefront API.
If your store isn't on Shopify Plus, then periodically review this page for updates as Shopify's NFT Beta Program expands and evolves alongside NFT technology.
When will the beta program be available in my country?
Shopify is working toward expanding the NFT beta program to other countries beyond the United States. Periodically review this page for updates and new details.
How does the beta program work?
Selling NFTs on the beta program is similar to selling any other product on Shopify. The program uses third-party NFT minting and delivery apps to create and send your NFTs, and Shopify Payments to process the transactions. When your customer adds an NFT to their cart and checks out, they receive an email with instructions on how to claim their NFT.
Which blockchains are supported?
See Shopify's app partners and their supported blockchains.
What are the costs associated with selling NFTs through the beta program?
Shopify treats NFTs the same as any other product. Shopify Plus plan fees stay the same, including credit card processing fees through Shopify Payments.
The minting and tokengating apps charge additional fees for their services. These fees are dependent on the app partner.
What's the difference between a primary sale and a secondary sale?
Primary sales are the first sale of the NFT, when the NFT is sold by the merchant and minted directly into the customer's wallet.
Secondary sales are peer-to-peer sales that typically happen on secondary marketplaces.
Can I enable a secondary sale marketplace through the beta program?
No. The beta program is for primary sales only.
Does the beta program support sales of both physical and digital products?
Yes. The different products show as separate fulfillments on the order details page, because the NFT is fulfilled by minting app partners.
Can I download a minting app?
If you want to mint and sell NFTs through your Shopify store, then contact one of our minting app partners.
If you want to enable tokengating on your Shopify store, then contact one of our tokengating app partners.
To learn more about NFTs, refer to Shopify's NFT community post.