Unbox: Discover how Carrefour Redefines Retail and Sustainability In The Sandbox

The Sandbox
5 min readMay 16, 2024

Ever wondered how The Sandbox aligns with the strategies of the world’s most iconic brands and celebrities? In this Unbox series edition, we sat down with Carrefour, the French giant pioneering web3 tech to redefine retail and sustainability.

Let’s explore how Carrefour’s experience, with users spending an average of 57 minutes and drawing 24.8K visits globally, is pivotal to its drive to promote sustainable food practices and save bees, solidifying its status as a digital-first retail leader!

Supporting a Sustainable Future with The Sandbox

Carrefour, the seventh-largest retailer globally, has a rich history of innovation in retail. With a presence spanning over 30 countries, the company boasts a network of more than 12,000 stores, surpassing even its closest rival, Walmart, in terms of global reach. So, yeah… it’s quite big!

Having dabbled in blockchain as early as 2019, Carrefour was eager to explore innovative avenues for deeper engagement with its loyal consumer base. The company recognized The Sandbox as a platform ripe with the potential to forge unprecedented connections and drive substantial change.

For Carrefour, sustainability is core!

The company made headlines on May 7, 2022, when it unveiled the first seven NFBEEs on The Sandbox, dedicated to raising awareness about bees’ critical role in ecosystems. These adorable bees, inspired by fruits and vegetables at risk of extinction due to falling bee pollination, were part of the Carrefour NFBEE Supermarket project — a collaborative effort with Publicis and Bem.Builders.

The sale of the NFBEEs marked merely the beginning; the subsequent phase, which aimed to deliver experiences on The Sandbox, proved equally — if not more — vital.

Carrefour, harnessing the power of NFTs, leveraged these digital assets to educate consumers on the critical link between food biodiversity and bees.

Each NFBee offered its owner a blend of physical and virtual perks ranging from access to exclusive Discord channels to participation in raffles, merchandise, loyalty cards, and more, with proceeds totaling $50,000 directed to the BeeFund under the Fondation de France for bee conservation efforts.

Meanwhile, the metaverse experience within The Sandbox game, featuring educational and entertaining quests centered around bees was a smash hit! With a tempting prize pool of 50,000 SAND tokens, users were incentivized to complete all 11 quests to unlock exclusive rewards.

The impact of this approach was immense, with users spending an average of 57 minutes immersed in the experience. Evidently, the experience resonated widely, drawing 24.8K total visits from across the globe throughout its duration, with users completing over 112,000 quests.

But why all the buzz (no pun intended); why would Carrefour invest in helping bees?

It all comes down to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), a vital avenue for businesses to enact positive change. When companies prioritize doing what’s right beyond profits, they build customer trust.

As younger generations increasingly prioritize brands’ social and environmental initiatives, effective communication of pro-social efforts becomes essential in building consumer trust and driving meaningful change.

Carrefour teaming up with The Sandbox fits its commitment to sustainability and staying flexible in the digital shift, providing immersive experiences with a mission. After all, bees are undeniably crucial for pollinating crops we rely on for food. Without them, many plants would struggle to reproduce, causing biodiversity loss and endangering global food supplies.

As Carrefour Executive outlined, embracing and engaging with The Sandbox stemmed from its allure as an open, interactive universe. Here, users can craft, own, and even monetize gaming experiences and content. This notion of freedom and potential deeply resonated with Carrefour’s promise of sustainability and adaptability amid the digital transformation.

“Through our collaboration with The Sandbox, we’ve created immersive experiences that educate users about the importance of bees in our ecosystem.” “It’s not a trendy experience only. It’s an experience with a purpose. It’s a meaningful experience.”

Could The Sandbox Be The Next Frontier in Retail Engagement?

Carrefour’s foray into The Sandbox in February 2022 marked a strategic move to embrace web3 tech and connect with an increasingly digital-savvy customer base. While Carrefour had initially explored the metaverse in 2021 through ventures like Fortnite, focused on promoting healthy eating, its impact paled compared to its endeavors within The Sandbox.

The retail giant’s venture into web3, as part of its 60th-anniversary celebration, showcased its dedication to innovation and customer engagement across all channels — offline, online, and now on-chain.

By diving into web3 through The Sandbox, Carrefour aims to tap into a niche audience and leverage NFT experiences to enrich its omnichannel customer experience.

“So for us, it was very important to get into that, to understand how it works, the tests, because tomorrow it will be maybe one more brick in the omni-channel customer experience.”- Helene Labaume, Carrefour Executive.

As part of its O2O2O strategy, Carrefour offered two primary experiences: a solo gaming experience and a social app, each crafted to interactively educate users about bees’ significance. Helene emphasized intentionally including both elements to foster community cohesion and provide an enjoyable yet instructive experience.

The success of Carrefour’s initiatives spotlighted the unique nature of web3 communities and their capacity to rally around causes, challenging the notion that engagement in web3 is solely for personal gain.

Reflecting on its successes in The Sandbox, Carrefour acknowledges the steep learning curve of web3 and the invaluable insights garnered. The retail giant’s experience, being a community-driven approach, allowed players, investors, and brands to converge for a shared purpose, signaling a departure from traditional channel silos.

Engaging in community building on platforms like Discord facilitated direct and interactive user interactions, nurturing a sense of co-ownership and collaboration between the brand and its audience. Well, the intensive interaction model on platforms like Discord does pose some challenges. But it also allows brands to forge stronger, more authentic connections with their audience!

https://x.com/CarrefourFrance/status/1538076549886492673?s=20

So, it’s no surprise that Carrefour is looking forward to contributing positively to environmental causes and stirring up more conversations within web3 through the launch of future experiences co-developed with The Sandbox.

Ultimately, it is through co-creation and sustained engagement with the audience through The Sandbox that brands like Carrefour can cultivate a dedicated community with a genuine stake in the project’s success- marking a significant shift in audience interaction in the web3 era.

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