Gemstra - The Future Of Social Selling

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With a formal history of over a hundred years old, social selling has long been enabling natural salesmen, and shouldering much of the burden involved in starting a business from scratch. Despite its long history, social selling is still a rapidly growing industry. In the US alone, Social Selling is already a $35 billion dollar market ($180b worldwide). With a foreseeable growth of 7–10% every year, the appeal of social selling is made evident.

It's time for social selling to be liberated from current constraints and benefit the broader retail economy. Gemstra are building a novel blockchain infrastructure that unlocks social selling by providing a framework for retailers, brands, and sellers to interact.
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What it is Gemstra?


Gemstra is a blockchain-integrated ecosystem for the social selling economy. Gemstra BOUTIQUES is flagship marketplace that connects Brands and Sellers in social selling. The success of BOUTIQUES led Gemstra to build ASTRA - a blockchain platform to serve as technology infrastructure for retail merchants to join the social selling economy. Gemstra will make the BOUTIQUES marketplace software open source and create the Gemstra SDK so any merchant (retailer) can easily add a social selling channel to their business.

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Problem


The industry is walled off by few companies that have too much power.

  • Sellers Held Captive

Social selling is dominated by giants like Amway ($8.8B), Avon ($5.7B), and Mary Kay ($3.5B). These merchants hold their Sellers captive by making it difficult, if not impossible, to transfer customer data, transaction data, and genealogy (network) data. Sellers risk losing income they worked hard to earn should they seek mobility. The average Seller works 10-20 hours per month and earns between $250-$500. Earned income is generally added to help with the household budget.

  • Inefficient Market Cornered by Monoliths

Barriers to entry are high, limiting new merchants from entering the space. Expensive and fragmented systems are required to manage commissions, rewards, accounting, customer service, back office operations, and commerce - limiting the number of new merchants. The lack of market entrants further reduces sellers’ options and opportunities, allowing incumbent monoliths to corner the growing industry. Merchants in social selling can often get away with overpricing products, yielding an inefficient market for sellers. Sellers are not able to compete with the brands in the broader retail economy.

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The Solution


A solution that affords entry to more merchants and freedom to sellers is needed.

  • BOUTIQUES - A decentralized marketplace for social selling

Gemstra launched a proof-of-concept social selling marketplace called BOUTIQUES in July 2017 that gives sellers the ability to choose brands and products they want to sell and invites brands from the broader $24 trillion retail economy to participate by simply integrating their catalogs. BOUTIQUES quickly attracted 3000 sellers and 8 brands generating 7-figure annualized merchandise sales within 9 months of launch. The rapid growth of BOUTIQUES proved that retail brands want to participate in social selling and sellers desire freedom.

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  • ASTRA - A smart contract platform

The success of BOUTIQUES inspired Gemstra to build a broader solution to liberate social selling to the broader retail economy (worth over $24 trillion globally). ASTRA is a blockchain-integrated platform that serves as technological infrastructure for social selling. ASTRA’s blockchain technology allows sellers to keep customer and network data they worked hard to generate, merchants to host transactions between multiple brands and myriad sellers, and brands to offer customized commission and rewards as well as a portable catalog that can be integrated with any variety of merchants. ASTRA promotes fair behavior and creates a trustless ecosystem for all actors in the social selling model.

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How It Works


Smart contracts power the social selling transaction. Merchants administer the platform by utilizing open source software or integrate existing platform with SDK.

ASTRA can host single or multi-level affiliate, custom compensation, and gamification/rewards models depending on action endpoints defined within the contract. In fact, ASTRA can be used to host any affiliate, commission, or gamified reward model - so its application can be used beyond the scope of social selling.

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ASTRA assigns a wallet to each actor in the social selling economy: Seller, Merchant, and Brand. Each Brand defines custom commission levels per Merchant that it partners with. Brands can define custom gamified rewards for Sellers engaged selling the Brand. The Seller participates in Merchants (can be one or many) based on the compensation plan and which Brands the Merchants carry. The Seller wallet has governance over data generated by the Seller like customer information and customer transactions. The Merchant orchestrates all transactions between Seller and Brand wallets and acts as the intermediary (Note: BOUTIQUES is a merchant using ASTRA - the first customer). The Customer verifies to the Merchant that the transaction has completed, which approves the endpoint and completes the contract. ASTRA facilitates all transactions and logical flow through a set of smart contracts to govern: Commission, Orders, Users, Rewards, and Genealogy.
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ICO

Token Economics

  • Ethereum ERC-20: Compatible Token
  • Total Allocation for Sale: 6,400,000,000 GMS
  • Total Token Supply: 16,000,000,000 GMS
  • Token Price: $0.01 USD
  • Exchange Rate (Token/USD): 100.00
  • Pre-ICO: July 2018
  • ICO: November 2018
  • End of ICO: December 2018

Distribution of the tokens:

  • Sale: 40%
  • Project development and marketing: 30%
  • Project team: 20%
  • Bounty program and consultants: 10 %

Distribution of funds:

  • Marketing: 38%
  • Software development: 22%
  • Operating expenses: 18%
  • Reserved: 12%
  • Lawyers: 5%
  • Other costs: 5%

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Team


Gemstra was formed by seasoned operators with over 75 years of collective experience in the consumer industry. Several of the founding team share an established history working together in multiple consumer verticals like manufacturing, distribution, wholesale, retail - with a focus on ecommerce and social selling. Prior to Gemstra, the team launched, scaled, and sold two hyper-growth consumer internet companies.

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Advisors


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Conclusion


One of the most amazing aspects of Gemstra is its approach to giving you, the seller, more control of all aspects of your business. Whereas traditional social selling platforms limit your ability to access and use your customer data, Gemstra embraces the concept of democratization of data; this means information is available in a digital format for you to access and use how you see fit. By maintaining this access, you now have the mobility to take your business anywhere you want without sacrificing all of your hard work.

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