NFTs: How to Bridge the Gap Between the Digital and Physical in Retail

They’re a bit obscure and not everyone may be able to define them, but that hasn’t stopped them from entering the lexicon and popular culture: NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. An NFT is a unique digital asset that lives on a cryptocurrency blockchain and can be bought and sold. They often take the form of digital artwork but can also be photography, music, videos, tweets, memes or any kind of easily reproduced digital file. 

The earliest NFT was minted on August 7, 2015, but after a number of high-profile sales in early 2021, NFTs experienced a buying surge and received more media attention. Billionaires, tech moguls and celebrities like Mark Cuban, Gary Vaynerchuk, Elon Musk, Snoop Dogg and Jack Dorsey have participated in the trend, with Dorsey selling an NFT of the first tweet ever made on Twitter for over $2.9 million. But from 2015 to now, NFTs have largely existed in the digital realm. How can retailers, wanting to capitalize on the trend, bridge the gap between the digital and physical world for NFTs? Let’s explore some ways.

Digital signage

NFTs often take a visual form: digital artwork, photography, tweets, memes, etc. As such, they can be displayed in retail spaces using digital signage. Just as a retailer may put up traditional artwork in its store, that retailer can also install digital signage software and screens to display NFTs. In fact, this has been done: Superchief Gallery NFT opened the first physical NFT gallery in March 2021, in which NFTs are featured on digital signage screens.


CrownTV’s new NFT digital signage app offers an easy, accessible way for retail stores to display NFTs – and they don’t have to spend thousands of dollars buying NFTs to do so. Instead, retailers can display any NFTs publicly available on OpenSea, the largest peer-to-peer marketplace for NFTs, rare digital items and other crypto collectibles. If a retailer owns or has created an NFT, they can display that as well. They can also display NFTs owned by others. It’s a way of displaying NFTs that is inconspicuous, yet novel and intriguing. Stores can display NFTs that go with their brand, or just whatever looks great on the wall. It’s attention-grabbing while adding aesthetically pleasing, digital flair to a retail space.

Digital signage + QR codes


Piggybacking on the digital signage idea, retailers can also display an NFT alongside a QR code, which when scanned leads to more information on the NFT and the ability to purchase it, if it’s for sale. In other words, they can create an in-person NFT marketplace! Retail businesses can apply this to NFTs they’ve created themselves, partnerships and partnership opportunities, or any NFTs that enhance their brand and lead to more engagement with it.

QR codes + retail products


Yet another way to bridge the digital and physical gap when it comes to NFTs – in a way that’s a little less digital – is by incorporating QR codes into retail products. Toy brand L.O.L Surprise!, for example, did this by releasing 10 million packs of cards in 20,000 retail outlets including Walmart, Target and Walgreens. Each pack of cards has a unique QR code for digital trading cards, tokens, NFTs or a digital version of a physical collectible. In February 2021, RTFKT Studios collaborated with teenage artist FEWOCiOUS to sell physical sneakers paired with digital ones. Some 600 pairs of these sneakers, each with an accompanying NFT, were sold – totaling over $3.1 million. 

However you decide to make your NFTs transcend the digital realm and enter the physical one, choose CrownTV’s digital signage software, equipped with our NFT app at no additional charge, to bridge the gap.

About CrownTV Digital Signage Software

CrownTV digital display software streamlines digital signage management, allowing your team to manage screens anywhere, anytime with smart content scheduling, live content previews and device monitoring. ​Our software takes the guesswork out of digital displays, giving businesses the ability to focus on what matters: delivering dynamic content that can’t be ignored while sharing consistent marketing messages.

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