The use of blockchain in retail is becoming imperative due to all the added benefits it provides the industry. Over time, blockchain is going to have a massive impact on the retail industry.
Blockchain technology already has many uses cases within retail, with all proving to be beneficial and aiming to shape the growth of retail in the years to come.
Many retail businesses are now focusing on blockchain technology in order to reap the benefits, and there are many ways in which blockchain is helping the retail sector. Let’s take a look at some of them here.
The authenticity of luxury brands has been, and most likely always will be, an issue for some businesses, with many convincing knock-offs available at much lower prices. Blockchain can help by tracking data all the way from the sourcing of materials to the customer’s purchases. This will then allow the customer to confirm authenticity and know what they are buying is genuine.
Blockchain enables customers to track and look back through the records for an item, which helps to stop the purchase of counterfeit products. Being able to track a product to its original source helps customers have confidence when putting down large sums of money for a product as they know it is genuine.
Block Verify is a blockchain-based, anti-counterfeit solutions company which introduces transparency for luxury retail and diamonds, pharmaceuticals, and electronics. The company allows goods to be tagged and verified at the point of manufacture through to purchase. This enables customers to check the authenticity of the product and they can then put themselves down as the official owner.
Blockchain technology is precisely the sort of development that can change the face of the online shopping process. Consumers using a platform based on a decentralised ledger are privy to a more seamless experience that doesn’t sacrifice their privacy. With zero-knowledge storage, an individual can simply upload their payment details (or identification, for verification purposes), encrypt them, and store them in a container visible only to themselves.
This ensures that they retain full ownership over their own data, but at the same time allows them to reveal it at checkout. It’s a stretch to say anything is ‘unhackable’, but blockchain technology comes close. To compromise the network, a malicious actor would need to control over half of the nodes validating transactions, and considering these are spread across the globe, such a feat is technically impossible.
On the convenience front, when it comes to payment, there’s no fiddling with a plastic card or squinting to read the various bits of information as you type them in. The user can authorise payments without any of the traditional hassles.
Blockchain provides a chronological product story, which means a retailer’s customers are now able to see data and information from every stage in the supply chain. For example, this can help consumers find out if the bananas in their cake were Fair Trade or not, or if the sugar used was ethically sourced. This is because blockchain has the technology to track and source every individual ingredient used in products.
WAVE is a company in Israel looking to utilise blockchain to help companies and consumers keep a track of their supply chains. This makes the process not only paperless, but extremely secure and transparent.
How is blockchain already transforming the retail sector?
“2019 will see the rise of do-gooder goods,” according to Manu Tyagi, Associate Partner for Retail and Consumer Goods at Infosys Consulting, and blockchain technology will have “a key role to play.”
“The technology is starting to spread throughout the retail industry now that early adopters are proving its real-world potential,” says Eaton-Cardone, who serves as CIO of Global Risk Technologies and COO of Chargebacks911.
“Devery, a blockchain verification and provenance company, uses the immutable ledger to verify physical product authenticity. It allows e-commerce players and other businesses to secure their supply chains and create greater transparency for customers.”