The worldwide spending on Blockchain solutions is expected to grow from 1.5 billion in 2018 to an estimated 11.7 billion by 2022.- According to Statista
Blockchain, which originated as the underlying technology of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is becoming multifarious. It’s disrupting a number of industries, other than finance and businesses are turning it potential to their advantage.
Along with backing-up financial transactions, Blockchain is empowering businesses to improve their brand-customer relationship, reduce counterfeits with improved traceability, minimize overhead cost, etc. In the later segment, we will discuss how this versatile technology can revolutionize the retail sector, improving processes, tasks, payments, customer interaction, or more.
1. Supply Chain Management and Transparency
Supply chains are complex- full of interconnectivity and riddled with inefficiency. Depending upon a business and product type, supply chains can span over multiple stages, geographical areas can have multiple entities, invoices, and payments. As the chain grows large in size, keeping a track of all elements involved (organizations, people, departments, resources, etc.) becomes difficult. This lack of transparency in the chain leads to issues like overhead cost, disturbing the profit margin, and goods counterfeit.
To overcome these limitations and optimize the supply chain, Blockchain can help. At its core, Blockchain is a distributed database ledger that operates over a network of nodes. The immutable chain of records (in a cryptographic format) that it creates allow retailers to authenticate and validate the transactions. From supplier, distributor to the customer, the entire cycle product cycle can be traced.
2. Prevent Fraud and Counterfeit Goods
Every year, retailers lose billions to theft, fraud, and human errors. The cost of fraud and counterfeiting is not only limited to finances but it also disgraces a brand’s value and reputation in the market and among its customers.
Using blockchain, retailers can improve the brand-customer relationship by customers with indisputable proof of the provenance and authenticity of their products at every step in the supply chain. Customers being able to track the authenticity of the products they are buying can help them make a confident investment in it.
Blockchain can help in tracking shipments and validating them. It can provide a product story with real-time info about who handled it, where it has been, and when. Tracking a product’s story results in fewer stolen, lost, or damaged goods.
3. Introduce Smart Payment Methods
Blockchain has been widely known and accepted as a trusted mode for financial transactions. With Blockchain used for payments, retailers can:
- Accept cryptocurrency payment, which also brings the advantage of cross-border and micro-payments. eCommerce platforms can integrate their applications to accept cryptocurrencies, making payment options more flexible and secure. This is helpful, especially for e-retailers who sell globally, eliminating the troubles of multi-currency acceptance.
- Financial exchanges with cryptocurrency can help to maintain a record of all transactions made, which can ultimately streamline the returns and refunds.
- Smart Contracts, one of the most popular applications of Blockchain can be utilized for instant payments, automated refunds, and paperless contract with merchants, suppliers, distributors, and other stakeholders included in the product cycle.
4. Protect Customer Data
Customers share a lot of data with digital platforms. This data may range anywhere from personal, health to bank details. While businesses store this customer data into a siloed database, which eventually become a single point of failure. Using Blockchain, thus customer info can be stored in a single, decentralized, unhackable ledger. This data is accessible only to those have the cryptographic private key.
Want Blockchain to Support your Retail Business?
The financial sector accounts for over 60% of the market value of blockchain worldwide in 2018, but the technology has spread to nearly every industry from healthcare to retail.
Now when you know the different ways Blockchain technology can benefit your retail business, its time to make the most out of it. To know applications of Blockchain for your business, schedule 30-minute free consultation with our Blockchain expert.