Blockchain in Retail is Reinventing Business
Blockchain technology not only relates with cryptocurrencies and payments, it is also about recording events, which can bring transformative changes in retail industry. Blockchain has the potential to help retailers in enhancing the consumer shopping experience and reducing their operational costs.
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Applications in the retail context includes:
- Supply chain tracking: Blockchain provides end-to-end supply chain visibility which helps retailers in tracking their shipments. It also includes product provenance, where blockchain allows customers to track their products from source of origin to their doorstep.
- Smart loyalty programs: Blockchain helps in managing digital coupons, loyalty points, and reward cards by making it easily transferable between the retailers and consumers.
- Fraud and counterfeit: Blockchain by keeping a track on goods, reduces fraud and prevents counterfeit products to reach market. Blockchain by maintaining the digital identity of buyers and sellers reduces the payment-related fraud.
- Authenticity: Blockchain by verifying the authenticity of supply chain actors and products, allow consumers to buy the genuine products.
- Payments: Payments includes B2B payments and consumer payments, where blockchain technology can simplify the payment process between retailers and consumers. It allows the use of cryptocurrency and simplifies cross border payments.
- Smart contracts: Blockchain by eliminating the need of third party and traditional letters of credit makes it easy to follow the terms and conditions of a contract by automatically initiating a penalty or action.
- Consumer protection: Blockchain generates digital records of all the purchases and stores product warranties into cloud via blockchain so that the data can be easily transferred. Blockchain reduces retailers administrative work by allowing consumers to maintain their virtual warranty wallet.
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Several retailers are taking initiatives for understanding how the blockchain technology can impact their business and are evaluating possible applications which can be useful for them in terms of customer experience. Blockchain technology is enabling retailers to enhance transparency, trust, and collaboration around entire production and delivery chain.
– Sonam Chawla
ICT – Research Analyst