Applications and Use Cases

Peeking Into Possibility: Blockchain in Retail


April 20, 2018

As cryptocurrency continues to grab much in the way of headlines, blockchain technology is gaining the attention of great number of verticals. This disruptive technology is transformational in a number a ways, and with mounting use cases, I would like to touch on one: retail

This week, in fact, coindesk reported Walmart is working toward storing all payment data leveraging blockchain technology.  The retail titan filed two patent applications back in October 2017. The first is a vendor payment system that facilitates transactions automatically to multiple vendors on a customer’s behalf. The second depicts a means to encrypt payment information.

An increased focus from consumers on the use of their data is driving companies to change practices. Facebook is a prime example of a company under fire for its practices. In the GDPR era, there is no room for malpractice. When it comes to the secure collection and storage of data, blockchain ensures this and more. Blockchain delivers transparency and control for consumers in determining how it is used, and by whom.

The NRF explained in a recent Medium article, advertising and customer data are only the beginning of benefits. Digging a bit deeper, blockchain enables a real-time, seamless process for loyalty programs; payments and accounting processes; as well as supply chain and inventory management.  

Let’s walk through another retail use case where blockchain shines: Social media shopping. Many retailers today are seeing influencer marketing success, but accurate attribution is lacking. With blockchain technology, the process gains complete transparency, so from consumers using and promoting the retail store in every link, picture or mention to the end sale. mCart, for example, is a blockchain-based solution that ensures influencers receive proper attribution for driving the sale.

Recent research from Aite Group underscores the blockchain barrage. Highlighting transparency, reducing counterfeit, emerging markets, warranties and shipping as where retailers and manufacturers will see all the benefit, the report predicts rapid market expansion. A space valued at an estimated $75 million in 2015 and projected to reach $400 million by 2019.

The blockchain boom is yet to come, making this a prime time for education. Big business is taking notice, so should you!



Edited by Maurice Nagle

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