Blockchain in the retail industry can help companies to streamline operations, secure transactions, and efficiently manage information.
The retail sector is important for the masses as it provides them with all the necessary supplies. Consumers can access a vast variety of brands and products via retail services. Retail sector influences the lifestyle of consumers by providing flexible payment options and multiple offers. According to Statista, global retail sales are expected to reach 27.73 trillion US dollars in 2020. Despite holding vital importance in a consumer’s life, the retail sector comes with its set of problems. For improving the quality of services and increasing sales, retailers turn to technology for assistance. Blockchain is a proven disruptive technology because of its ability to bring transformations across various sectors. Blockchain in the retail industry can transform operations and other factors that are crucial to the performance of this sector.
The retail industry faces numerous problems. One of them includes failure in keeping track of day-to-day activities. If a retail outlet fails to keep track of how its employees are performing, they are bound to fail. Keeping track of daily activities is important because these small functionalities lead to improving an organization’s overall brand value. Every retail organization works towards making money. Apart from investing in goods, these organizations have to pay for their daily operational activities as well. These expenses are inevitable and often lead retail outlets into overspending. This leads to organizations running out of funds at crucial times. The retail sector has to transport goods from one end to the other. Often products are lost or damaged in the process of transportation and results in losses. Organizations , therefore, look for ways to avoid such damage and losses. Fraud is another pain point for the retail sector. Well, customers ordering goods and refusing to pay is just one of the common fraud concerns. Wholesalers cheating on retailers and compromising on the quality of products leads to big losses.
Retail is a sector that can experience massive transformations when it will use blockchain technology. As blockchain introduces features such as decentralization, improved security, and increased transparency, blockchain in retail industry can take the industry another step ahead. As this technology consists of ledgers stored on a network that is visible to every participant on the network, blockchain can enhance the supply chain management aspect of a retailer’s outlet. Every movement of a product gets documented and is visible to both, the retailer and the wholesaler. The supply chain with blockchain technology enables authorities to identify the bottlenecks in the supply chain.
Apart from increased transparency, retail outlets also want to assure that they haven’t overspent. As overspending leads an enterprise into bankruptcy and insolvency, authorities turn to blockchain for a solution. By using this technology, retail outlets can keep track of how much money they have spent and how much they will require for future use. With every record stored on public ledgers, everybody present on the network can view how they are spending.
Smart contracts and digital identities are some of the outstanding applications of blockchain technology. With smart contracts, retailers can form a pact with wholesalers regarding a product. These contracts also ensure that their partners abide by the terms of their agreement. These contracts freeze when one of the parties involved in a deal intentionally or unintentionally breaches a contract.
Digital identity for consumers allows businesses to view information about their buyers. With this information, authorities can quickly understand the past events where a consumer was involved in a retail fraud. This information allows organizations to know how to deal with such consumers and eventually avoid consumer frauds.
CTOs and CIOs must look out for ways through which they can leverage this technology. Companies that do not wish to deploy their blockchain networks can refer to vendors offering Blockchain as a Service. Companies can study how Walmart is using blockchain. Authorities can also train their employees to work with this technology.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.