You might have heard of the new digital currency that is circulating the cyberworld called Bitcoin. Resembling the stock market, Bitcoin also undergoes the usual rise and fall of its value. Investors, stakeholders, and other people who participate in the buying and selling of Bitcoin, regularly monitor its activity. Hundreds of transactions are being made every minute from all over the world and every participant knows about it. This is made possible by Blockchain - the big book of online transactions.
One of the latest technologies that are making its way to the retail world nowadays is blockchain. Originally built for Bitcoin, blockchain is a systematized digital record of financial activity wherein every unit of data or “block” is sent, stored, and recorded in real-time, creating a “chain” of data blocks. Hence the term, ‘blockchain.’ There is no central server for Blockchain. Instead, data is being distributed to each member or user, making information visible and accessible, but not manipulable. With this system, users are constantly being notified of developments or changes in the business and are treated as equally responsible and accountable.
When Bitcoin made itself known to the world, the technology behind its success became intriguing to the corporate world. Since then, big businesses such as FedEx, Walmart, Microsoft, Overstock, Mastercard, and Huawei Technologies, are among the few that have begun using blockchain technology for their operations.
Now, blockchain is also starting to be adopted in the retail sectors. Though it operates mainly with cryptocurrency as a mode of payment, this does not seem to discourage retailers from engaging in it. Mainly because there are also definite benefits that a retailer gets from it. Here are a few benefits that tell us how blockchain is helping shape up the retail industry.
- A retailer that uses blockchain is able to keep track of the movement of procured products from its source. Shoppers on blockchain can monitor this as well, and it creates an atmosphere of equality, meaning that the customer also has the right and responsibility to monitor such transactions as much as the seller.
- Blockchain opens up new ways to keep customers on their feet by expanding reward options in customer loyalty programs.
- Blockchained data is not easily threatened. Due to its decentralized fashion, meaning there is no central server, data is scattered all over different computer networks, increasing its security detail. Information is near impossible to manipulate. Through blockchain, retailers are allowed to have massive control over the available data. It also helps reduce data errors and breaches.
- Reduces the cost of transactions. Blockchain enables a consumer and seller to directly transact with each other without passing through any form of transaction medium or third-party handler.
- Fool-proof. Any user that employs blockchain undergoes a thorough checking to ensure legitimacy. And because every bit of data is recorded, any form of anomaly can easily be traced and resolved.
- Monitor supply and demand activity. The data can be used to form an analysis of consumer activity, including efficient shipment tracking.
- Reduced risks of property loss or theft. Blockchain-powered ledgers can easily be accessed remotely. This allows the retail management, store employees, and warehouse workers to track the shipped item and know where it is at any given time. This gives little room for thieves to attack, thus reducing risks of property loss or theft.
- Broaden potential market. Retailers can expand their reach especially their online presence through blockchain. The option to digitize transactions attracts consumers that prefer to shop online.
- Crossing oceans and borders. There are people all over the world who started investing in cryptocurrency. Through blockchain, your business can be able to accommodate consumers from various parts of the globe who own cryptocurrency.
The fact that the retail industry offers convenience to the consumers, makes the industry thrive and continue to prosper. Blockchain is among the sophisticated technologies that are seen to help improve the retail industry. Cryptocurrency, on the other end, may still be quite far from being entirely accepted and trusted by society, but that doesn’t mean the numbers aren’t growing. It is safe to say that when the time comes that cryptocurrency becomes a globally recognized mode of payment, businesses will turn to blockchain.
ABOUT THE AUTOHR
Ankit Patel is an end-to-end Project and Marketing Manager at XongoLab Technologies LLP. Having written for the innumerable reputed website, he has delivered high levels of quality content and helped many readers get answers to their queries. He loves to write about the latest industry trends so that the readers always remain up to date.