Blockchain is gaining its popularity. From healthcare, supply chain, education to Government niches, blockchain is far more than a technology that we need for a more powerful process. Research from IDC expects that blockchain will see robust growth in Asia-Pacific in 2021. There will be approximately 25 percent of Global A1000 companies that will use blockchain services to facilitate digital trust. Meanwhile, 40 percent of supply chain companies are predicted to use blockchain networks in production by 2020.
Bill Fearnley Jr., research director of Worldwide Blockchain Strategies, told IDC that blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) is accelerating as enterprises aggregate data into secure, sequential, and immutable blockchain ledgers. This, consequently, has transformed how businesses and operations work. Additionally, many technology vendors and service providers are collaborating and working with consortiums to develop innovative solutions that improve processes in the supply chain, added Fearnley, which has made transaction records for auditing and compliance more robust.
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Besides, blockchain technology will not only benefit retailers in terms of transactions. There are other areas where retailers can maximise their use of blockchain to improve services and productions. Without further ado, here are five areas where retailers can maximise their blockchain strategy.
Blockchain allows its users to exchange with digital currencies such as Bitcoin or altcoin called cryptocurrency. This offer is very attractive and gives more advantages than traditional modes of payment. Especially for a cross border transaction, where regular transaction either doesn’t work or needs much processing to be viable, cryptocurrency transaction will be more useful.
Besides, cryptocurrency does not need an additional charge of payment such as doing transaction via the third party (bank, for example). It also leaves an end-to-end trial that can easily be traced back to its source. This, consequently, will drastically reduce the burden on the accounting department.
However, transaction via cryptocurrency might give several burdens such as volatility in value and limitation in some countries. For instance, there are some countries that ban transactions in Bitcoin, such as China, Russia, Vietnam, Bolivia, Columba, Ecuador, Indonesia, India, and Morocco. The value of Bitcoin or altcoin might also decrease or increase depending on the market. To this concern, you can automatically convert payments to fiat to lessen the risk of coin investment.
- Consumer data
Retailers should have credibility and trust from their consumers. Without trust and credibility, retailers might not be able to operate their system. Thusly, you can gain both trust and credibility by securing your consumer’s personal data. Unlike Facebook – Cambridge Analytica scandal that has harvested many of Facebook user’s personal data without their consent and used it for political advertising purposes, you should make sure to manage a strong and better consumer’s data.
Blockchain, in this regard, can help you do so. With blockchain, you can customise services and ads without relying on a central server that might allow hackers to steal data and misuse it. Blockchain will ease your way in securing and protecting the privacy of your customers. This, as a result, will help you gain more trust and credibility amongst consumers.
- Inventory management
Blockchain enables producers to connect with each party in their value chain from suppliers to retail partners. Retailers will also gain the same advantage. You can connect to your value chain to the end-user (consumers). In addition, the record provided by blockchain is a holistic and permanent record which means the records can be stored and is accessible to everyone within the network. Therefore, retailers can trace easily their inventory status, stock levels, or numbers in real-time. Likewise, since data from blockchain is immutable, you can trust the system without worrying about the authenticity of the data gathered.
- Tracking counterfeits
Many goods or products are counterfeit, making it hard to identify whether it is an original one or not. This problem might also be one of retailer’s burdens to get an authentic product for their consumers. Blockchain, to this concern, can help you identify such problems. You can verify the authenticity of your products or goods to their sources whether they are used or new. As blockchain is an integrated system, once your package leaves, you can trace at what point the chain was broken.
- Customer service
As a retailer, you should provide good customer service to create a well-end transaction. With blockchain, good and robust customer service can be achieved. You just need to set a self-executing digital contract or smart contract. A smart contract will allow you to execute your transaction according to coded clauses and conditions. Your data will be cryptographic so there will be no ambiguity or manipulation in your data. Additionally, consumers can claim refunds or exchanges without hefty documentation.
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