The Retail sector has changed more in the last 10 years than in the last 40. There is one main cause: digitalization.
At present, there are different technologies that are beginning to play a more decisive role in all areas of the company and it is expected that by 2025 they will have a fundamental role in the business model and in the value chain. These technologies are: Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), Autonomous Vehicles / Drones, Machine Learning / Deep Learning, Robotics, Digital Traceability, 3D Printing and Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality.
Blockchain is a technology that allows the creation of a shared accounting book (DLT, Distributed Ledger Technology) using cryptographic protocols. The main characteristics of this registry is that it is decentralized and unalterable. This is achieved by distributing the network in nodes, where said data is certified, so that the operations are processed and stored or rejected by all the machines in the network.
Decentralization guarantees the protection of data against malicious attacks, since it is not enough to concentrate on a single node. This DLT or account book can be consulted by each of the parties in real time, so that the status of each of the assets, financial or otherwise, can be verified.
And all this technological innovation takes place at a time like the current one, in which trust is vital for its actors. The biggest blockchain contribution to our globalized exchange world is precisely this: building trust. Certified access to the entire network in real time reduces the perception of uncertainty and risk, thanks to its contribution to security, redistribution of power and visibility of data.
Blockchain has appeared as another element of change and that will undoubtedly condition the future of retail. Retail is aimed at offering an increasingly closer, faster and more personal experience. And Blockchain can provide the confidence that consumers need right now.
Blockchain use cases in the retail sector
The services offered by Blockchain technology in Retail can be applied in three main areas: Customers, Supply Chain and Payments and Contracts.
In the area of clients and improvement of their experience, the solutions can be several:
- Creation of intelligent loyalty programs, in which customer data is recorded in a secure way, with the aim of carrying out more personalized campaigns.
- Warranty management, allowing customers to save all of the products purchased in a manner. These guarantees can be permanently updated, and can even be transferred to another provider.
- Property certificates, allowing to properly register the ownership of a good at the time of purchase, whether in the face of possible losses, theft or even a resale conceived from the beginning within the product life cycle (vehicles, valuables or unique, etc.).
An end-to-end solution is offered in the Supply Chain that allows manufacturers to place orders or sell, track and pay for goods once they arrive at their destination without problems. Thus in the Value Chain the advantages are numerous, mainly because they are all connected:
- Authenticity and origin, where the origin of the products is verified, for example, the manufacture of a garment or shoes, verifying the authenticity of the product.
- Certified deliveries, offering greater confidence and security.
- Supplier certification, when verifying its reliability at national and international level.
- Optimization of deliveries, by subsequent analysis of all data present during the transaction, optimizing successive deliveries.
- Fraudulent Transactions Track the entire order process until it reaches its destination, checking if there is a deviation from the programmed route.
Payments and Contracts.
In the area of Payments and contracts, the advantages are:
- Tokenization of payments to the consumer, in which faster and safer payments are allowed, and even the use of cryptocurrencies.
- B2B payments, facilitate payments between companies, simplifying the transaction, eliminating intermediaries and allowing cross-border payments.
- Consumer protection, creating traceable and decentralized digital records of consumer purchases.
Impact and advantages for companies.
As you can see, the services are multiple and the benefits for companies with the implementation of the Blockchain in Retail go through generating a strong revenue growth, better operating margins, better asset efficiency, eliminating the reduction of external transaction costs and internal, making transactions and future expectations of companies simpler and faster, reducing risk and improving working capital.