Will Retail benefit from Blockchain?

Photo by Kai Pilger from Pexels

With the rise in popularity of cryptocurrency and the use of blockchain-based solutions, businesses of different sectors are eager to know how such a platform can benefit them. And the retail industry is one of such segments.

At present, the sector is booming. The retail industry (offline and online) deals with the business flow that starts with the procurement of products from manufacturers/wholesalers and ends with the delivery/sell of the same to the customers. It is clear here that the retail industry faces challenges in the supply chain, product quality, customer trust, client service, and payment options.

How Blockchain can change the face of the retail sector

Some of the retail owners (both online and offline) have adopted or are working on this technology while some are keen to utilise it in the future. To comprehend how a blockchain-based solution will help the sector, here are some use cases:

Supply chain transparency

In recent years, there has been a significant rise in ethical consumerism and interest in knowing the origin of products. Supply chain management has a crucial part in the retail sector. By incorporating a blockchain-based solution in the supply chain, retailers will easily track data in regards to the truck location, product temperature & humidity, stages of the delivery process, and so on. For example, a supermarket is selling a banana cake. A customer can find the data on the source of the product, manufacturing time, particular ingredients, and more.

Customer trust/customer privacy

With the rise in cyber-attacks and frauds, people are very conscious in today’s world. Most of the time, they think a lot before sharing their contact details with retailers. They are afraid of misuse of their shared personal data.

With the integration of a blockchain-based platform, retailers can ensure their customers that their secret data is safe with the company. This integration will help the retail players to gain their consumers’ trust. To make the data safe and secured, the retailers will give a digital ID to their customers. It will enable their patrons to have faith in them and believe that no one with their consent can change or share their sensitive data.

Loyalty programs

Blockchain provides the right, instant data integrity. Retailers can take benefit from this feature and use it for their consumer loyalty schemes. With the integration of a blockchain-based platform, the retail players will ease their data dependency, and they can comfortably use the data for their loyal customers.

Increased payment options

In today’s fast world, every business values customer convenience. Business owners feel their marketing efforts are worthless if they fail to convince customers to make quick transactions. As per a survey, only 1.2 billion people have bank accounts with payment options, while more than 5 billion people have mobile phones. The data regarding mobile users can play a crucial role and help retailers facilitate their customers to use mobiles for making payments.

Crypto incentive

Blockchain fuels decentralisation and it with its distributed ledger have the potential to change the face of current business operations of different sectors.

Retailers can offer incentive programs to their loyal customers. The retail players will offer crypto-based incentives to the customers for their referrals. Only the downside with the cryptocurrency is the volatility of the coins such as bitcoin. For avoiding such a violation, retailers can use the WishKinish. Merchants can use this blockchain-based solution to optimise the referrals of their patrons. With this, the retail players can have no issue in offering crypto incentives, and their customers can more comfortably continue shopping.

Automated customer service

Customers love being served at once when they are looking for particular products/services. They want to get their queries solved as soon as possible. At present, retailers have resources to have a close watch on the behaviour of their existing customers. However, they fail to serve their customers in real-time. It happens due to any potential fault or no proper use of the available data.

With the adoption of a suitable blockchain-based solution, players of the retail industry have the right information at the right time about their customer behaviours. Having a look at the data enables retailers to serve consumers with the right products/services at the right time. They find it easy to inform their customers with ongoing promotions and discount offers on selected items via SMS, emails, etc. In simple words, retail players have enhanced customer service by integrating blockchain technology.

Will Retail benefit from Blockchain? was originally published in Data Driven Investor on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.