Blockchain in Retail: Decentralizing the Digitalization of Retail Operations
Blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt retail as it can decentralize processes through which retailers interact with partners, industry players and consumers, making operations more efficient and secure. We looked into the implications for this technology and these are the key takeaways:
- The decentralized and secure nature of the blockchain has the potential to disrupt operations in retail, including supply chain and logistics, customer data management, loyalty programs, payments and marketplaces.
- Blockchain in the supply chain enhances traceability, helping businesses minimize the impact of problems such as food safety issues and fight counterfeits. The blockchain can decentralize Internet of Things (IoT) architectures, making them more secure and scalable.
- The blockchain can create decentralized, trusted and secured systems to handle customer data, enabling consumers to retain more control of how their data is used by companies. Blockchain-enabled joint loyalty programs could give more reward options to shoppers and more consumer data to collaborating companies.
- Cryptocurrency payments could be embedded into checkout-less platforms in brick-and-mortar stores. Shoppers could walk out of a store while smart contracts automatically execute payments for the items bought.
- The key strength blockchain offers is encouraging collaboration among companies in retail operations.