The retail industry is responsible for making the product meet its final consumer. As simple as it sounds, the retail industry faces a lot of struggles like tight margins, meeting ever-rising customer expectations, regulatory and quality issues too.
The retail sector hasn’t changed much over the years, but high profile companies are bringing in the concept of blockchain technology, initially developed by the creators of cryptocurrency, for easy exchange and communication with its consumers.
Key Issues Faced ny Retail Sector
The retail’s industry most pressing concerns are as follows
The retail supply chains lack transparency, with one system isolated from the other and static record keeping, are major obstructions in integration of operation system.
Consolidated Operational Omnichannel Retail
As awareness increases, consumers demand omnichannel shopping and every other data related to it but retailers face problems due to improper data management in providing them.
Consumer Participation & Tracking
As consumer tries to fetch more and more data about the product, their efforts entail security risks, they are difficult to compile, share and develop insights, this, in turn, increases administrative costs.
The cases of fraud products, that is, falsely imitated products have increased a lot, that damages the brands in terms of both revenue and customer expectations.
Quallity, Provenance, Brand
The number of cases of fraud is on the rise, customers have become conscious about their products. They want to know where their material comes from, and mistrust brands that generate claims of ethical sourcing of these materials.
Current methods of production, supply chain and concept of point of sales, makes it difficult to establish and demonstrate regulatory compliance across the organisation.
Blocchain: A Solution to Retail
Blockchain ensures an end to end tracking of products from the point of their manufacturing to sales and distribution. This technology is a ledger-based system where data is divided into blocks and nodes. This data is completely decentralised, tamper-proof and easy to use.
The retail sector is a complex web of production, logistic, supply and customer relationships. There are many ways that blockchain the retail, some of them are
Supply chain Management
Each and every stage of the supply chain could be tracked down with the help of blockchain. This will help in achieving transparency and ease in passing requests at all levels.
This technology will track down each level of the chain from the sourcing till it reaches the stores. It will help in regulation and build customer’s trust in the context of ethical production and the quality of the product.
Payments will be made easy, safe and secure. Blockchain creates irrefutable records that are accessible by all parties.
Integraation od Digital and Offline Stores
Blockchain technology will help in delivering seamless omnichannel interactions, that have an encrypted database. This database will be accessible to all including the customers in real-time anywhere.
The data for fairly showcase every log activity of the supply chain, this will ensure that the bylaws are followed, standards are maintained and regulations are adhered to across all levels. This will off transparency, immutability and greater accountability.
Customer loyalty programs are a new thing in the market, this technology will ensure real-time update of the programs and will increase the accessibility of records by the customer.this will cut costs and encourage consumer participation.
With IoT tagging, consumers will be able to keep a live track of their shipment throughout the process and manage the delivery effectively.
Fight Hacking and Cybercrime
As there is no centralised data, it cannot be easily attacked. Blockchains are encrypted therefore each record is safe.
The customer’s data is safe and secure over the ledger system. It is tamper-proof.
In a nutshell, blockchain in the retail sector will have records of each activity from sourcing to manufacturing to packaging to delivery. This will help in lowering administrative costs, process faster payments and delivery, provides privacy to customers, create value-added services, reduce fraud, theft and fraudulent imitation of products and most importantly it will build customer trust and loyalty.