We are dwelling in times of a surreal digital revolution, and it is only getting bigger day by day. Emerging technologies are revolutionizing and revamping the world swiftly, and the corporate world is aligning itself with these technologies without wasting any time.
On the list of these disruptive technologies, blockchain is a much-talked-about aspect of the ongoing digital revolution.
The Application of Blockchain Technologies in Business Operations
Today, you can see the application of blockchain technologies across all industries and business operations. From the automotive industry to telecommunications and retail, every industry is transforming with the intelligent application of blockchain solutions.
While blockchain has an immense scope of adding value to many industries, its implications in the retail sector are enormously impressive. As a retailer, you can reap the incredible benefits of blockchain in driving effective organizational changes.
Blockchain in the Retail Industry
This blog delineates the unparalleled advantages that blockchain solutions can offer to the retail industry. You need to understand how blockchain holds great potential to drive immense value addition in retail businesses if you are a retailer.
However, firstly, to be on the same page, it is essential to look at the definition of blockchain. The better you understand what blockchain is, the greater your understanding of the business benefits of blockchain.
What is blockchain?
Speaking of the disruptive technologies of the contemporary world — blockchain technology takes a significant lead over other technological advancements. It may have initially started with transforming financial systems, but today, blockchain technology finds wide-ranging applications across different sectors.
Blockchain is a decentralized and immutable ledger facilitating records of financial transactions and assets in an enterprise network. Assets here can include both tangible and intangible assets that can be tracked or traded in a highly secure manner via a blockchain network.
Now that we have established a clear understanding of blockchain, let us look at its incredible benefits for the retail industry.
Significant advantages of blockchain for the retail industry
1. Optimized supply chain operations
It is correct to say that supply chain operations make the backbone of the retail industry. For retailers to succeed in their business objectives, they must drive consistent enhancements in their supply chain operations.
The equation is quite simple; the more optimized your supply chain and inventory management operations are, the greater your success in retail will be. This is something you would surely agree to, isn’t it?
Retailers investing in tech advancements streamline supply chains
Retailers across the globe are now investing in state-of-the-art technological advancements to streamline their supply chains. More specifically, retailers are now integrating blockchain technologies into their supply chains to enable maximum operational efficiency.
The market for blockchain technologies in supply chain operations is expected to grow at a staggering CAGR of 80 percent by 2025, as per Allied Market Research. As a result, the blockchain-enabled supply chain solutions market is forecasted to reach USD 9852.9 million in the projected period.
Retailers helped by blockchain technology
Such scintillating numbers speak for the massive scope retailers see in blockchain technology to optimize their supply chains. Incredible, isn’t it? But what are the actual benefits of blockchain technologies in supply chain operations that attract retailers?
To explain, the foremost benefit of blockchain in supply chain operations is high traceability. With blockchain, you can track supplies in real-time through all stages in the supply chain and store all the information on a decentralized ledger for improved traceability.
In addition to improvised traceability for managing supply chain issues, blockchain also promotes greater transparency in the supply chain. Subject to this transparency, you will be less vulnerable to fraudulent purchases as a retailer.
Blockchain logging product activities
Besides, blockchain technologies can improve automation in supply chain operations by logging product activities for minimal inaccuracies in the system. Further, blockchain integration also enhances the overall security of the supply chain and inventory management operations.
Optimized Data Security in the Global Supply Chains for the Retail Industry
To explain, blockchain enables optimized data security in the global supply chains of large retailers. Furthermore, with blockchain facilitating supply chains, businesses get an excellent opportunity to build higher credibility.
2. More secure payments
We all know that companies and retailers all across the globe are increasingly accepting blockchain cryptocurrencies for transactions. Some of the top retail companies accepting cryptocurrencies include Home Depot, Starbucks, Amazon, and Overstock. Besides, even Microsoft accepts cryptocurrency in lieu of its software services.
However, the idea of introducing blockchain in retail payments is not limited to offering consumers another option in terms of payment. Instead, the concept of securer payments is driving more and more retailers to switch to blockchain payment systems.
Blockchain technologies offer greater security than credit cards and other forms of internet payments. With blockchain-enabled payment mechanisms, you can achieve greater consumer and supplier payments security.
Furthermore, blockchain can enable your retail business to reap incredible benefits like faster settlement of payments in a decentralized mechanism. Besides, the usual payment providers in retail charge exorbitant privilege fees from retailers hence, reducing profits.
However, with blockchain payments, you can significantly reduce this fee and boost your profitability greatly.
So, as you can see, blockchain offers a more transparent payments system with enhanced security, but it also comes with incredible cost benefits. The risk of fraudulent consumer or supplier transactions is minimized. All transaction records can be effectively stored in a decentralized manner.
As a retailer, you make multiple transactions daily, and blockchain databases can work amazingly well to secure these transactions.
In fact, with blockchain, you can create your cryptocurrency, which will be specifically used only for your retail payments. This can be a great way to win the trust of your customers by offering them a highly personalized and secure payment system. It sounds like a great idea, isn’t it? Blockchain is undoubtedly the future of business payments.
3. Quick resolution of vendor disputes
Vendor disputes are common in retail businesses, and their vulnerability is likely to be high. Further, vendor disputes can be highly time-consuming, and in the course of this time, they can result in heavy losses for the retailers.
It makes complete sense that you want to avert these issues as much as possible. However, even if they occur, you certainly want them to be resolved in real-time such that you do not have to bear any loss of trade.
Given the high traceability feature of blockchain, you can resolve vendor disputes effectively as all the information regarding the issue will be easily available to access. Therefore, you save a lot of time in case of conflicts with the vendors, and the problems can be resolved with credible information. In this way, you can avert substantial trade losses that may directly impact your business.
4. Enhanced identification of counterfeits
Retailers are often burdened with the task of ensuring that their customers do not receive counterfeit products. Unfortunately, as technology has grown by leaps and bounds in the contemporary world, the market for counterfeit products is also expanding.
Once you lose the trust of your customers because of counterfeit products, it will be tough to retain them. Hence, you have to double-check that your customers only receive authentic products from your side.
However, with so many orders and transactions involved, detecting counterfeit products will never be an easy task, right? But, thanks to blockchain technologies, you can now ensure product originality in a more effective and hassle-free manner.
To explain, when you track the entire supply chain with the integration of blockchain, you can verify the originality of the products with greater precision. In addition, you will be able to track if the sources of the products are authentic or not.
In case, there are any disruptions in the supply chain, you will be able to identify them when you track every point through the blockchain. Quite an intelligent application of blockchain technologies, isn’t it?
You can persistently ensure that the authenticity of the products is verifiable at all times. Moreover, if any gaps hint at the possibility of counterfeit products, you can learn about them in real-time.
5. Greater effectiveness in predictive maintenance
The retail industry directly correlates with fleet management operations and sophisticated machinery. Therefore, any disruption in the fleet or machinery can result in delayed shipments or operations. This is where the significance of effective predictive maintenance comes into the picture.
The predictive maintenance technique aims to monitor the state of machinery, equipment, and fleet to ascertain the requirement of maintenance works. Subsequently, based on a data-driven approach, equipment repair and fleet are carried out to avert collapse.
So, basically, as a retailer, you can primarily benefit from predictive maintenance as you can resolve maintenance issues even before they arise.
You also need to know that blockchain technologies can play a vital role in worthwhile predictive maintenance. For example, in a decentralized manner, blockchain technology can store information on the condition of vehicles in the fleet and the equipment used in retail.
Blockchain can effectively coordinate the entire maintenance history of vehicles and equipment. You can track the history of the maintenance works performed in the past. Subsequently, you can plan the further repair works to avert breakdown.
Consequently, with enhanced predictive maintenance enabled by blockchain, you can experience higher uptime concerning your fleet and machinery. Besides, you can also avoid unnecessary repair costs by tracking the maintenance history efficiently.
6. Improvised marketing
Who says retail brands do not have much to do with marketing? On the contrary, marketing is as essential in the retail industry as any other business. As a retailer, innovation in marketing is your best chance to acquire new customers, especially in an environment where customers directly interact with brands through digital channels.
The need of the hour is to design targeted marketing campaigns that directly engage your target audience. Of course, the greater the personalization, the better the outcomes of your marketing efforts will be. But does blockchain have anything to do with marketing? Can blockchain help with improvised marketing campaigns as well?
Well, the answer is a definite yes! Blockchain can also play a game-changing role in the vertical of digital marketing. The first benefit of blockchain in marketing is that you no longer need to rely on third-party marketing platforms when you have precise data on marketing performance metrics.
To explain, when you have accurate data concerning clicks, impressions, average engagement rate, and other crucial digital marketing metrics recorded on the blockchain, you can drive greater self-sufficiency in your marketing operations.
Besides, with accurate data on the key performance indicators of digital marketing, you can design more effective advertising campaigns targeted at specific audiences. Understanding the implications of key metrics will help you cultivate greater personalization in your marketing campaigns. As you know, personalization is indeed the most significant marketing trend in the contemporary business world.
Moreover, when you are handling so much customer data to enhance personalization in other marketing campaigns, the security of this data becomes very imperative. People have legitimate data concerns after the data scandal involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. As a result, a large share of your target audience is reluctant to share their personal data. That definitely does have an impact on customer relationships.
However, when you integrate blockchain, you can address your customers’ privacy concerns and once again win their trust. On the blockchain, you can store customer data encrypted and decentralized. Consequently, you can inspire greater confidence among your customers.
You can effectively address your customers’ privacy concerns when you integrate blockchain databases to secure data.
Therefore, blockchain in marketing means optimized targeted adverts, greater transparency in marketing campaigns, and better customer relationships. Overall, all these benefits will add significant value to your marketing success, and you can win more customers.
With improvised data-driven marketing based on blockchain, you will only see your marketing ROI scale new heights.
7. Automation of administrative tasks
The retail industry involves a wide range of recurring back-office administrative tasks. If you can automate these tasks effectively, you can improve the overall efficiency. However, effective automation is synonymous with adequate technology. This is where blockchain retakes the lead.
Blockchain technologies can efficiently automate repetitive tasks like payroll administration. Hence, it can help your staff focus on other tasks requiring greater human intelligence. Benefits of blockchain in back-office administration include smart contracts that can automate freelancers’ payments upon completing their work.
Indeed, better administration will lead to better business outcomes and greater success. Do you still have doubts about the increasing significance of blockchain in the industry?
To recapitulate, blockchain technologies hold the key to the future of the business world. The advantages of blockchain solutions are no longer limited to finances. The culture of blockchain technologies is thriving with significant momentum across industries, and so is the investment.
Talking about the retail sector, particularly the merits of blockchain integration, are fabulous and ceaseless. Blockchain can unimaginably transform the retail industry. Thus, the sooner you acknowledge that, the better it is for your retail business.
Image Credit: by Czapp Árpád; Pexels; Thank you!