Nov 21, 2017 by James Basnett
Blockchain for Retail in 2018
Retail’s rapid transformation is supercharging blockchain’s adoption
Christmas is coming and with it wonderful amounts of joy and disappointment. Which of your online orders will arrive on time?
Imagine if you could receive a partial refund on a purchased item if your order arrives after the expected delivery date. Grandma’s Google Home shows up on December 27th? Save an extra $50. With a blockchain-enabled transaction, your account could be instantly credited the moment the delivery time changes beyond its expected date. You receive a push notification on your phone about the automated justice and credited funds.
In a test of blockchain capability, Walmart determined that using a blockchain to trace the origin farm of spoiled mangoes required only 2.2 seconds. In comparison, traditional tracking methods took almost seven days. This is transformational.
This is the power of the blockchain and the reason it is going to transform the retail sector.
The blockchain is an agreement network that makes it secure and extremely efficient to track product information from manufacturing all the way to the customer’s hands.
With the number of goods passing hands across the supply chain at the increasing pace required to deliver just-in-time solutions, automation and process speed is vital to future operations. Services like Amazon Prime are now setting the bar for delivery and service – the only way to achieve this is with new ways of managing fulfillment.
Enter Ethereum and the blockchain.
Ethereum is a type of distributed application that automates a network of agreements. Think about peer-to-peer file sharing, where user’s computers around the world are collaborating on sending files to each other. A blockchain is for connecting moments of trust and agreement. Each party’s systems automatically collaborate on a block of code that verifies product information at each step along the chain.
Tracking goods between multiple parties can be very difficult especially when there are multiple records of events held by each party. Today, if one party loses a good along the fulfillment chain, it’s not known to the other parties and the cost and time required for reconciliation can cause great pain to a number of collaborators.
Here’s a couch with an associated blockchain code:
When a good is manufactured, it can have a corresponding object on the Ethereum blockchain. As the good moves through warehousing and distribution points, new information is added to the blockchain object with each party in the mix having access to the information. The blockchain computes the changes automatically with each movement, and a collective record of the good is always in place.
Blockchain technology transforms supply chains and fulfillment processes. It will become the standard way of tracking goods from origin to happy customer.
Today, this process is often handled using mountains of paper and disconnected records that do not talk to each other and require large amounts of labor and time to process. Blockchain automates the data record and keeps it secure from A to Z. This is why some are calling it a perfect technology.
Blockchain for retail will allow:
- Recording asset quantity and transfer – packages, pallets, containers, etc. – as they move between distribution points
- Tracking goods and documents including purchase orders, change orders, receipts, shipment notifications
- Verification of authenticity or certification
- Linking physical goods to serial numbers including product IDs, bar codes, SKUs and RFID tags
- Sharing information about manufacturing process, assembly, delivery, and maintenance of products with suppliers and vendors
We’re seeing a huge need to transform retail processes and think this is the perfect time to revitalize supply and fulfillment chain operations. Do your team a favor and take a deep look at the benefits blockchain can have on your business.
Interested in blockchain technology?
At Softvision, we are using the blockchain to help our customers improve their processes, automatically settle accounts, and verify authentic products. Creating blockchain solutions for retail requires process mapping to understand what information is needed at each step. Once that picture is formed, we develop a solution that simplifies and automates the data record of a good.