For many branches of industry, the blockchain technology represents a revolutionary change – and so does the retail industry. They are in the midst of a digital transformation process. Customers are becoming more self-determined, online channels are becoming increasingly important in the purchasing process. At the same time, there is a growing need for systems and protocols that ensure better security.
However, the areas of application for blockchain are not yet obvious to many retailers. While banks and financial service providers have been working for many years on applications to make their processes more reliable and tamper-proof, other industries are slow to follow. However, this does not have to be the case. The successes from the banking sector should encourage retailers to make their first steps in this all-changing area. There are many areas for blockchain applications in the retail industry – there are virtually no limits to the imagination, from the supply chain to the optimization of internal processes.
Opportunities for the luxury retail industry and theft protection
Imitation is the highest form of recognition, says a proverb. In spite of all this, luxury brands find it difficult to look at cheap copies in this way. Blockchain technology can put an end to this. Special serial numbers and sensors integrated into the garment ensure the authenticity of the luxury product.
Beautiful companion effect for the classic retailers, because all processes are connected to a certain garment, theft is made a lot more difficult, because here the chain of the blockchain breaks at the smallest control.
For example, the Babyghost brand is already relying on innovative technology and is already using NFC tags to identify the paths of its garments.
Revolution of inventory management
In times of ever shorter product lifecycles and ever-increasing customer demands, blockchain technology offers retailers the opportunity to optimize their supply chain and inventory management. Smart contracts can lead to automatic orders and payments. This high degree of transparency in the supply chain not only helps to optimize processes, but also reduces sales losses, for example due to over-orders or stock shortfalls.
Modern payment systems for retailers
Despite the many possibilities, the blockchain is still best known for its use in the cryptocurrency market. Here, the technology guarantees a secure transaction system that virtually eliminates manipulation.
With more and more digital currencies being offered to merchants as a payment option, blockchain helps retailers not only to accept cryptographic currencies, but also in other payment management processes such as return and reimbursement of counterfeit currency.
Global companies are already living it, and platforms such as Expedia or Shopify are already accepting bitcoin payments. Other smaller retailers follow this example.
These were just a few of the applications of blockchain in the retail industries. Retailers have to deal with this topic, because blockchain will dominate business processes and models in a few years’ time. Those who are already beginning to invest in the future will be provoking in a few years’ time.