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Revamping the Retail Landscape with Blockchain

By CIOReview | Wednesday, October 3, 2018

While blockchain initially started off as just a buzzword for cryptocurrency and bitcoin technology trends, today, numerous businesses strive to incorporate its applications into their infrastructures. From cloud storage, contracts, smart cities and other non-financial applications, blockchain has set a footprint in almost every vertical. Retailers are looking forward to implementing blockchain technology into their workflows to transform the overall shopping and customer experience. However, familiarizing blockchain technology within the retail landscape is not something that can be done overnight, it requires mass production and gradual deployment of its applications. How exactly is implementing blocking technology going to boost the shopping experience for customers? Robust retail data collection and analysis is the key. Blockchain technology proffers retailers an efficient way to collect and analyze information about their customers and the retail market.

With the addition of artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain undergoes a transition to a decentralized platform to gather and assess real-time information from consumers and retailers alike. The retailers subsequently procure complete visibility of the retail market. That being said, information is not limited to one particular location. The bulk of data from multiple locations flowing in through a retail ecosystem can pose a challenge in fragmenting the information according to the retailers’ needs. Incorporating blockchain into the ecosystem can pacify this challenge by efficiently sifting through the bulk of information to find certain patterns of data in the supply chain. The knowledge of these patterns is crucial for a retailer in order to comprehend the level of customer experience, and cater to the customers’ specific needs and expectations before they become a series of missed opportunities.

To avoid missing such opportunities, the blockchain platform accumulates this bulk of data from across the supply chain and leverages machine learning to add a structure to it, creating a single ecosystem for the data in the retail environment. By utilizing a secure ledger format, blockchain ensures the product data is reliable while enhancing the inventory tracking process with reduced overstocking and under-stocking, and supply chain product waste. In addition to the boost in retail workflow efficiency, blockchain’s decentralized platform serves as a middleman for retailers to connect with verified product manufacturers, ensuring the best quality, pricing, and terms of connectivity. Blockchain technology has the ability to seamlessly handle an arbitration system in the retail landscape, improving cooperation between retailers and product manufacturers. Blockchain is altering the retail environment for optimal customer experience and satisfaction with retailers experiencing a stronger brand reputation and new opportunities to increase their customer base.