How blockchain will solve multiple customer/retailer pain points
The rise of e-commerce offers many growth opportunities, but it has brought with it new challenges for the retail and consumers’ good industries. Consumers want to know the origin of the products they are purchasing, their authenticity—even their carbon footprint. The ability to track and trace without adding time, cost and complexity to the supply chain is absolutely critical.
But, as Amazon’s Prime offers a free delivery service in Australia, local retailers are struggling to offer faster deliveries to consumers, without reneging on products or service quality.
Blockchain has an important capability that goes to heart of solving these issues: It allows multiple stakeholders to confidently and securely share access to the same information. In future, we expect the increasing deployment of blockchain in retail to promote product transparency and increase consumer loyalty and engagement.
Blockchain enables faster delivery by eradicating labour-intensive documentation while still enabling real-time track and trace capabilities and consistent, accurate records.
For example, Alibaba’s latest trial of a new supply chain network with Australia Post and Blackmores uses blockchain to track food products in Australia from producer to consumer. This means that everyone in the supply chain can validate that the goods received are authentic.
Meanwhile, Accenture—together with a consortium comprising of AB InBev, APL, Kuehne + Nagel and a European customs organisation—has successfully tested a blockchain solution that could save the freight and logistics industry hundreds of millions of dollars every year. This is simply by eliminating the need for printed shipping documents.
Blockchain also reassures consumers about a product’s origins by obtaining data from all parties involved, from the supplier and manufacturer to the retailer and end consumer, tracing its entire journey.
Now blockchain is disrupting the traditional consumer warranty—storing all the paperwork in a single location accessible by the consumer, manufacturer and retailer. Rather than expecting consumers to save and physical receipts, consumer-focused companies are using Warranteer. This service allows users to transfer their warranties and receipts onto the cloud via blockchain, creating a virtual warranty wallet.
Eventually, blockchain will have major implications for loyalty and customer relationship management. By increasing transparency and streamlining transactions, retailers will be in a much stronger position to build trust with their customers.