After it was first adopted in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto to create a digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin, blockchain has now been adopted to create transparency and authenticity in other prominent industries as well, such as banking, health, and government. Even though it is still not a household name for the public, this does not take away from the fact that the future will be driven by trusted blockchains, as more and more companies are realising the importance of blockchains in the way they do business.
So what exactly is a blockchain? I would like to define it as an extremely secure and decentralized digital ledger system that permits the seller to create efficient solutions for connecting with their customers. You might wonder how that is remotely possible? Well, blockchain technology creates a record of transactions, which are then shared across a network of computers or nodes. But instead of creating one blockchain that holds all the records, the transaction records are distributed across every blockchain in an entire network. Think judging rounds at local and international talent contests. A judging panel scores each contestant and that way there can be no bias or tampering. In an ideal world our data would be protected, but unfortunately, our world is far from utopia. A blockchain acts as a judging panel and the processes become more transparent and more trustable.
While the implementation is vast and many, one area where blockchains are predicted to flourish is the eCommerce platform. And while the implementation can be quite troublesome, the advantages far outweigh the challenges. This is why eCommerce businesses are partnering with IT companies to handle their blockchains.
That being said, here are four major ways that blockchain can transform your eCommerce business.
Data breaches have become commonplace and the only way to avoid this is to have a secure decentralized chain of bouncers (blocks) that are authenticated by a number of sources. Remember the panel of judges? Personal data is now more precious than gold, and the introduction of GDPR and other privacy policies are taking eCommerce on a path toward data protection.
With its use of smart contract software, blockchain is the innovation to cease the wave of stolen consumer data and ensure that contracts are securely stored. Since the blockchain cannot be altered without the other connected blocks being affected, it is more secure than data stored on a single server.
This means less time worrying about security breaches and more time for focusing on business development.
Lately, I have been receiving e-mails from an online recruitment platform soliciting property purchases and home loans. I was furious and perplexed all at the same time. How could a job search platform send me real estate advertisements? Well, blockchains could solve this issue and keep them from sending you ads that you do not subscribe to, by introducing mutual consent into advertising. Blockchains have important implications for treating consumers with greater respect and reversing the violation of personal information and the way internet retailers handle their data. One reason I receive those unrelated solicitation emails is due to the massive amounts of data that are packaged, sold, repackaged and resold without the knowledge of the source of that data (the consumer). Hence, eCommerce platforms and brands can reach out to their potential customers who have consented to receive communication from them. This is again something an IT partner can help you implement.
There is no dearth of counterfeit and unsafe goods in the market. This could hurt your business as it poses a threat to your consumers. Many companies have adopted blockchain as they want to ensure that their merchandise is not fraudulent. A blockchain could be a blessing for medical and food industries. One might ask what about blockchains make them trustworthy for food safety? According to researchers and food scientists, it is the open environment for sharing data about product authenticity and quality that permits people at every stage of the supply chain to depend on getting authentic products. It is akin to you reading product reviews before purchasing a product on Amazon.
The decentralized model of the blockchain can be streamlined for operations and for driving efficiency. We already know now how smart contracts are used to regulate logistics and payment processing partners. Bitcoin has already shown us how we can save money through blockchains. eCommerce too stands to benefit from it as international money transfers can now depend on one single ledger. The blockchain is the answer to the woos of the international financial system as it saves time and fees, and reduces risk with its P2P model. And who wouldn't want to save some bucks and reduce processing speed which lead to increased customer satisfaction?
Having the right technology partner to absorb the benefits of the blockchain in your eCommerce venture is as pivotal a step as is making the shift to this technology.