Recently, Blockchain has heavily impacted major financial industries and institutions. But this new technology is also leading the way to accelerate disruption in other key digital services such as marketing and retail. As a securely distributed ledger, Blockchain can facilitate the storage of volumes of data, transferring information without the requirement of a centralized authority.
Blockchain as an enterprise software solution can provide businesses a secure electronic ledger that offers businesses a network of self-compliance and regulation. Its ability to distribute data and information through a fully encoded infrastructure enables companies to leverage this rapidly-evolving technology to create greater efficiencies and maximize impact.
As more industries recognize Blockchain technology as an important seismic shift, disrupting digital services and facilitating the rise of a new trading platform, it’s evident that Blockchain has applications beyond Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
So what exactly are the benefits that Blockchain can bring to marketing, service, and retail? Below highlights five competencies that Blockchain technology delivers to businesses.
1. Improves efficiency
Before Blockchain, supply chain flexibility has been an important logistical hurdle for retail and any other product-based business. The ability to employ data to track points of failure and inefficiency has helped improve the most critical of supply data.
Blockchain technology provides complete transparency of supply management, utilizing data to determine the integrity of the full lifecycle of products on a granular level. As such, it makes it easier for businesses to parse, organize, store and manually recall products across every touchpoint of the business.
The documentation of every point of the supply chain, from costs and labor to waste and emissions, has serious implications and can dramatically streamline processes and drive efficiency.
Within the marketing community, Blockchain technology represents a changing dynamic. A forward-facing company will position itself for investment in Blockchain technology. The openness of data provides disruptive advantages within marketing, making life easier for marketers.
The consolidation of data creates real-time customer intelligence, encouraging marketers to engage potential customers with an “omnichannel” approach, merging online and offline marketing.
2. Enhances accountability and transparency
The demand for commercial transparency and distributed access to transactions and information has poised Blockchain technology to “trigger a revolution in all the institutions concerned with value.”
With Blockchain technology, trust is implicit. Businesses no longer require trusted third party involvement to enhance transaction security or transparent transactions. The dissemination and decentralization of information alleviate security concerns, holding vast potential for improved transparency in slyly persuasive industries.
The potential to create honesty through transparent transactions and supply chain management provides a more stable relationship between companies and customers or end users. By providing transparency and disseminated information regarding transactions, further trust is enlisted. One example sees Blockchain technology making it possible for donors to track every donation given to nonprofits and charities to ensure funds are received by their intended recipients.
This transparency provides a more in-depth look at product information, fostering more than open relationships between companies and customers. Businesses better comply with product quality regulations and can prove the authenticity of product quality to improve the credibility of their products.
With the millennial generation generally apathetic to traditional advertisement of products and services, Blockchain verification could be used to provide details on product origins and provides an indelible audit trail for the life of an asset.
3. Eliminates retail barriers
One of the toughest logistical hurdles in traditional advertising strategies is finding campaign analytics and data-based behaviors to target shoppers in a physical retail environment. The ability to find a data-based connection that is perpetuated or originated from Google or an online database is a tough skill to achieve.
With vast volumes of consumer spending still occurring through brick-and-mortar stores, businesses must be provided the ability to target shoppers in physical retail spaces in similar e-commerce fashion. Currently, businesses can employ location-based marketing services, but these data monopolies reach a plateau, pushing irrelevant key performance indicators and invariably driving up costs.
Blockchain delivers marketers and retail industry a resoundingly more comprehensive ability to connect consumers with retail.
Retailers can employ Blockchain to enable consumers to make smarter, safer buying decisions. Its multi channel approach to retail creates an integrated consumer experience. Using the technology’s decentralized electronic database, retailers can establish partnerships with certification agencies to provide a comprehensive product database that can address issues like product recall status and product certifications, and even validate product authenticity.
4. Delivers on security
By its simplest definition, Blockchain is “a digital ledger of tamper-proof transactional data.” It secures transactional data through cryptographic digital keys in a sequential chain that prevents the duplication, editing or removal of transactional data. In short, the more complex the digital key, the more secure Blockchain becomes.
Blockchain offers industries a way to securely obtain and share consumer information without risk of compromising the personal information without proper authorization. While the Blockchain ledger is public, the data stored in its database is verified and encrypted with complex cryptography, making it less prone to hacking.
As future applications of Blockchain continue to expand its reach beyond the financial sector, retailers and service-based industries like governments and healthcare can improve data security, ensuring privacy for consumer information.
Blockchain also facilitates the ability for customers to willingly choose what personal information data they want to share with retailers, particularly with retailers that can provide a more personalized shopping experience. With recent data breaches highlighting the alarming vulnerability of companies, Blockchain caters to potential customersb, delivering complete control over personal data, to heighten levels of data protection and consumer awareness.
5. Disrupting methods of payment
With more consumers going cashless, Blockchain-enabled payments are on the rise.
Some retailers have already adopted the use of Bitcoin, adding it as part of their list of payment options to provide potential customers more choice. The Bitcoin payment channel does more than provide consumers more choice; it also has low to no fees, signaling good news for retailers who handle multi-currency transactions.
With digital payment solutions now covering a wide variety of technology, Blockchain-enabled payments have emerged as a comprehensive platform for money management. While plastic cards and digital wallets are the most commonly adopted forms of cashless payment, expect to see Blockchain-enabled payments become widely used as funding sources as more retailers brand themselves as innovators and first movers.
As Blockchain matures and becomes a more valuable mechanism, cross-border transactions and remittances can be processed in real-time, thanks to Blockchain’s ability to bypass trusted third party payment processors like banks.
What’s next for Blockchain?
While Blockchain technology may have started as a response to financial crises in the financial sector, its legitimacy throughout its 10-year growth has established it as a technology set to further disrupt several key industries. With Blockchain already gaining traction in retail and service-based industries, expect to see more and more businesses follow suit.