This development brings obvious challenges with it: a greater variety of products, in greater numbers and shorter timeframes at the cheapest possible prices. Supply chains and their managers are under high pressure to ensure the competitiveness on global markets, however current network technologies are no up to the task. The current systems leave a lot to be desired in the areas of traceability, fraud protection and quality assurance capabilities. By implementing distributed ledger technologies all authorized parties within the supply chain have the ability leave an unalterable entry in the blockchain.
This data can be used to ensure only previously approved parties are part of the supply chain, to find inefficiencies and fraudulent behaviors and to make this information directly accessible to customers who value transparency and CSR. However, the advantages and use cases of Blockchain in the retail industry go beyond the supply chain. The technology rids retail companies of many burdens that are related to customer loyalty programs, warranties and service systems. Costly and unwieldy data storage facilities could be exchanged for distributed blockchain networks that contain traceable and searchable entries about every product’s sales date and location for easy verification of the warranty status. While customers are longer limited to using their loyalty cards within the borders of their country all the while not having to worry about their data privacy.
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