With the holiday season now officially in full-swing, millions across the globe are actively searching the web for potential gifts, and treating themselves to holiday purchases to celebrate the festivities and the end of another working year.
According to Forbes, e-commerce growth during the holiday season surpasses similar trends in stores. Ahead of 2016, predictions assumed a 3.6% increase in store sales during the holiday season, whereas online stores faced an increase in the double-digits.
With online purchases rapidly on the rise, especially during the holiday season, it’s important to consider how our current framework could be vastly upgraded by emerging technologies.
Blockchain technology is a quintessential example of how holiday shopping could be an entirely revitalized experience in a few years’ time.
Blockchain’s Impact on Shipping
It’s no secret that blockchain technology has the potential to greatly improve the supply chain industry.
In the current system, intermediaries are used in a redundant fashion, and improper communication between members of the supply chain often leads to internal competition fueled by self-interest and human error.
Blockchain technology has the potential to vastly improve this system by creating a shared database that allows for better cooperation between members of the chain.
Due to blockchain’s open and transparent nature, members of the supply chain benefit from sharing information with one another, as it eliminates redundancy, lowers costs and decreases the risk of error.
As a consumer during the holiday period, this means you’d theoretically benefit from a better delivery system which could make lost and delayed deliveries a thing of the past.
Blockchain Technology and Product Data
Most physical stores benefit from employees who are available to walk consumers through purchases and eliminate consumer fears in order to make a sale.
In this exchange, the consumer benefits from having a resource that is able to provide them information about the product they’re looking for.
In the online world, this takes the form of product data. Products are categorized on websites and contain descriptive information that is able to help consumers determine if the product is right for them.
Additionally, Amazon and other leading web retailers make suggestions to their users about products they might be interested in. Through analyzing the search trends of their users, online stores are able to help find the exact item their customers are searching for.
Product data is, however, a limited system. While constantly being developed, it is not yet at a comparative state to the experience one would have in a physical store.
As the online commerce industry continues to grow, overcoming this obstacle will result in further transition to consumers purchasing products online.
Implementation of blockchain technology in this field could allow for better product data and consumer behaviour tracking.
By storing information on a public ledger, consumer data would be easier to verify. This would eliminate the risk of fraud, which is one of the biggest threats to the integrity of product data.
Predicting human behaviour is reliant on accuracy, which is one of blockchain’s strongest offerings.
Furthermore, the usage of a blockchain-based system would allow for retailers to corroborate information and better serve consumers on a global scale.
What this means for you as a holiday shopper, is that you could benefit from a system where websites are less inherently mechanical, and instead boast a system that feels human in its approach to understanding your needs.
The future of holiday shopping
As holiday shopping online continues to be one of the industry’s most consistent growing trends, its future depends on the improvement of existing systems.
Blockchain technology is one such avenue to unlocking the full potential of e-commerce and ensuring that customers, and corporations, are better able to communicate in the exchange of goods and services.
Additionally, this emerging technology could greatly impact product data and the supply chain system. As a result, this would ensure a better system of delivery and help predict consumer needs and behaviour to enhance service offerings.
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By: Jack Filiba