The potential benefits of blockchain in the e-commerce sector can be summed up in three words: efficiency, security, and transparency.
Digital retailers oversee countless moving parts to run a successful operation. Blockchain could execute tasks that are often handled by humans, like refunding and processing chargebacks.
The global economy has been a blessing, but it’s also complicated the supply chains that digital retailers depend on. Blockchain ledgers let multiple parties update a shared record remotely and in real time.
Last but not least, blockchain could bring a new level of security to retailers in dire need. Customers who have their data stolen from a retailer’s site are unlikely to shop there again. The need for decentralized security couldn’t be greater.
Here’s what experts have to say.
1. Dejan Roljic, CEO of Eligma
“The same question could be asked about the Internet. Not only has it transformed commerce into e-commerce, but our lives as a whole. We live in an internet world today, and, in Eligma’s opinion, the next major step in global technological development will be its blockchain dimension, including in eCommerce.
We regard blockchain as a useful tool that will enable simple but safe buying and selling (e.g. by means of blockchain escrows) not only to big commerce entities, but also to all of those who would like to occasionally sell or buy second-hand goods from the comfort of their homes.”
2. Payson Johnston, CEO and Co-Founder of Crowdz
“The main benefit that blockchain brings to e-commerce is the speed with which documentation flows and monetary transfers can take place. It is surprising to many to learn that much of the supporting operations of online commerce continue to depend on old-style methods like paper, fax, email, and electronic document interchange (EDI) that slow commercial operations to a crawl. The result is that completing these activities can require days or even weeks.
More startling to many is that only a minority of commercial transactions worldwide are even online. Estimates indicate that more than 70 percent of all commercial trade today is still not digitized. It is almost as if the Internet didn’t even exist in a large plurality of these transactions and, even where it is used, it is used highly inefficiently.
With the innate digitization, instantaneous transfers of data and monetary value, and ironclad security, blockchain can make e-commerce—and all commerce—orders of magnitude more lucrative and efficient than it is today.”
3. Monica Eaton-Cardone, Co-founder and COO of Chargebacks911
“The operative word with blockchain technology is “efficiency.” The system allows businesses to conduct activities faster, while using fewer resources. For example, assume a customer decides to dispute a transaction using a chargeback. You need to access detailed customer information in order to respond, and processing the necessary transaction data can be done with a fraction of the time and manpower if you’re using a blockchain system.”
4. Justas Pikelis, Co-founder of Monetha
“The obvious benefit would be accessible, fast, and inexpensive payments – that’s what cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have set out to achieve.”
5. Tanya Yablonskaya, E-commerce Industry Analyst at ScienceSoft
“Traditionally, there is one central authority in e-commerce that processes and stores customer data. For companies, this means the risk of huge data loss in case of a hacker attack against a unified database.
Blockchain brings a revolutionary way to information processing when each node (participant) in the network stores its own copy of the records. Such decentralized information storing provides for the security of payment transactions. In addition, it eliminates the need for intermediaries in the payment process, meaning simplified processing, faster transactions and no transaction fees.”
6. Susan Akbarpour, CEO and Co-founder of Mavatar Technologies
“The number one benefit that blockchain brings to e-commerce is the ability to automate systems, removing middlemen and driving down prices. From payment processing to affiliate advertising to data management, e-commerce operators need to rely on a variety of real influencers and channel partners, not ineffective middlemen and unnecessary layers.
The real influencers should be able to collaborate and take a cut of value they create together in such a cross-pollinated ecosystem. Blockchain’s automated nature removes the need for middlemen and the fees they incur, meaning improving bottom lines.”
7. Rob Maille, Head of Strategy and Customer Experience and Co-founder of CommerceCX
“Its biggest benefit is being the ledger of things – every transaction is recorded, and this history cannot be altered. The ledger is the record of events around an asset, with every node helping accumulate information about it. This all occurs in a decentralized way to avoid forged entries, leading to transparency, which instills trust.
We want to know where the meal on the table came from, or exactly where our coffee beans came from, or how our clothes/tools/machinery were put together from start to finish. Essentially, [blockchain] is the best way, currently, to meet changing user/consumer preferences.”
8. Julian Kahlon, CEO and Founder of Project Verte
“The number one benefit blockchain brings to e-commerce is accuracy. When data is held on a distributed ledger, information about products is visible to every party. More knowledge means a better understanding of what a product is, what it’s made of and where it comes from. This kind of accuracy can build customer trust, lower return rates and make e-commerce operations more efficient.”
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