Blockchain and E-Commerce
Blockchain Technology is probably famous because of the Cryptocurrencies. But this technology has many other applications that stretch beyond Bitcoin, Ethereum and other virtual coins. The digital currencies may have a fixed or fluctuating value depending on the exchange rates. But the Blockchain technology is much more valuable as a technological platform. The blockchain technology has the potential to change the business scenario of today.
Initially, the goal of the developers was to come up with a system which was tamper proof. Timestamps could not be altered or backdated. This revolutionary idea was conceptualized in the year 2008. This was when the cryptocurrencies originated. Since then, the craze behind the blockchain technology has caught on.
As the name blockchain suggests, it is a collection of blocks linked to each other in the form of a chain. Each block stores information that is cryptographically secured. Every new transaction is saved in a fresh block and linked to the original chain of transactions. All the data can be viewed by accessing the blockchain network. The blockchain works on the system of recording transactions in a publicly distributed ledger. Since the information can be accessed from any node in the network, there is complete transparency in all the transactions. Any changes to the existing blocks can be easily tracked. This functionality offers a higher level of cybersecurity.
( Read more details :- What is Blockchain Technology? )
E-commerce and Blockchain
Business and Commerce has seen many changes since the dawn of the internet age. The internet has made it possible to shop for goods and services while sitting in the comfort of your home (or in other words E-commerce). Emerging technologies like Fintech has made it possible for users to make online payment for their purchases. These are all instances of how E-commerce has adapted to the newer versions of the technology. As of now, many new businesses are looking for ways to incorporate the revolutionary blockchain application development with E-commerce websites.
Below are some of the way through which blockchain can redefine E-commerce:-
1. Database Management
E-commerce for a layperson will seem to be all about buying products online. But from a business point of view, E-commerce websites deal with multiple parties like dealers and distributors, buyers and sellers, and other market intermediaries. In addition to this information, E-commerce businesses also have to maintain an exhaustive data about the different products being offered through them. This information will include the specifications of the product and its features. Handling and managing this data can be a meticulous exercise.
Blockchain offers innovative solutions to tackle this issue. With the help of a blockchain network, any E-commerce business can create a much more efficient database. Creating and handling the data through such a network makes it much more cost effective. All the information about the products, dealers, and customers can be recorded and managed through the blockchain network. Moreover, since the network is highly transparent, the data cannot be altered or tampered with. Blockchain offers a one-step solution for a secure and low-cost database which can be easily monitored.
2. Inventory Management
It is necessary for any E-commerce business to have an efficient inventory management system. E-commerce websites typically don’t have to deal with storage costs. But they still have to ensure that the products offered through them are neither out of trend or out of stock. Inventory management deals with record keeping for all of the products listed for sale. A database built with the blockchain can ease the process of inventory management. Retailers can access the blockchain network for the specifics about the products currently available for delivery, a list of goods that are out of stock and need to be replenished. This way E-commerce websites will not lose out on valuable customers because a product is not in stock.
3. Smart Contracts
Smart contracts is an astounding add-on feature on the Blockchain Technology. Smart contracts are pre-coded programs on the blockchain that operate within the defined parameters. Smart contracts can be used for coding a set of pre-decided rules that match the service level agreements of the E-commerce enterprise. This can prompt automatically generated responses and actions and eliminate the need for human intervention. This system can be functional on its own. This impact can drastically reduce costs. Smart contracts offer the dual benefits of being cost effective for the enterprise as well as improve the response time which is very valuable for any business
4. Online Receipts and Warranties
Earlier, E-commerce websites used to send the receipts and warranties along with the product in hard copy. Then the digital trend kicked off and it was possible to share this information through online mediums. But now, the blockchain technology takes it a notch above. All the receipts and warranties can be saved online in the cryptographically secure blocks in a network. Users can access these forms simply by gaining access to the retailer’s network. This makes it easier for both the buyers to get the information for their claims and warranties and also to validate the claims for proof of ownership
5. Supply Chain Management
E-commerce businesses have to deal with information about the logistics when it comes to product delivery. This is done with the help of a Supply Chain. A Blockchain network can be used to handle the supply chain. Building a network to track the shipment of individual products can be done by using Blockchain technology. The transit of the product from the manufacturer to the retailers, and then from the retailers to the shipping company can be monitored through the blockchain. Each party can update the information on the number of goods received or dispatched, the value of goods being transited, along with any other additional information. Every party can keep a track of this movement on a real tie basis.
Using the blockchain network for supply chain management will not only make the process much more accurate but also ensure that no products are interchanged or substituted. Blockchain can the ability to improve the reliability of data when it comes to product logistics in E-commerce.