Blockchain Could Revolutionize Retailers’ Operations Says New Study

June 6, 2018
Businesses that do not consider how blockchain could help are at risk of falling behind competitors.

The retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry is well placed to take advantage of blockchain opportunities which could revolutionize their operations and processes, according to findings from a new Deloitte report.

The research, "New tech on the block", aims identify where blockchain could have the greatest impact within the retail and CPG industry.

The numerous business applications for blockchain in these sectors can be categorized by their impact on the consumer, the supply chain, and payments and contracts. 

“Retailers and consumer businesses are constantly being told that blockchain is the next big thing,” Steve Larke, technology consulting partner at Deloitte. “However, it is crucial for decision-makers to understand which areas of the value chain will benefit most from the new technology, and how easy it is to implement.

“It is technology that has the ability to track, trace, and authenticate products, record contracts and transactions and guarantee the movement of information. Significantly, the benefits can then be passed on to the consumer in the form of savings, increased trust, and safer, higher-quality products.

Businesses that do not consider how blockchain could help are at risk of falling behind competitors, said Larke.

Out of the Blocks, Not a Stumbling Block
The research identifies various blockchain use cases for the industries and ranks these cases based on their impact and complexity. A ‘know your supplier’ solution which would allow businesses to store information about their suppliers and seamlessly execute payments and contracts at the point of fulfillment, has been identified as the number one opportunity for businesses.

Other blockchain cases are harder to implement but could equally carry huge value opportunities, for example, a ‘Connected Supply Chain’, could provide a seamless end-to-end ledger from manufacturing to fulfillment, whilst an ‘Authenticity & Provenance’ solution, could verify a product’s genuineness, protecting businesses and consumers from counterfeiting.

Larke added: “Trialling projects and exploring opportunities will be important in order to determine the complexity of implementation. Projects that offer greater value relative to investment in the short-term will obviously be more attractive to business decision makers. Without question, there are some areas that will see rapid value gains based on relatively simple implementation."

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