VERTICAL 2Retail & Consumer Goods
During the first generation of the Internet, retailers collected consumer data to drive business. But when these firms get hacked, it’s the consumers who bear much of the burden of stolen credit card and bank account information.
All of this is because we are asking hammer salesmen at Home Depot to store the same personal information as a bank in order to give a consumer some rewards points. Blockchains offer a powerful authentication tool to consumers, adding a new type of digital consent which could radically change the consumer-retailer relationship. But what does this new relationship between consumer and retailer look like? What are the implications for the infrastructure we’re currently relying on for the consumer-retailer relationship?
Blockchains could make the etail experience more private and secure for the user while also offering a richer experience. Consider this: you are walking down the street, your mobile device advises you that the dress you have been looking at is available at the Gap. Walk into the store and the dress, in your size, is waiting for you. After trying it on, you scan it and the payment is complete. But you’ve got other things to do, so the dress finds its way to your house before you get home. In addition to increasing operational efficiencies and environmental monitoring, retailers will be able to personalize products and services to identify customers as they pass by based on their location, demographics, known interests, and purchasing history – provided that those customers opened their personal data to retailers on the blockchain. The world of big data in retail is giving way to the world of bigger, smaller, and more personalized data — with informed consent. How can companies that sell to consumers survive and thrive in this new world?