Blockchain technology was designed for peer-to-peer transactions in secure, transparent and decentralised networks. There are many retail companies using blockchain technology in creative ways to disrupt the retail industry and to realise the primary benefits of reduced costs, faster transactions (inc payments), increased transparency and improved security.
It’s well documented that large retail companies like Walmart, Carrefour, Nestle & Alibaba are deploying blockchain applications across their retail supply chain, perhaps faciliated by the work IBM & Maersk are doing in the International container shipping arena.
Add Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple into the mix and we start to see that blockchain technology within retail is moving towards becoming a reality. However, one would expect these tech giants to be leading the way and given their vast resources, is the rest of the retail industry going to be able to compete? The answer will be in the way retail blockchain companies develop and bring their applications to market.
Retail Blockchain Articles
I’ve written about blockchain, how it will disrupt retail and impact social media, help retail recruitment & retail supply chain plus how it will change eCommerce marketplaces so there is plenty of background reading on this subject via those articles.
Retail Blockchain Companies
Dedicated retail blockchain companies are without doubt in their nascent stage and are small in number, however, Amazon, Apple, Google & Facebook all had humble beginnings too.
The following list of companies use blockchain technology for applications that could be used in retail. As you can see, it is a small list at present but we will endeavour to keep it up-to-date as more companies emerge and blockchain applications within retail develop.
OpenBazaar is a free eCommerce marketplace that connects buyers & sellers utilising blockchain technology. There are no fees and the platform is decentralised. Each user contributes to the network equally and is in control of their own store and private data. Buyers & Sellers are protected by various features, including reviews, a multi-signature escrow payment system and independent moderators.
OpenBazaar was one of the first blockchain eCommerce marketplace and is probably the one closest to the true decentralised peer-to-peer platforms.
SOMA is an eCommerce marketplace that combines peer-to-peer buying & selling with authenticated provenance and social media. The P2P aspect enables a more personal experience between parties and the use of blockchain technology enables proof of ownership and authentication of origin.
SOMA’s Interactive Item Card is a patent-pending blockchain architecture that represents an item and its history in a digital form. SOMA records transactions immutably on a blockchain, transferring ownership as part of the item’s history.
Ecoinmerce is another eCommerce marketplace platform with a social media twist and built utilising blockchain technology and tokens. Users retain ownership of their assets (stores, product pages, brands etc) with data recorded on a blockchain, so they can build, buy, sell or sublet their digital assets however they wish.
The Ecoinmerce token is used to reward anybody who buys and sells products on the platform or shares Ecoinmerce info on social media to get more users. Ecoinmerce allow users to earn commission for as long as referrals keep spending.
GAMB is a decentralised eCommerce marketplace built using blockchain technology. GAMB is an abbreviation of the Global Alliance of Merchants on the Blockchain. Merchant Alliance members (token holders) propose rules and regulations which once approved, can be programmed into smart contracts, so that transparency, trust and sustainability are guaranteed.
GAMB is focussed on the merchants with platform features, functionality and fee structures being controlled by merchants themselves in a decentralised autonomous organization (DAO).
Bleexy creates a fast, efficient and inexpensive way to build dynamic catalogues, record product provenance and secure the rights to sell and distribute user generated content. Bleexy also unifies product data created by retailers with information provided by suppliers and rich content generated by consumers.
The Bleexy Marketplace connects suppliers, brands, retail companies, content providers and retail consumers with the aim of combining all product information into one cohesive data source. It’s not clear how Bleexy utilises blockchain technology other than a database resource.
CyberMiles aims to build a smart contract platform, similar to Ethereum but focussed on facilitating eCommerce transactions. The blockchain platform will be decentralised, deliver a fair share of network rewards & incentives. The aim is to deliver a new generation of eCommerce networks that are more affordable for buyers and deliver and more revenue streams for sellers, such as monetising data, supply chain financing and consumer loans.
CyberMiles is a blockchain technology platform that enables developers to build application on, rather than a marketplace itself.
Aventus is a ticketing platform built on an ethereum blockchain to allow agents, retailers & resellers to work together in a controlled, secure and transparent environment. It is designed in modular form to enable ticketing organisations to exert more control over their inventory and processes, engage more directly with others within the supply chain and with consumers, exploring new ways of monetisation.
Aventus is designed to support and facilitate event organisers and ticket holders, giving them the tools to set controls around how their tickets are transacted and resold.
Steemit is an incentivised blockchain-based content platform built on the steem blockchain. It supports community building and social interaction with cryptocurrency rewards. Steem combines concepts from social media with lessons learned from building cryptocurrencies and their communities.
Collectively, user-generated content has created $billions for social media companies, and very little for the people who created the content. Steemit aims to address this imbalance by incentivising & rewarding content creators.
Recruiting the right candidate can be an administrative headache, challenging, time consuming and costly for all involved. The recruitment process is often frustrating for both candidates and employers but it needn’t be like this. APPII was featured in our article on recruitment within retail and builds on the principle of a Digital CV.
APPII deliver authenticated CVs for individuals, verified by educators and former employers, saving substantial hours of admininstration, reducing costs, time and improving accuracy and trust, making the recruitment process faster and significantly more efficient.
Retraced uses blockchain technology to record data from the full value chain of fashion brands utilising their platform, and as such, preserving transparency & traceability in the supply chain. Consumers can track the extent to which their consumer behaviour impacts the environment and the lives of the people involved with a particular product.
Retraced removes the invisibility cloak from the fashion industry by providing complete transparency of provenance, sustainability, environmental impact and ethical production.
Every product has a story and it’s Project Provenance’s aim to make this transparent for all to see by enabling brands to communicate the origin and impact of their products.
Provenance is a digital platform that utilises blockchain technology to empower brands to take steps toward greater transparency. Companies using Project Provenance gather product information and the full supply chain data to reveal its complete history in a transparent and verified way, leaving competitors hiding behind opaque supply chains, and customer to make an informed buying decision.
Authoreon claims to be the world’s first machine-readable optical label on a blockchain, enabling the certification, authorisation, authentication and verification of in/tangible identities and assets.
The Authoreon optical scan technology allows original products to be verified against counterfeits, especially important in luxury fashion, pharmaceutical and many other retail sectors. Authoreon also helps to authenticate retailer verification tasks, supply chain certification, product identity and ownership authentication, making this one of the best retail blockchain companies so far.
Retail Blockchain Companies to Watch in 2021
These are some of the retail blockchain companies to watch this year.