Supply Chain

Deloitte: How retail and CPG can take advantage of blockchain

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Retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) are ‘well-placed’ to take advantage when blockchain technologies move further into the mainstream, according to a new report from Deloitte.

The report, which analysed 16 blockchain use case groups covering potential applications across the retail and CPG markets, argues across its 24 pages that many businesses in the sector are interested in blockchain but are unsure as to where to start.

Rationale is strong; plenty of pain points exist in the supply chain for retailers, from traceability, to compliance, to flexibility. Yet the report warns over potential disruption to long-term customer relationships.

“Blockchain’s power to create disintermediation firmly shifts the power in the relationship away from retailers and towards the consumer,” the report notes. “CPG businesses should be poised to take advantage of this by exploring how blockchain can facilitate direct to consumer opportunities.

“Retailers, meanwhile, must guard against the negative impacts by using new technology to offer a better, more complete service to their customers.”

Practical applications of the technology for consumers, the report argues, range from smart loyalty programmes, to surveys and consumer participation schemes, as well as locating stolen products. When it comes to the non-consumer facing side, Deloitte notes the opportunities familiar with any blockchain for supply chain situation; authenticity, delivery, and fighting against fraud.

“Retailers and consumer businesses are constantly being told that blockchain is the next big thing. 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,” said Steve Larke, Deloitte technology consulting partner in a statement.

“As we enter the ‘age of blockchain’, the retail and CPG sectors are particularly well placed to capitalise on this technology and revolutionise the way many processes are conducted,” added Larke. “Businesses that do not consider how blockchain could help are at risk of falling behind competitors.”

Like a lot of things however, it’s all about getting the right idea in place. Take Shping as an example. In January, speaking to this publication, CEO Gennady Volchek noted the importance of enabling businesses to reward shoppers with smarter and safer shopping choices.

“Our goal for Shping Coin is that it becomes the new token of exchange that brands, retailers, certification bodies and associated authorities can use to incentivise shoopers to contribute, monitor and engage with information about their products before they buy,” said Volchek.

You can read the full report here (pdf).

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