The global Grocery market is in the midst of significant and fundamental transformation. Over the past few weeks, a number of big announcements have rocket the world of retail:
- Amazon entered the US and UK bricks and mortar grocery markets, when it purchased Whole foods and quickly integrated Amazon and Whole foods
- Krogers announced a joint venture with online UK retailer Ocado
- Tesco acquired the wholesaler booker
- Asda is to merge with Sainsburys Argos in the UK, with global giant Walmart holding a significant shareholding in the new group (Subject to CMA review)
- Tesco has agreed a “strategic alliance” with Carrefour for its buying and sourcing
These are a few of the global transformational deals which are reshaping the Retail landscape at a pace we have never seen in history.
One area which I believe is a major challenge to all these new relationships is “trust” – Retailers have historically lacked trust in each other and this has led to a lack of data sharing and partnerships.
Blockchain technology can help the Retailers to develop trust in a “trustless” world.
One of the main benefits of blockchain technology, is to help share data with parties who do not fully trust each other.
The basic premis of an enterprise blockchain is to share agreed data, with agreed parties in a secure, and transparent way. The data shared is agreed by all parties (via consensus) and these are then uploaded to the blockchain, where all parties can see the agreed data in near real time.
Lets look at the Carrefour-Tesco strategic alliance – Tesco and Carrefour have set up a new team to look at the way they can buy centrally, but retain confidentiality. This team should look to use Blockchain technology as their joint database. This can then use data from both existing retailer systems and enter that onto the blockchain, where all parties will have the same copy of the data. Changes, analysis and decisions can then be made using the blockchain data, and the actions can then be entered into the blockchain (automatically via Smart contracts or manually).
All parties (including suppliers if needed) can then see this information in real time and using the consensus agrements, take the actions necessary for the benefit of both retaulers.
There are many more benefits to be gained from Blockchain technology which can then be achieved