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China: Blockchain adoption in Retail 中国:零售业采用区块链

Does blockchain have its place in the huge China retail market? 区块链在庞大的中国零售市场中是否占有一席之地?

China recently reported zero new COVID-19 cases, though that may slightly change as there have been cases brought back by overseas returnees. This marks a potential turning point in the global fight against this pandemic and paves the way to revive an economy crash, after two months of travel restrictions and quarantines across the world.

During the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in China, cities across the country imposed strict lockdown policies to contain the virus outbreak. The dramatic decrease in foot traffic led to many retail businesses struggling to stay in operation. In China, retail sales declined by 20.5% from January to February 2020. However, traffic in the major shopping districts of several upper-tier cities in China increased by 30% during the weekend of March 14.

As China’s consumers remain wary of potentially sparking another outbreak, businesses are rolling out new promotions and discounts, hoping to incentivize shopping.

For the past decade, China has become the leading innovator in e-commerce and retail spheres. Across China, grocery stores, shopping malls, supermarkets, hypermarkets and convenience stores are getting a digital upgrade designed to usher in the next generation of shopping experience.

For years, the physical sales network and the digital networks were managed separately by companies when it came to a database, customer relationship, loyalty program, transactions and logistics. Therefore, it is challenging for businesses to follow the customers through multiple contact points and devices and provide consumers with seamlessly integrated shopping experience across channels as well as personalized recommendations.

Data is the most important element in redefining retail. With big data, multi-dimensional digital marketing can help increase the return on investment for advertisements as well as the conversion rate of the online and offline merchants. Chinese consumers are becoming more selective in the choice of their products, and are willing to pay more for quality.

Higher product safety and more precise tracking are now part of consumer demand. Thus blockchain can introduce the new concept of product tracking right at stores.

Blockchain in Retail

Although the China government is not acceptive with blockchain or cryptocurrency back in 2018, the circumstances are different today. The tides have turned. Facebook’s new proposal for a digital blockchain currency called the Libra project pushed China to accelerated the release date of its own state cryptocurrency.

Blockchain technology allows retailers to trace the origin of products and new inventory management systems and these factors are important to prevent fraud, counterfeit products, and questionable ethical practices. Blockchain develops a physical-digital link between goods and their digital identities on a blockchain, identifying the products through a cryptographic seal or hash that is connected to the individual product. In addition to improving the supply chain and combating counterfeit goods, blockchain technology is also revolutionizing the way consumers shop online or make payment.

World’s biggest supermarket, Walmart launched its first Blockchain Traceability Platform in China, allowing its consumers to acquire more knowledge on products, showing the sources of goods, logistics and testing results, thus empowering suppliers to better safeguard food safety.

By the end of 2020, Walmart China’s new blockchain system will be able to track about half of the total packaged fresh meat, 40% of packaged vegetables and 12.5% of seafood.

By scanning the products, consumers can acquire a large amount of information, which is immutable once the data are written on the blockchain.

China setting the trend

The rest of the world has always been following China for its on-going and amazing innovations in retail and commerce. Blockchain in retail is looking great in the future with China supporting this initiative. It is true that China is aiming for technology supremacy, pumping billions into emerging industries from biotech to AI. Unlike robotics, quantum computing and 5G communications, the consequences of China’s blockchain binge are still unclear. Blockchain technology is still considered to be in its infancy and the use cases are still in the process of being understood.

Retail companies should constantly keep updated with new technologies, new trends, and consumer insights to adapt to these changes and succeed in bringing customers an exceptionally convenient and exciting commerce experience.

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中国:零售业采用区块链

中国最近报告了零例新的2019新型冠状病毒病例,不过这可能略有变化,因为有一些病例是由海外归国者带回的。这标志着全球抗击这一流行病的一个潜在转折点,并为在全球范围内实施两个月的旅行限制和隔离措施后重振经济崩溃铺平了道路。

在中国爆发2019新型冠状病毒的高峰期,全国各地的城市都实施了严格的封锁政策来控制病毒的爆发。行人流量的急剧减少导致许多零售企业难以继续运营。在中国,零售额从2020年1月到2月下降了20.5%。然而,在3月14日的周末,中国多个高端城市的主要购物区的交通量增加了30%。

由于中国消费者仍对可能引发另一场疫情保持警惕,企业纷纷推出新的促销和折扣活动,希望以此刺激购物。

在过去的十年里,中国已经成为电子商务和零售领域的领先创新者。在中国,杂货店、购物中心、超市、大型超市和便利店都在进行数字化升级,旨在引领下一代购物体验。

多年来,当涉及到数据库、客户关系、忠诚度计划、交易和物流时,实体销售网络和数字网络是由公司分别管理的。因此,企业很难通过多个联系点和设备追溯客户,为消费者提供跨渠道无缝集成的购物体验和个性化建议。

数据是重新定义零售业最重要的元素。借助大数据,多维数字营销有助于提高广告的投资回报率以及线上线下商家的转化率。中国消费者对产品的选择越来越挑剔,愿意为质量付出更高的价钱。更高的产品安全性和更精确的追溯现在是消费者需求的一部分。因此,区块链可以在商店引入新的产品追溯概念。

在零售业中使用区块链

尽管中国政府在2018年还没有接受区块链或加密货币,但今日的情况已有所不同。脸书(Facebook) 数字区块链货币(Libra)项目的新提议推动中国加快了自己国家加密货币的发行日期。区块链技术允许零售商追溯产品来源和新的库存管理系统,这些因素对于防止欺诈、假冒产品和可疑的道德行为非常重要。区块链在商品与其在区块链上的数字身份之间建立物理数字链接,通过连接到单个产品的加密印章或散列来识别产品。除了改善供应链和打击假冒商品外,区块链技术还正在彻底改变消费者在线购物或支付的方式。

作为全球最大的超市,沃尔玛在中国推出了首个区块链追溯平台,让消费者获得更多的产品知识,展示商品来源、物流和检测结果,从而使供应商能够更好地保障食品安全。到2020年底,沃尔玛中国新的区块链系统将能够追溯约一半的包装鲜肉、40%的包装蔬菜和12.5%的海鲜。通过扫描产品,消费者可以获得大量的信息,一旦数据写入区块链,这些信息是不可变的。

中国引领潮流

世界其他国家一直在关注中国在零售和商业领域持续不断的惊人创新。在中国的支持下,零售业的区块链前景十分看好。诚然,中国的目标是技术至上,向新兴产业(从生物技术到人工智能)注入数十亿美元。与机器人、量子计算和5G通信不同,中国区块链热潮的后果仍是个迷。区块链技术仍被认为处于初级阶段,用例仍在被理解的过程中。零售公司应不断更新新技术、新趋势和消费者洞察力,以适应这些变化,并成功地为客户带来异常便利和令人兴奋的商业体验。

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