Blog Post #4 : How can True Photos help eCommerce?

Ethan Wu
Numbers Protocol
Published in
5 min readFeb 25, 2021

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Following the global release of Capture App for Android and iOS in late 2020, we have received a fair number of messages regarding the app. We are always happy and grateful for the messages and feedback we receive from the community. This past week, we received an interesting message from a user in Japan inquiring about Capture App and its potential eCommerce use case. Our first few blog posts covered Capture App related material but in light of this message, for this weeks blog post, we will be mixing it up a bit and discussing the question: How can True Photos help eCommerce?

Trust Problem in eCommerce Industry

Technological advancements have digitalized our world and commerce is no exception. Buying items online, otherwise known as eCommerce, is a trend that we are all familiar with as we buy on platforms such as Amazon and informal platforms such as Craigslist. With COVID-19 pandemic, eCommerce has become more relevant as sheltering in place orders increases the difficulty of in-person shopping.

Trust between customer and supplier is at the center of all purchasing agreements. The online sphere poses greater challenges because consumers do not have the benefit of being able to physically interact with the products. At the same time suppliers, especially lesser known ones, run into the issue of not being able to demonstrate trustworthiness to prospective customers.

This lack of trust between customers and suppliers result in time consuming efforts to verify if the supplier and product is trustworthy. Even after all the time spent, customers often are unsatisfied or in extreme cases sold fraudulent items.

So what can be done to resolve the trust issues in eCommerce?

Blockchain as a Solution

The key features of the Blockchain are 1) Transparency 2) Immutability 3) Traceability. When it comes to buying and selling products, these are the exact qualities we are looking for.

As a consumer we care about factors such as where an item was made, how it was made, whether or not the item is what it says it is. Blockchain when employed in eCommerce can help to clarify these factors for consumers and increase the overall trust between customers and suppliers.

Capture App eCommerce Use Case

The best way to explain Capture App’s eCommerce use case is with an example. Imagine the following scenario. I am a farmer trying to sell my vegetables online. My biggest advantage is I grow my vegetables without using pesticides and any other chemicals. In normal scenarios, it would be impossible for my prospective customers to know that my vegetables are grown in the manner that I say it is grown. This lack of trust results in me losing potential business due to my vegetables being unable to leverage their competitive advantage.

But what if there was a way?

While I am growing my vegetables, I can use Capture App to take photos of my farming process (from seed to fully grown). The photos taken with Capture have time, location and owner recorded. A certificate of authenticity is produced for every image and its integrity is preserved through Blockchain storage. This is important because now when a customer comes to buy my vegetables they can view the full transparent record of my vegetables growing. They can see the quality of the produce, how they were grown (without pesticides) and where they are grown (some products are advertised based on location such as California-grown avocados). They can trust that the record is true because each photo has a certificate of authenticity that highlights key information such as time and location as well as the transparency and immutability brought by the blockchain.

Capture App Certificate of Authenticity Sharing Flow

Capture App Certificate of Authenticity Flow (1) Select three dot icon in Capture (2) Select View Blockchain Certificate (3) Navigate to Make Certificate Public
(4) World icon indicating certificate has been made public (5) Generate Public QR Code (6) Shareable QR code now available to download & share

While taking picture with ownership and context preserved is nice, it is not very useful if it cannot be shared outside of Capture App. We addressed this issue by making it possible to share each Capture’s certificate of authenticity. Simply click on the three dot icon in your Capture and select View Blockchain Certificate. Then click on Make Certificate Public and click Certificate QR Code to generate a public QR code to share for prospective customers.

Announcing eCommerce Partnership with ShowHue

Now that we have covered how true photos can help eCommerce, it is a good time to share our exciting partnership with ShowHue, an up and coming startup based in Taipei. ShowHue eCommerce tool for sellers leverages AI to painlessly create high quality product photos in seconds. Understanding the importance of consumer-seller trust ShowHue tool integrates our Seal and Trace protocols, the very same that are in Capture App. Together, we hope to change the way eCommerce operates by making selling products online a more efficient and trustworthy process.

Dashboard setup demonstrating ShowHue x Numbers partnership. Seal & Trace Protocols certify product photos authenticity. Together changing the way we do eCommerce

ShowHue Dashboard makes it possible for sellers to create high quality product photos with integrity with just a few clicks. Sellers upload their product photos and make them professional quality with ShowHue’s one-click AI powered photo enhancement solution. Sellers can generate certificate of authenticity for their product photo and make them viewable for potential consumers by leveraging our Seal and Trace protocols which registers the asset on the blockchain and generates scannable public QR code watermark. ShowHue Dashboard wraps this process by syncing with eCommerce platforms such as Shopify to upload quality product photos with integrity.

Let us know what you think?

What are your thoughts on Capture as a solution to trust in eCommerce? We would love to know your thoughts!

If you haven’t downloaded Capture App consider downloading on Android and iOS and letting us know what you think. We appreciate any and all feedback :) Happy Capturing!

Here at Numbers we are firm believers in open source projects and opening up innovation to everyone. If you are interested, Capture App project is open source and available for the public to view and contribute. Check it out!

Also make sure to check out ShowHue and their AI-powered eCommerce tool for sellers.

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Ethan Wu
Numbers Protocol

Recent M.S Graduate and Numbers Software Developer & Developer Relations/Community Manager