5 retailers and brands utilizing Blockchain Tech in 2022

5 retailers and brands utilizing Blockchain Tech in 2022

From societal development and personal marketing to fraud prevention, supply chain management and payment processing, retailers and brands will continue to find new and innovative ways to leverage blockchain technology in 2022.

While rising inflation and looming fears of recession are hitting retailers hard, the potential that blockchain technology brings to almost every aspect of retail and brand marketing points to an incredible opportunity for multi-location companies ready to venture out.

Luxury brands such as LVMH, Prada and Cartier have been early users of this technology, using the blockchain to crack down on counterfeit goods. Car manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz are following closely. But for brands with multiple locations, the blockchain represents a completely different path towards reliability, sustainability and marketing adaptation. These brands work to create the kind of positive customer experiences that generate brand loyalty without relying on discounts or promotions.

Here’s how five major brands, retailers and restaurant chains are using blockchain technology to streamline operations and cultivate more positive customer interactions in 2022.

1. Walmart

Walmart’s interest in the blockchain centers around supply chain management. The global retail giant is using IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric platform to bring transparency to the supply chain and reduce cases of foodborne illness. Together with IMB, Walmart has developed a traceability system for the food supply to supermarkets, so that the origin of food on store shelves can be traced in a matter of seconds. Certificates of authenticity for certain foods, such as meat products, are uploaded to the blockchain, making it easier to identify where these products are in the event of an outbreak and trace back all the ingredients to the original farms where they were produced. Future iterations of the program are expected to involve tracking other product data, beyond food, as well.

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2. Home Depot

Like Walmart, The Home Depot is also working with IBM on its blockchain project. The reseller is piloting a solution that uses IBM Blockchain technology to track purchases from vendors, and ensure that all inventory is well maintained, in an effort to minimize vendor disputes. When a discrepancy occurs along the supply chain, The Home Depot and its suppliers can refer to records stored in the blockchain to identify where the problem started and resolve the issue immediately. Because blockchain records are permanent and immutable, no one can change records or remove them. As the program expands, The Home Depot believes that the introduction of more vendors will make the system even more efficient.

3. IKEA

IKEA made headlines when they started using smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain to facilitate payments from retailers in Iceland back in 2019. Since then, the company has operated with blockchain on a number of occasions. Most recently, IKEA began combining blockchain technology with augmented reality (AR) to create digital “twins” of certain objects. Consumers who register these household items from IKEA on the blockchain can access details about the production journey, components, materials and carbon footprint of these items. This information can then be stored and shared, allowing consumers to make more informed decisions when buying, selling, recycling or disposing of household goods.

4. Rist Shack

Shack Shack became one of the first fast casual chains with several locations to lean into the blockchain when it launched a new time-limited reward deal back in March. The campaign rewarded customers with a 15% refund paid in Bitcoin when they paid for their orders with the Cash App’s Cash Card and its Cash Boost rewards program. At the time, Shake Shack marketing manager Jay Livingston said that Shake Shack used the campaign as a way to measure customers’ interest in cryptocurrency, and the blockchain more generally.

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5. Starbucks

Starbucks’ interest in the blockchain is unique from any other company on this list, in that it focuses on using technology to create a “new, global digital community” defined by collaboration, experience and shared ownership. In particular, the company is working on plans to create NFT collections and membership supported by the blockchain, with the central focus on “coffee art” and storytelling. Starbucks says that blockchain technology is likely to be multi-chain or chain agnostic.

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