Since the dawn of the internet, businesses have faced the challenges of trying to integrate themselves into the digital world. Traditionally customer involvement was not present within large corporations where their opinions were considered law.
Blockchain technology is shifting the market to promote more customer involvement. Blockchain refers to a decentralised platform where transactions are made via cryptocurrency and all of the records are recorded in a chronological order for the public to view.
The major fact to note about blockchain is that anyone can view the economic transactions and form their opinion based around that. This could sprout a new era of customer involvement with companies and businesses if they join the emerging trend.
The cryptocurrency craze over the past couple of years has sparked an interest in all things crypto and how they can benefit businesses. The introduction of blockchain technology can shape the future of businesses in the following ways.
A new avenue for the sharing economy
The sharing economy has been an emerging trend that has been adopted on an international level. When you hear the term sharing economy, two brands that should spring to mind are Airbnb and Uber. How these services work is that the users of the service are the main contributors to help it survive.
These two services have taken the world by storm especially when promoting the decentralisation of businesses – meaning that organisations don’t have to rely on physical assets or offices to conduct business.
Although the concept has been successful in the past it doesn’t mean that it is free of flaws. The main problem that the sharing economy faces now is that value isn’t redistributed equally between those who conduct the service and those that receive it. There’s a third party in the middle that is taking a percentage of the profits for themselves rather than to feed it back into the system.
Having blockchain technology implemented instead could revolutionise the sharing economy. The blockchain would further decentralise the operations by removing a centralised server and having the business being conducting on a peer-to-peer network. Removing the centralised server translates to removing the middle man altogether, resulting in more profits for those carrying out the service and greater benefits for those that use it.
Experty, a new consultation platform does exactly this. Advice seekers get the link from an expert’s profile page across their many platforms and add it to their app. They are then able to call the expert and are charged as per their rate per minute. The transaction is done over a blockchain where both parties are able to send and receive the cryptocurrency payment in real time.
This type of peer-to-peer network is constructed by the community that uses the service rather than a corporation pulling all the strings. Implementing blockchain technology to businesses will further promote the customer involvement that the sharing economy has to offer.
Power to the people
As previously mentioned, blockchain implementation will promote the involvement of the consumer base but it will also empower them to make purchasing and selling options.
In today’s world we have an abundance of real-time data available to us; however the majority of that valuable information is kept by large corporations. Implementing blockchain technology would give power to the consumer base as the information that you produce essentially is yours to use and sell.
An example of the value of user generated data would be the research that is currently going into self-driving cars. For corporations to build them successfully they need data such as traffic and weather conditions, power options and other pieces of valuable information. On top of that, the car would produce its own set of data including battery life, maintenance reports, estimated travel times, etc. All this data is very valuable to advertisers that would pay a large sum to get access to it.
Blockchain would provide an avenue where this data can be easily purchased and sold to those who need it. Users of services that generate their own data could sell it to advertisers and make a profit off simply using a service. Imagine using an Uber related service and all the data you generate over the course of a year could compensate for you using the service.
The promotion of product transparency
The average consumer in today’s age wants to know as much as they can about a product or service before they purchase it. Blogs and reviews have promoted this trend even further where people are now willing to pay more for a product that guarantees transparency.
Blockchain would make the process even more transparent as businesses are able to track all of the information related to a product throughout its lifecycle. Companies are then able to relay this data to their consumers and promote brand trust and loyalty.
Blockchain encourages business and companies to promote transparency throughout all of their procedures. When this strategy starts to become more integrated within businesses, it could reshape the way that we see ethical standards and what information should be told to the public.
The implementation of blockchain is already showing a lot of promise. It’s all about bringing power to the people and reshaping the sharing economy to further benefit those who are involved.
This new strategy could spell the end of unethical corporations who are unwilling to share their information with their consumer base which can further promote ethics in the corporate world.
Executive Editor at Best in Australia. Mike has spent over a decade covering news related to business leaders and entrepreneurs around Australia and across the world.