Web3 For E-Commerce: Resetting The Status Quo


Esther Kestenbaum Prozan is chief revenue officer of ecommerce fulfillment software platform Flowspace.

While e-commerce sales in the U.S. are projected to top $1 trillion in 2022, they still only account for 13% of total retail sales. The e-commerce revolution has only just begun, and it’s gaining momentum at the same time that Web3 ushers in the era of an open, decentralized internet. As the two converge, we’ll soon see the emergence of nonexclusive, interconnected systems, linked by software, that enable any online brand or seller to plug in and power their business.

No longer beholden to monolithic platforms that control (and throttle) sales channels, customer data, operations and infrastructure, Web3 will empower brands to activate the ecommerce systems and solutions best suited to their needs.

Web3 For Brands And Merchants

As e-commerce continues to become consumers’ main mode of shopping, expectations for fast, affordable delivery continue to rise, and the open interconnectivity of Web3 will make it much easier for brands to meet—or exceed—these expectations. Enabled by the transparent systems core to the Web3 ethos, brands will be free to link and access all their e-commerce operations—order sources, partners, tools, transactions and data—from an interconnected platform. (Full disclosure: My company offers such a platform, as do many others.)

As decentralization takes hold, the e-commerce status quo will be disrupted, accelerating the adoption of independent, technology-driven services and offerings designed to benefit brands and their customers, not the platform behemoths of today. Brands are already moving away from traditional, isolated methods of storage and fulfillment, abandoning even outsourcing to tech-enabled third-party logistics (3PLs) as they lack the connectivity needed to keep pace with e-commerce’s continued growth. As the Web3 era dawns, fulfillment networks powered by software and integrated within e-commerce platforms will be crucial to delivering the e-commerce experience consumers expect.

Web3 For Consumers

The transparency and visibility that Web3 provides to brands will benefit consumers as well, creating a better e-commerce experience that is personalized, traceable and secure. When brands maintain control over their customer data, they are better able to develop the individualized products, promotions and shopping experiences their consumers want.

The emergence of social commerce as the next frontier in shopping is an example of Web3 in action. Social commerce enables brands to deliver targeted, customized social content, tailored for highly niche audiences, with purchase capabilities baked in. Social commerce offers 1:1 customer experiences, at scale, and is only possible if brands maintain visibility and control over e-commerce operations.

From a security perspective, blockchain-based payments have the potential to greatly reduce fraud, and the visibility provided by interconnected systems means that transactions can be tracked from the moment a consumer clicks buy until a parcel arrives at their front door, whether that takes two hours or two days.

E-Commerce Evolves

Modern brands seek to meet customers wherever they’re shopping, be it on DTC websites or online marketplaces, in retail stores or through social apps. The connectivity Web3 offers will make omnichannel strategies even more effective, as brands will be able to link all their sales channels and operational systems to ensure the seamless e-commerce experience their customers expect.

Web3’s decentralization gives control back to brands, empowering them to adopt the e-commerce tech stacks that work best on an individualized basis. Web3 will facilitate the best possible e-commerce experience for both brands and consumers.


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