Financial services firm Deloitte on Thursday published a report on the use of blockchain technology in the retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industries. The report expects blockchain to achieve widespread adoption and encourages businesses to adopt it.
In a statement, Steve Larke, technology consulting partner at Deloitte, said: “It is technology that has the ability to track, trace, and authenticate products, record contracts and transactions and guarantee the movement of information. Significantly, the benefits can then be passed on to the consumer in the form of savings, increased trust, and safer, higher-quality products.”
The report focuses on three ways the technology can be used in the goods industry. For consumers, it can improve the user-experience, for instance by using smart contracts for customer loyalty programs. For the supply-chain side, it can improve efficiency and be used for greater awareness of the whole process. For payments, it can allow consumers to save time and money.
The report also warns of the danger of not failing to adopt the new technologies: “Businesses that do not consider how blockchain may affect their operations are at risk of falling behind and losing out on potential growth opportunities. If done correctly, however, the investment could be transformational.
“Deloitte believes that blockchain has the potential to play a major role in underpinning the industry transformation that is coming.”
The report acknowledges that blockchain technology is in a relatively early stage and accepts that investment may be ‘expensive and resource heavy’. It also considers that using it may require a culture change within the businesses. However, it warns that businesses who sit on the sidelines may lose out to those who embrace the technology.
The report also contained a caveat: “While we fully expect blockchain technology to achieve widespread, mainstream adoption in the retail and consumer packaged goods industries, we firmly believe that long‐term, sustainable success is only possible through careful planning.”
Echoing the sentiments of many in the industry, the report’s concludes that it is in the application of blockchain technology, rather than the mining and trading of cryptocurrencies, where the most success will be found. It highlights the transparency of processes and data which is inherent in public ledger technology and its potential to underpin the productivity and stability of the economy.