mass movement to online shopping is so robust that brick and mortar retail
stores are closing their doors in droves. In the U.S., over 7,000 physical
retail stores closed shop in 2017. This year,
an estimated 12,000 more are expected to follow suit.
technology and AI are key drivers of online shopping growth. While the former
ensures security, transparency and equity, the latter analyzes shoppers'
behavior to enhance their shopping experience and show merchants what needs and
trends to cater to.
machine learning, the AI-powered online shopping tools can learn and adapt to
fit consumers' ever-changing needs and preferences.
and machine learning rely on big data derived from shoppers' online behavior.
This means that online shoppers have to share their data, an issue that can raise
concerns for most online shoppers.
from securing the online shopping process, blockchain technology is providing
consumers an opportunity to earn extra income by opting to share their data
with market researchers. Until now, companies such as Google, Amazon and eBay
collected online shoppers’ data without needing their consent or sharing the
revenue they received from selling the data to advertisers.
blockchain-powered systems are doing is eliminating these intermediaries and
enabling advertisers to buy data directly from the actual consumers. With the
use of AI, data can now be compiled into actionable insights automatically.
promising project on the scene is Shopin,
a blockchain company founded by the serial entrepreneur and U.N. World Summit
Award for Innovation winner Eran Eyal.
to Eyal, the
Shopin project aims to build a decentralized version of Amazon on a blockchain
by enabling retailers to make shopper profiles based on their needs and
retailers ask their customers to join the Shopin platform and supply between
three and five years of verified first-party purchase data to help build their
online shopper's profile.
Shopin platform uses AI and machine learning to consolidate data and produce a
profile that matches the shopper’s needs and preferences, and this information
is relayed back to the retailer platform to help them improve the shopper’s
in the traditional model, where all profits go to the advertising
intermediaries, Shopin allows the advertisers and actual data owners to
share in the profits. When shoppers allow the advertiser to use their data for
targeted marketing, they earn Shopin tokens, which can either be used for
shopping or can be converted into other cryptocurrencies.
the Shopin project is the first to create a shopper’s profile based on shopping
history, it is not the first to decentralize the e-commerce industry.
instance, a project known as Spl.yt partnered with Science
Blockchain and Deloitte to work on a solution that will decentralize e-commerce
by automatically performing and recording all activities carried out by
intermediaries throughout the supply chain, from product manufacturing to
online marketing and sales.
of the functions that the Spl.yt project seeks to introduce is a universal and
decentralized product rating system. This will not only enable shoppers to get
accurate reviews but will consolidate data and enable manufacturers and
retailers to receive insights that will help them improve their services. The platform
is powered by a native token to promote fair and reliable participant
blockchain technology and AI continue to gain recognition in the mainstream,
there is a high likelihood that more advanced solutions are yet to come that
will change the online shopper's user experience for the better.