According to the patent filing published by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), mega-retailer Walmart Inc. has filed a patent for a blockchain-based resale marketplace that would allow consumers to sell previously purchased Walmart products on the resale platform.
Walmart Leverages Blockchain Technology to Gain an Edge Over Rivals
The proposed platform would record purchases of customers on a blockchain-powered registry and then permit the resale of the product using the purchase record database.
The patented interface will work based on the idea that the customer does not wish to possess or use a purchased item for a lifetime. Per the patent, the resale platform is a solution that can provide the customer with added support to significantly ease the process of reselling purchased items.
The patent filing also emphasizes that the increasing competition from e-commerce giants in the retail business is pushing location-based retailers to improve customer experience and convenience. Therefore, brick and mortar retailers like Walmart are looking to blockchain technology to keep pace with online retailers.
Walmart’s Faith in Blockchain Technology
In the past, retail giant Walmart has filed multiple blockchain patents to improve its operations and digital offering. Earlier in March 2018, Walmart filed another patent for a “Smart Package” delivery system that would track package content, environmental conditions and locations using a blockchain enabled tool which would be a part of new delivery technology like autonomous vehicles and drones.
In April 2018, Frank Yiannas, Walmart Vice President of Food Safety and Health, announced that the world’s largest discount retailer was ready to use blockchain technology in its live foods business. Yiannas also mentioned that blockchain would help in shortening the time it took to track the produce from a week to two seconds.
— IBM (@IBM) February 7, 2018
The innovation would also help in waste reduction, contamination checks, and transparency overall. In November 2016, Walmart, in partnership with IBM, used blockchain to identify and eliminate foods that were recalled from the list of products. The application could be a serious game changer for the retail industry which is always marred by transparency issues.
Is blockchain technology the solution to efficient supply chain management? Share your views in the comments section.