Web3 for Ecommerce: Resetting the Status Quo
By Esther Kestenbaum Prozan, CRO, Flowspace
Expected to top $1 trillion this year, ecommerce sales still only account for around 13 percent of total retail in the U.S. The ecommerce revolution has only just begun, gaining momentum at the same time as 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 maintain (and throttle) control over 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 ecommerce continues its shift to consumers’ main mode of shopping, expectations for fast, affordable delivery also continue to rise, and the open interconnectivity of Web3 will make it much easier for brands to meet – or exceed – these expectations.
Enabled by open, transparent systems core to the Web3 ethos, brands will be free to link and access all of their ecommerce operations – order sources, partners, tools, transactions, and data – within an interconnected platform, with transparency and visibility baked in.
As decentralization takes hold, the ecommerce 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.
For example, brands are already moving away from traditional, isolated methods of storage and fulfillment, abandoning even tech-enabled 3PLs as they do not offer the connectivity needed to keep pace as ecommerce continues to grow. As the Web3 era dawns, fulfillment networks powered by software and integrated within interconnected ecommerce platforms will be crucial to delivering the ecommerce experience consumers expect.
Web3 for Consumers
The transparency and visibility that Web3 provides to brands will benefit consumers as well, ultimately creating a better ecommerce experience that is personalized, traceable, and secure.
When brands maintain control over their customer data, they are better able to develop the products, promotions, and shopping experiences their consumers most want, served on an individualized basis.
The emergence of social commerce is an example of Web3 in action. The next frontier in shopping, 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 ecommerce operations.
From a security perspective, blockchain-based payments greatly reduce fraud, and the visibility that interconnected systems provide means that transactions can be tracked from the moment a consumer clicks buy until a parcel arrives at their front door, be it within two days or two hours.
Modern brands seek to meet customers wherever they’re shopping, be it on a DTC website, a marketplace, 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 ecommerce experience their customers expect.
Web3 for ecommerce holds promise because decentralization gives control back to brands, empowering them to adopt the ecommerce tech stacks that work best on an individualized basis. Web3 facilitates the best possible experience, for both brands and consumers.