As explained in the previous article on “Global View online marketplace and impact on blockchain", online marketplaces are becoming revolutionized by using blockchain technology. This is because blockchain offers superior benefits than the existing ones with a centralized platform. Already, there have been a lot of advancements in building online marketplaces using blockchain technology. In this article we continue the discussion by reviewing some of the existing online marketplaces and examining the attributes that make them unique.
The current advancements in the Marketplace field
One of the major challenges is for the people who want to set up online shops for themselves. The process is complicated and involves a lot of strain and thereby eliminating many people from taking part in the process. Already, there exists myriad of e-commerce marketplaces that have ready-to-use interface as well as cutting-edge technology. However, they require people to have either basic understanding of a programming language as well as constant support in order to fully implement the process. Only a few e-marketplace constructor solutions exist that completely solve the problem for sellers who want to have an online marketplace.
With blockchain, the e-marketplace requires aspects such as smart contracts, payments integration, third party services as well as 24/7 support. Therefore an online marketplace on the blockchain requires smart contracts, payments integration and other support services such as language, direct customer feedback mechanism, bookkeeping and sales analysis. Furthermore, there needs to be promotions and advertising services in order to enable sellers get buyers on the platform. All these aspects can easily be integrated on the blockchain marketplace.
Facets of online marketplaces using blockchain
One of the main challenges of existing centralized marketplaces is integrating a payment system that is both efficient for the buyers and sellers. As explained in the previous article on “Global View online marketplace and impact on blockchain ’the current online marketplaces are able to be successful by introducing a marketplace that is accessible to anyone around the world and use online payment methods. The current online marketplaces only use main currencies such as the US dollar, Euro, Pound or Japanese Yen. Even if these are major currencies in the world today, a significant part of global population still do not have access to them. Even those who have access to them face challenges related to credit or debit card integration, transaction costs and waiting periods. These are mainly caused by companies that act of payment gateways such as MasterCard, western Union, banks, fintech companies and other aggregators such as Stripe, Paypal. They need to abide by SWIFT process that takes a complicated and long process of confirming transactions leading to excessive costs, delays and inconveniences both for the seller and buyer. With blockchain, the solution being implemented is such that payment platform eliminates any payment gateway and other middlemen. The payment system is set up such that it accepts cryptocurrencies and the price is determined by the seller. With main cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether, customers can pay and then convert to other fiat currency of their choice. This is faster, cheaper and seamless than the existing payment methods
Another facet of blockchain online marketplace is use of smart contracts. With smart contracts, payments confirmation that is usually done by third parties is now done by self-executing smart contracts. This prevents incidences of fraud since the smart contracts are pre-determined by the seller and once the buyer accepts the terms and conditions in the smart contract it just self-executes without additional intervention from either the seller or the buyer. We will explore more on how smart contracts are revolutionizing the online marketplace ecosystem in the next article.
Customer analysis tools
Another important aspect of blockchain marketplace is customer analysis tool. The success of any marketplace depends on ability to have a robust feedback and customer analysis tool in order to offer better services to clients. The success of existing marketplaces such as eBay, Alibaba and even Amazon are propelled by accurate feedback and customer analysis tool that enable customers to make the right decisions while enabling them to have unique customer experience. Customers should be able to have a mechanism of reviewing products and offering feedback to sellers so that they know the areas to improve. Owners also have a mechanism to retrieve the calls, messages and react to as soon as possible.
Marketing and promotional tools
Marketing and promotional tools are also necessary. Clients should have a way of getting new customers on the platform. The current blockchain marketplaces that are coming up have boards whereby announcements can be made based on user needs. By creating a community of shoppers and buyers who freely interact with each other on the platform, it is easy to have marketing and promotional options for buyers and sellers. This is much better than existing platform because matching of buyers and seller needs is done automatically without need for major restrictions. Buyers and sellers can earn reputation and ranks based on their interactions on the platform. This is useful than in implementing the KYC (know your customer) requirements but in a more seamless and less restrictive manner.
Example of existing blockchain marketplaces
Based on the above understanding of a blockchain marketplace, there are already projects that are implanting blockchain based online marketplaces.
Open Bazaar : this is a peer-to-peer network of connecting buyers and sellers in a different way than online commerce. Users download and install a program on their computer and then it directly connects the user to other users looking to buy and sell goods and services with you. Buyers are given an option of paying with over 50 cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Zcash, Dash, Ethereum among others.
Can Ya is also another blockchain based online marketplace that is trying to revolutionize the space. It mainly targets the services industry and can help match buyers and sellers in services such as cleaners, dance instructor, mechanics, nutritionist, musician or even dog trainer among other services. CanYa coin is the native coin of the platform which adopts concept of escrow Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and Ethereum are used and can be exchanged with CanYa tokens.. It already has a working prototype with thousands of jobs already competed. The aspects that are part of their development plans entail: storage and governance. It is an ERC 20 token with easy use cases.
With these continued developments, it is expected that blockchain based marketplaces will become mainstream in a short period of time because they offer customer additional benefits that existing platform. These benefits are mainly in terms of: use of cryptocurrencies which reduces transaction costs, wider connectivity between buyers and sellers and seamless and frictionless process through peer-to-peer exchanges.
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