The economic impact of global e-commerce has been well documented. By offering access to an array of products tied to our lifestyle needs, online platforms provide ease and convenience in the way that we shop and live.
Growth in this market sector is supported by research from “The Enterprise Guide to Global Ecommerce,” which projects a 246.15 percent increase in global e-commerce sales, from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $4.5 trillion in 2021.
Despite a continued upward trajectory in the e-commerce world, the centralized model used to drive it has a number of downsides. These include escalating product prices, high transaction fees, transport inefficiencies, and the extraction of huge amounts of private consumer data. Moreover inventories must be kept current and counterfeit activity must be constantly monitored.
At the end of the day, these deficiencies adversely impact vendor revenues while leading to high product costs. In addition, consumers often have to engage in exhaustive searches of product availability at affordable prices.
Amid the domination of e-commerce marketplace leaders like Amazon, eBay and Alibaba, promising new approaches are being proposed. The aim here is to support small to medium size e-commerce enterprises and vendors in product sales and consumer dispute resolution while also mitigating fraud and spam.
E-Commerce Solutions, “Just Around The Block.”
Blockchain offers an abundant landscape of possibilities and solutions for a new era of e-commerce. One company enmeshed in the fertile ground of activity that exists in this space is a rapidly emerging startup known as Spl.yt. Along with Spl.yt Core Foundation, a blockchain-based nonprofit out of Santa Monica, California, Spl.yt is pursuing the herculean task of reshaping prevailing models through the use of smart contracts, enabling fresh solutions for efficient, transparent and secure e-commerce across the globe.
Here, Spl.yt is delivering a system replete with automated global inventory management, fractional asset ownership and management capabilities, inter-marketplace reputation tracking, fair dispute resolution and automated affiliate marketing incentives.
All of this is driven by a global blockchain network that creates tokenized incentives for harnessing transparent and real transactions in a fair and efficient manner. The end game is to offer a pathway to decentralized e-commerce thereby fueling greater time and money efficiencies through the elimination of third-party intermediaries.
Says Jason Civalleri, co-founder of Spl.yt: “To me, the most world-changing aspect of blockchain is its capability of driving social change through incentives and automation. I’m delighted to harness this capability through Spl.yt Protocol that we hope will form the foundation for a decentralized e-commerce ecosystem that economically empowers all participating parties.”
According to Civalleri, any seller right now in e-commerce knows that the biggest problem facing online retail is that the entire industry is controlled by a handful of corporate behemoths with unchecked economic power for setting prices and standards:
“These tech giants are essentially middlemen whose self-appointed role is to mediate transactions between buyers and sellers. Yet they consistently do so in a manner that hurts small business while making everything more expensive for buyers. We believe that the e-commerce ecosystem should be owned and operated by the actual buyers and sellers who make e-commerce possible, not middlemen corporations who make everything more difficult.”
As a non-profit, The Spl.yt Core foundation is heavily engaged in efforts to create a new world of decentralized commerce. They ultimately hope to work themselves out of existence so that community members can run their own, self-sustaining decentralized e-commerce network.
Adds co-founder Cyrus Taghehchian: “The existing e-commerce regime only benefits a few powerful middlemen at the top of the ‘food chain’ so to speak. 10 years ago it was difficult to build an e-commerce website but easier to monetize. Today, it’s easy to build a website using templates but very hard to make profit due to the couple of online storefronts that own nearly 60% of the market share. We believe in a new e-commerce structure that is more egalitarian, instead of top-down.”
Taghehchian says that the long-term vision is to open doors for innovative businesses and entrepreneurial individuals to achieve their potential using the capabilities enabled by the Spl.yt protocol. He concludes: “The objective is to keep moving toward a more decentralized future where the greater e-commerce ecosystem is owned and operated by people within a fair and automated network of participating parties.”