Businesses that embrace modern digital technology are more likely to see higher growth margins compared to those that are hesitant to adopt them. But even though large companies such as IBM and Microsoft are already applying blockchain to their systems, small businesses are lagging behind in terms of applying the technology.
Data is considered as the lifeblood of businesses, but there is a limit as to what kind of information a company can acquire and from whom they can get if from. Businesses who want to grow their customer base usually have to allocate funds to get information from third-party vendors like Amazon or Facebook—and this is different from the money they spend for advertising campaigns!
Amazon and a few major companies have cornered the market on acquiring and selling data. Everything ranging from shopping habits to political preferences to health issues of their users is information the buyer can rely on.
But, Blockchain can revolutionize this process simply by making data trustworthy on its own. Blockchain offers complete transparency, so everyone can see the source of any information and be assured that it is not tampered with.
This is good news for businesses as this ultimately means that the Internet giants will no longer be the only source of data.
REMOVING THE MIDDLEMAN
Acquiring data today is a lot like shopping at a store like Walmart or Costco. The seller is big and decides on what inventory will be available and for how much. But, what if acquiring data was a lot like visiting an open bazaar?
Because data is now trustworthy, the “Walmart” or “Costco” model is now bound to be obsolete. Basically any business can offer up the data they are unable to monetize, and buyers will know it is real and trustworthy information.
If small businesses are able to share data directly with each other, they can make a wider variety of it available at a more affordable cost, so long as there are privacy methods in place with regards to how information is used. For example, acquiring data through third party vendors like Facebook or Google usually means a business can get user information, but not important information like email addresses and contact numbers.
On the other hand, direct data commerce means smaller businesses are able to get more legitimate information at half the cost, and they are also able to better target their ads and promotions.
WHAT WILL DIRECT DATA COMMERCE BE LIKE?
When business data is verifiable, transparent and freely available, it should be easy for small businesses to see the kind of information available from where and from whom. No one wants to go shopping in a huge, open-air bazaar without an idea of what goods are available in which areas.
Buyers should be able to submit a query in a blockchain-enabled environment and receive information on which businesses have the kind of data they need.
Businesses that have a specific kind of data can use blockchain to spread an advertisement to every person in that exact demographic in behalf of the buyer. In this manner, the seller can use the customer’s email addresses without making that information publicly available to anyone else and therefore protecting their privacy.
HOW IT BENEFITS CONSUMERS
When small businesses collaborate via direct data exchange, this could lead to new and unexpected benefits to consumers. Blockchain promises to bring transparency and confidence to online transactions, but its influence is probably going to be more disruptive than that. Blockchain will give consumers more choice and allow smaller businesses to cut costs by working together directly.
Nothing like this has ever been done or existed before, and the timing is simply just perfect. As Facebook’s recent issues show illustrate what happens when one abuses his or her power, or in this case, data. Regulators may be changing the way major companies collect and sell data, but blockchain’s influence could be even more disruptive.