Customers To Receive Authentic Products Through Blockchain-Based Shopify Plugin
A San Francisco-based startup called “Real Items Foundation” is beta testing a Shopify plugin to assure that authentic things are being sold to online shoppers.
The plugin powered by a combination of blockchain technology and a cloud-based application called “TAM” allows brands to create non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that are pegged to physical assets. Customers who purchase a product comprising an NFT can scan that item to check its authenticity.
David Menard, CEO, and founder of Real Items Foundation, told that several skincare, cosmetic, wellness, and fashion companies are currently exclusive beta testing the Shopify plugin. Menard noted that the plugin would formally be released in Q1 of this year.
According to Menard, Real Items Foundation strives to build a global customer protection experience, which he attributes to as “consumer protection 3.0.” He revealed that the new Shopify plugin would enable consumers to quickly verify the authenticity of the items bought on Shopify stores, without having to download extra apps:
“We are trying to push consumer protection 3.0 by putting the tools in the end consumers’ hands. There are no apps to download – consumers use their smartphones to scan a QR-code to verify the authenticity of an item. Consumers can also use WeChat to scan items to ensure that they are real.”
Shopify, which has evolved to become one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the world, consists of over 500 thousand participating online stores. Current statistics suggest that Shopify is the third-largest online retailer in the U.S., right behind eBay and Amazon.
Yet with millions of products being traded each year, deceitful items are becoming problematic for several online customers. The Washington Post currently reported that 753 online retailers deceive their products, and Shopify hosts about 90% of those sites.
By utilizing the VeChain public blockchain, Real Items Foundation can track items back to their origins, while presenting consumers with the transparency required to see where those goods began.
Menard also stated that Real Items Foundation does not have a utility token added to its platform. He noted that part of the reason for this was due to bad user experiences being notified when the company ventured to leverage wallets as a fundamental function:
“Wallets for users was a big problem. We now have a multiparty payment protocol on VeChain that we leveraged where we can quickly manage everything for the user and the enterprises we partner with.”
Statistics reveal that the e-commerce market will exceed $740 billion in 2023, making it appear like the ideal opportunity for online retailers to implement blockchain technology. Nevertheless, unclear laws and technical specifications around the blockchain space may be disturbing for e-commerce retailers.
Nonetheless, Menard noted that in accession to the companies beta testing the Shopify plugin, some significant enterprises had shown concern in utilizing Real Item Foundation’s technology. He explained:
“Since we use NFTs, we aren’t generating or distributing anything close to security. We maintain the smart contract balances for the enterprise, making it as frictionless as possible to adopt blockchain for business. Using our plugin enables brands to use a public blockchain for product authenticity and consumer engagement.”
Menard also pointed out that Original Highness, a San Francisco-based cannabis company, is already live on the platform’s mainnet.
Furthermore, while Real Items Foundation is doing something alike to other supply chain management blockchain platforms, the organization is concentrated less on specific brands and more on the customer.
Menard stated that digital certification platform Arianne is focused on assuring authenticity for certain luxury watch brands, such as Vacheron Constantin. Unlike Arianne, Real Items Foundation strives to become a global solution for all e-commerce sites and enterprises looking to validate the authenticity of products. He said:
“We are trying not to limit the platform to one company. Our focus is on the consumer, and we want to consolidate this experience to help enterprises effectively communicate.”