Walmart has recently made another push into blockchain technology as the retail company has filed for a patent for a blockchain-based marketplace for customers to resell previously purchased products. The patent record filed with the United States Patent Office states that the patent is for technology that would, “maintain a record in a blockchain ledger of a particular consumer’s purchase of a particular one of the physically-discrete items; provide an opportunity to the particular consumer to resell the particular one of the physically-discrete items via a sales platform, wherein the opportunity includes leveraging the record in the blockchain ledger.”
Filed in 2017 and granted on May 17, 2018, the document adds to an impressive arsenal featuring a number ranging from parcel-tracking systems to IoT.
As per the document, Walmart’s proposed system enables the tracking of retail products brought by a customer. This is achieved by allowing a customer (storehouses or retail) to “register” a product after purchase, choosing a defined price for resale to individuals while using Walmart’s framework as a digital marketplace.
As stated in the patent:
“The increasing competition from ‘non-traditional shopping mechanisms’ as an incentive for ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers to stay ahead of new technologies that could improve customer experience.”
Walmart is currently the world’s largest retailer with around $36.4 billion in annual profits. With the ever-increasing competition in the retail business expect to see more companies research how blockchain technology can give them a leg up on their competitors.