With the internet’s continued maturation and evolution, digital purchases have become the new normal for retail commerce. In recent years, mobile shopping activity has soared, with customers increasingly turning to their mobile devices for their shopping needs.
Amazon and Rakuten are among the key industry players in this fertile landscape, where nearly 1.7 billion people around the world purchase goods online.
According to the data-gathering site Statistica, global e-retail sales registered at $2.3 trillion in 2017, with growth projected to reach upward of $4.88 trillion by 2021.
Unfortunately, there have been major implications associated with this growth in the form of fraud, spam and other factors adversely impacting the reputation of the industry. Moreover, e-commerce is riddled with inefficiencies that result from middlemen and intermediary services siphoning off a major percentage of profits per transaction.
Additionally, there are buyers who are often subjected to the painstaking process of comparing and contrasting similar products on various websites in search of the best deal. All of this takes place in a vast ecosystem of inventory management systems and across multiple vendors, leading to costly accounting errors.
The Building Blocks of a Retail Solution
Intent on disrupting today’s prevailing e-commerce model, the California-based company Spl.yt hopes to create a new order. Anchored on a blockchain, Spl.yt’s smart contract protocol automatically performs middleman functions, reducing overall transaction costs while ensuring the immutability of data broadcasted to the distributed ledger, according to the company.
It’s here where the massive capability of Web 3.0 is directed toward e-commerce, making buyers, sellers and marketplaces the primary points of emphasis rather than middlemen, as in the prevailing model. This allows Spl.yt to help consumers save time and money through an automated e-commerce protocol that helps mitigate expensive and wasteful intermediaries and applications.
This company has a long-term goal for the model: an automated e-commerce ecosystem for key intermediary functions that saves buyers, sellers and marketplaces both time and money. The Spl.yt token economics protocol delivers incentives to users so that they can conduct transactions in a fair and equitable manner, resulting in a more secure e-commerce experience.
All of this allows for the use of an individual listings inventory that automatically populates the e-commerce websites of various affiliates. As a result, shoppers need only visit one dedicated site to find and purchase items securely at low market prices.
Behind this project are co-founders Jason Civalleri and Cyrus Taghehchian. When asked about the most pressing issues impacting the present e-commerce landscape, Civalleri responded that any seller in e-commerce knows that the biggest problem facing online retail right now is the fact that the entire industry is controlled by a handful of corporate behemoths with unchecked economic power to set prices and standards.
He stated that these tech giants are essentially middlemen whose self-appointed role is to mediate transactions between buyers and sellers, yet consistently do so in a way that hurts small businesses and makes everything more expensive for consumers (not to mention tracking their every move so they can use ads to better target their wallets).
“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," Civalleri said.
Taghehchian added that "the existing e-commerce regime only benefits a few powerful middlemen at the top of the ‘food chain,’ so to speak. So what we are seeking is to empower all e-commerce players in [a] way that allows them to make a good living, and to earn rewards for their contributions while fostering the health and growth of the entire e-commerce ecosystem. The potential use cases for improving efficiency, transparency and security across the industry are as endless as our own imaginations."