What if the ecommerce and blockchain worlds converged? That’s the idea behind Splyt, an ambitious project aiming to challenge the hegemony of existing ecommerce giants like Amazon. By leveraging blockchain technology, Splyt facilitates greater transparency in the supply chain and eliminates long-standing inefficiencies that hurt everyone’s bottom line. The startup promises to cut out the middleman and help brands scale via a direct-to-consumer model.
Although the multi-trillion dollar ecommerce market is impossibly crowded, power remains concentrated in very few hands. Splyt believes the time is right to introduce a new paradigm that works for the many, not the few. So, how does it intend to achieve such lofty aims? And is it fanciful to suppose that the industry’s heavyweights will ever relinquish their power?
eNFTs: A Bold New Frontier in Ecommerce
Decentralization. NFTs. Distributed ledgers. These terms are familiar to those who work in the world of cryptocurrencies, but for the most part they mean nothing in the context of ecommerce. That is something that Splyt intends to rectify. Because as Splyt sees it, the technological infrastructure that undergirds the crypto world offers a great deal of promise for ecommerce, sellers and buyers alike.
Despite the esoteric terminology, the idea itself is quite simple: what if every item in the ecommerce supply chain had a unique identity? And what if that identity was recorded on the blockchain, while also appearing in the product catalogs of various ecommerce sites rather than a single centralized platform?
The “unique identity” is an eNFT, a derivation of Non-Fungible Token, the term used to describe unique blockchain-based items such as digital artworks and in-game collectibles. In ecommerce, every retail product would be tokenized and added to the Splyt catalog, whereafter brands could assign a bounty or profit share terms and create an affiliate marketplace. Affiliates and ecommerce stores, in turn, would display products on their own sites and earn commission in return.
The benefits of such a system extend to all parties: brands get more eyeballs on their wares, affiliates get rewarded for marketing, dropshippers benefit from peak supply chain efficiency, ecommerce stores can test new brands without the liability of inventory, and consumers can potentially get cheaper products (since all parties are saving money). The utilization of blockchain, meanwhile, ensures a fair and sustainable profit share for all parties, with payments triggered to affiliates when goods have been received. Buyers, of course, get the eNFT as purchase proof of authenticity.
Created by a team of tech entrepreneurs and retail professionals, and powered by the powerful Polkadot blockchain, Splyt represents a bold new frontier for ecommerce.
It’s difficult to overstate just how many efficiencies a blockchain-based ecommerce system could engender. If extended to the review process, for instance, it could eliminate fake feedback and ratings fraud overnight. It could also facilitate a seller reputation system that interoperates with different ecommerce platforms, enabling a brand (or customer) to port its good name from Amazon to Alibaba.
By utilizing smart contracts, blockchain could also reduce payment disputes by keeping funds in escrow and releasing them only when certain circumstances are met. It could decentralize the entire ecommerce supply chain, ensuring no single point of failure.
This latter point is worth reiterating. According to data gathered by Splyt, its ability to neutralize inventory inefficiencies for dropshippers alone could rescue $93 billion of lost sales each and every year.
This vision of an eNFT inventory database is nothing if not progressive. But it’s easy to appreciate its potential. Once an item is listed for sale within the Splyt ecosystem, it automatically syncs to all affiliates and marketplaces, with affiliates encouraged to source a buyer in order to collect commission. And there’s so much more in the pipeline.
The eNFT then gives brands data points for the entire lifetime of their product. As a result, they can track resale values and determine which items maintain value and for how long. Brands attach a physical item SKU to the eNFT, giving consumers confidence in the authenticity of a resale purchase. As a result, eNFTs have the potential to completely dismantle the knock-off industry, putting an end to peddlers of ersatz goods.
Not content with shaking up the ecommerce industry, Splyt is building a defi suite that enables the issuance of stock-backed collateralized loans. In other words, giving struggling ecommerce businesses the chance to obtain much-needed capital while cutting the banks out of the picture. Staking pools – another component of decentralized finance – will also be introduced, giving users an opportunity to generate revenue for strengthening the network.
Too few blockchain-based projects provide real-world solutions. Splyt is different, dispensing with the abstract in favor of practical utility for an industry blighted by inefficiencies. Its team strongly believes that the key to the mass adoption of blockchain is through seamlessly integrating it into existing platforms. This year, integrations with Shopify and WooCommerce will allow any stores operating on those platforms to connect to Splyt and see what it’s all about.
Is the world ready for a decentralized ecommerce protocol? Only time will tell. But Splyt is plowing on regardless, its vision of a trustless inventory management system the counterpoint to Amazon’s sinister monopoly. Let the new era begin.