- The price of goods for end consumers is increased due to middlemen (wholesalers, distributors, etc.)
- Buying.com aims to disrupt the space by creating a vertically-integrated fulfillment and delivery platform
- The BUY token and Buying.com blockchain platform will serve as the backbone of the entire service
As many know, the price of goods found on the shelves and websites of retailers like Walmart (NYSE: WMT) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) are not representative of the prices for which the goods were originally bought from the manufacturers. Distributors and wholesalers are the intermediaries that first obtain these goods from manufacturers and then pass them off to other distribution channels or directly to retailers/customers. Each intermediary in this supply chain aims to make a certain profit, which is ultimately reflected in the price consumers pay.
This is where Buying.com comes in. It aims to use the distributed ledger technology first pioneered by bitcoin (Crypto: BTC), as well as innovations in real-time logistics and e-commerce, to allow small businesses and individuals to band together and act as a single giant wholesaler and distribution network.
Building Up the Ecosystem
The team behind Buying.com has already built multiple products that lay the foundation for its ecosystem. Dropshipper.com is a site developed by the team that currently hosts millions of products from hundreds of suppliers and allows anyone to browse their selection, and SnapForce is a software solution that makes it easy for e-tailers of any size to perform and keep track of back-office tasks.
A consumer-level app, slated for a Q2 2019 release, is expected to allow individuals to combine their orders to meet the minimum order quantity (MOQ) requirements of manufacturers. This will be a key platform, allowing individuals and small businesses access to the same purchasing power and bulk discounts as current retail giants.
Buying.com’s approach to delivering orders could arguably be the biggest disruption in the e-tailer industry as we know it, as it will use the company’s own platform to fulfill deliveries. By running its distribution network on a decentralized blockchain, Buying.com will allow anyone with spare storage space to act as a hyperlocal “distribution node” that can stock items to be delivered to the surrounding neighborhood/area. Each distribution node will be paid through the blockchain for every good that it stores and delivers, allowing anyone with some spare space to generate profit while also significantly reducing shipping costs for consumers.
Due to its decentralized nature, the network could scale to surpass the likes of FedEx or Amazon (which acquired Whole Foods, in part, to expand its own reach) in terms of both robustness and size. To efficiently ferry the goods between the potentially vast number of nodes, as well as deliver them to buyers, the team’s blockchain protocol will also support an Uber-like service for transporting goods as opposed to passengers. Anyone with some spare time and a functioning vehicle will be able to deliver goods and earn some revenue, again reducing costs for consumers.
Using the BUY Token
As with any other blockchain-based service, Buying.com will utilize its own BUY token to power the distribution network. These tokens can be earned through referrals, filling out MOQ orders and, of course, by purchasing them on an exchange. They will then be used to pay for the services of distribution nodes and delivery drivers. Additionally, both the drivers and node owners will need their own BUY tokens to join the network. Because anyone can join a decentralized network regardless of background, this is used as an accountability mechanism. Drivers must stake their own BUY tokens to join the network, and they can only deliver goods that have a combined value up to the value of the tokens they have staked. The same goes for node owners, who must acquire an appropriate amount of BUY tokens depending on the type(s) and quantity of items for which they wish to provide storage.
This staking mechanic also enables Buying.com’s escrow services, which will be used to avoid disputes for consumers and chargebacks for manufacturers and businesses. The team’s escrow system will hold consumers’ funds until they receive their goods and are satisfied with the shipment, at which time the funds will be cleanly released to the seller through special smart contracts.
Each aspect of Buying.com’s platform could function as a separate service. However, one key thing that differentiates it from any other e-tailer is the blockchain that is used as a backbone to keep track of all the inventory data. As parts of the dapp come online, they will all be able to plug into the same database and ensure seamless cooperation. Each new upgrade and expansion will open up new opportunities for everyone to fulfill an increasing number of roles within the ecosystem and earn rewards for helping out. The upgrades will also serve as a series of stress tests and a demonstration for the robustness and resilience of blockchain dapps overall, potentially bringing blockchain-based and non-blockchain-based services head-to-head in the near future.
For more information, visit www.Buying.com
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