How do you fulfill eCommerce sales worth USD 7.4 trillion? That’s what the online retail business is projected to hit in 2025, and it comes with a huge number of transactions. Blockchain is likely to be the answer. The blockchain has moved far beyond its original objective of supporting cryptocurrencies and can now serve a large number of other applications, especially in online retail. In eCommerce, blockchain can be used to improve the supply chain, make backend processes more efficient and transparent, improve security, secure smart contracts, and of course accept payments.
Read part one of our series on Blockchain in eCommerce: Blockchain payment, cost cutting & data privacy!
The expense associated with building a private blockchain can be crippling. So how do you leverage its benefits? Modern tools, technologies and platforms are democratizing the blockchain. Public blockchain platforms and blockchain integrations with eCommerce platforms can be used to significantly improve cost-efficiency and productivity.
Public blockchain platforms
A public blockchain is one where “anyone is free to join and participate in the core activities of the blockchain network.” In the public blockchain, any participant may read, write and audit ongoing activities. Public blockchains are operated by different entities, including several blockchain platforms run by corporate organizations.
The primary use of the blockchain is, still, in facilitating payments using cryptocurrencies – a requirement that is seeing increasing demand. For this, a crypto payment gateway is required, to allow merchants to accept various cryptocurrencies as payment for their products or services. The payment can then be converted to the fiat currency or cryptocurrency of your choice.
Your eCommerce platform integrates easily with various popular and secure cryptocurrency payment gateways, each of which is equipped with a range of tools that streamline payment and make it easier for both you and your customers.
Popular eCommerce platforms and cryptocurrency
Three of the top eCommerce platforms – Magento, Salesforce Commerce Cloud and BigCommerce – integrate with a number of crypto payment gateways and wallets to allow users to make payments using the method that is most convenient to them. We’ve put together some details about the crypto payment processing features offered by each.
“Magento eCommerce open source supports a wide variety of payment systems and gateways providing merchant services around the world”. That means that your Magento 2 eCommerce site is equipped to receive payments in cryptocurrencies with the right payment plugin.
Merchants can set up accounts with a number of crypto wallets and payment extensions that easily integrate with Magento 2, including BitPay, Coinbase, CoinGate, Coinremitter and CopPay, among others. These can also be configured to receive more cryptocoins, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, USDT (Omni), USD ERC20, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum to Dash, and Dogecoin.
Using CopPay, users can set up a single account to receive cryptocurrency payments from multiple Magento stores, creating custom payment options for each store in order to follow local laws and guidelines. Another interesting feature is with Coinbase, which allows users with active accounts to set up recurring Bitcoin transfers on an ongoing basis.
In addition, since Magento allows for complete customization in development, you can integrate a private blockchain or cryptocurrency payment processor too. Most plugins minimize the chance of online fraud by guaranteeing no chargebacks.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC)
While SFCC offers a very large number of payment partners and integration options, not all enable acceptance of cryptocurrencies. EPAM’s BitPay payment gateway, however, works well with SFCC for this purpose. The BitPay plugin “extends SFRA core payment functionality” to make blockchain payments faster and more reliable without collecting and storing sensitive customer information. BitPay converts cryptocurrencies to your preferred fiat currency (or cryptocurrency) and transfers it along with your next BitPay settlement.
BigCommerce also supports a wide range of cryptocurrency payment processors, some of which offer lower transaction fees of 0.5% without any upfront cost of installation. With the CoinPayments App for BigCommerce, you can start accepting Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and other cryptocurrency payments for your business within minutes.
CoinPayments – CoinPayments Crypto Payments
Unlike many other cryptocurrency payment processors which aim to receive as many cryptocurrencies as possible, OpenNode Bitcoin Payments is a specialist. It accepts only Bitcoin and is compatible with every Bitcoin wallet and Lightning Network wallet to allow for near-instant settlement. It also lets you control your exposure to Bitcoin. You can “automatically receive funds in local currency, or retain some or all of your earnings in Bitcoin”.
OpenNode – OpenNode Bitcoin Payments
Another great feature of a BigCommerce-compatible cryptocurrency payment processor comes with Rocketfuel Payments, wherein if payment happens to fail using a preferred channel, “the checkout automatically suggests another payment channel for the customer to try”.
Using blockchain beyond cryptocurrency
Supply chain transparency
A recent study found that 75% of Gen Z participants prioritize sustainability over brand in purchase decision making. Perhaps for that reason, KAYA&KATO partnered with IBM to ensure supply chain transparency using the blockchain. Manufacturers, including garment manufacturers, can use the blockchain to create a “permanent, immutable record of the origin of all materials used in production”.
More complex and expensive sales, especially in a B2B eCommerce context, can be secured using a smart contract. These are enforced in real-time on the blockchain, eliminating the middleman and creating accountability for all parties and ensuring compliance. For example, Propy (a real estate platform) uses Blockchain-based smart contracts to speed up title issuance, manage and maintain a title registry, and automate transactions.
Raw material authenticity
Purity and authenticity of raw materials are key to ensuring the quality of the final product. For that reason, Ford Motor Company is planning to track supplies of cobalt (a key raw material for electric car batteries) using the blockchain in order to guarantee authenticity. “When cobalt is mined, they will get on the ledger, and then the company can track where it’s going from there.”
Blockchain technical support
Some businesses are reluctant to adopt the blockchain because of the technological challenge of setting up, encrypting and managing the blockchain. However, by leveraging a public blockchain platform or using built-in eCommerce platform plugins, this issue is partly mitigated since they offer strong technical support. A trained technical team and customer support team can help fill the gaps and make your blockchain implementation successful.
So, are you currently optimizing the use of blockchain and crypto in your online store? With the public blockchain, easy-to-integrate cryptocurrency payment processors and accessible technical support, blockchain-powered eCommerce is more within reach than ever. With this democratization, these interesting features and tools are available even to medium-sized and smaller businesses.
Let us help you take your eCommerce store into the future. Ask our team for a consultation. Talk to us today!