Web 3.0: how the third wave of the Internet will affect online retail

Based on the principles of decentralization, openness and greater user agency, the next phase of the web’s evolution must change the paradigm of electronic commerce.

Web 3.0, also known as the third wave of the Internet, is based on three pillars, namely: decentralization, through independence from banks, government agencies, demographic boundaries or business technologies; privacy, by preventing the disclosure of personal data; and virtualization, which translates into the consolidation of digital worlds and the reproduction of increasingly realistic experiences in a virtual way.

In this article, see how Web 3.0 promises to take e-commerce to a new level.

This wave is starting to build with the support of innovative technologies, such as blockchain, which enables the transfer of data chains in a secure, anonymous and independent way. In addition, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies are promoting the consolidation of the metaverse, a shared virtual space that replicates, with increasing fidelity, reality through digital devices.

The concept is increasingly commented on in the corporate environment and should be a strong trend for 2023 as it should generate significant impacts and transform some paradigms in business. In addition, it should open up a number of opportunities for companies to expand their digitization and apply increasingly assertive and effective solutions and tools for their consumers, who, on the other hand, need to have more and more control over their data.

In this article, we will talk about how Web 3.0 promises to take e-commerce to a new level, especially through user-friendly interfaces, increasing security for online transactions and optimizing the user experience.

Web 3.0 is impacting online retail

Blockchain technology should be one of the main features of Web 3.0 and the one with the greatest impact on online retail, as it extends the guarantee of security, privacy and reliability for online transactions.

This technology is the same technology that made cryptocurrencies possible, so its ability to guarantee security in e-commerce business is immense. This should significantly reduce the rates of returns, dissatisfaction, chargebacks and card fraud, problems that strongly affect online stores.

These developments should be welcome for e-commerce, as according to research by ClearSale, fraud attempts on e-commerce, direct sales, financial services and telecommunications sites led to a total loss of R$5.8 billion in 2021, 58 % more than in 2020.

In addition, a Juniper Research study estimates that global losses from digital fraud are expected to reach $48 billion by 2023. Therefore, Web 3.0 security must strengthen payment processes for online purchases, protecting the most sensitive data from leakage and theft, and promoting faster, more transparent and cheaper transactions.

According to Grand View Research projections, e-commerce is expected to reach a market value of more than US$27 trillion by 2027, driven in particular by the popularization of mobile devices such as smartphones, as well as high-speed Internet access. Innovation is also made possible by the evolution made possible by the Web. 3.0.

Another application of the third wave of the Internet in e-commerce that should become popular in the coming years is the use of NFTs in loyalty programs, to create more attractive rewards, in addition to the expansion of the use of cryptocurrencies in online payments. Such innovations should become commonplace within the next five years.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is also emerging as an opportunity for retailers to automate delivery, payment and other sales processes. One-click shopping, old acquaintances of e-commerce, for example, should see a boom and become more and more popular due to increased security in transactions.

In general, the user experience of e-commerce with Web 3.0 must evolve more and more until it completely happens in the metaverse, where you can experience an immersive experience of buying products, as if you were present in a physical store. At this point, VR and VA should also become popular in purchasing processes, as well as voice purchasing via virtual assistants.

Web 3.0 continues to emerge as an opportunity for retailers to develop increasingly interactive platforms and create new ways to retain customers with their brand, providing high-delight environments, more secure and transparent transactions, creating a more trusting relationship and a more excellent purchase journey.

The main challenges of Web 3.0

Increasing the usefulness of the Internet and increasing the autonomy of users in online shopping processes are just some of the possibilities of Web 3.0, but of course there are also challenges that need to be considered and overcome by companies that will operate more and more immersed in their environment.

Decentralization is one of the most latent features of this new wave, with less manipulable systems that will be responsible for giving the user more control over their data. However, this decentralization also involves certain legal and regulatory risks.

Cybercrimes, hate speech and the spread of false information are already elements that are difficult to control in the Internet environment and should become even less controllable in this decentralized structure, mainly due to the absence of oversight by a specific regulatory body.

In addition, this decentralized network could present some obstacles to regulation and enforcement, for example, to establish laws that would apply to a particular website or content published in different countries around the world. Finding the culprits of cyber crimes and their legal prosecution would be further complicated. Therefore, this is a challenge that needs to be considered so that the benefits of innovation are not outweighed by their burdens.

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