One of the most popular methods of authenticating valuable art, is by taking a closer look at the artist's signature. An authentic signature provides reassurance that the piece itself is an original. When it comes to mass produced products like apparel, handbags, and footwear, an individual signature from the brand creator is just not feasible. This is where authentication through digital technology comes in.
The implementation of such technology, namely QR codes and digital watermarks, helps brands across industries to convert their passive products into active digital identities. These digitized products provide crucial information to brands and consumers about the product, including a verification of authenticity, something consumers especially are calling out for. According to Stackla’s 2021 report, Post-Pandemic Shifts in Consumer Shopping Habits: Authenticity, Personalization and the Power of UGC, eighty-three percent of consumers say that retailers need to provide more authentic shopping experiences to gain their trust and support.
With consumers calling for authenticity both in their shopping experiences and products, it is more important than ever for brands to take steps to ensure their products are authentic. That’s where digital identities come in. A digital identity is a digitized, in-the-cloud, version of a tangible product. It allows brands to keep track of their products along the supply chain, verify product authenticity, combat counterfeiting, and gain access to valuable consumer insights. With this information, they can create more refined product development plans and revenue streams in conjunction with marketplaces. These digital identities also help brand when their products enter the resale phase, since they allow brands to have the opportunity to engage with their consumers through several stages of the products journey, encouraging innovative and sustainable business approaches. This journey in relation to resale consists of the consumer initially scanning the product’s QR code in store, to point of sale, to when the item is donated and finally, when procured by another consumer. If a consumer has the power to access a complete and transparent background of a product, their trust in the brands they buy from may grow, whether they purchased an item first or second hand.
The conversation surrounding resale, begins with the current "second-hand boom.” The ThredUp Resale Report 2022 stated that second-hand is becoming a global phenomenon which is predicted to grow 127% by 2026. If this digital approach was then implemented in resale marketplaces, the dilemma surrounding authenticity within brands could be tackled.
By introducing digital authentication technologies into products, brands can connect beyond the supply chain, to direct consumer interactions. This could make opportunities surrounding sustainability, trust, circularity and authenticity far more accessible.
The future of sustainable, authentic and innovative products lies with the implementation of digital technology. Head over to our webinar ‘Branded Recommerce: How to Build Brand Loyalty through Product Digitization and Authenticated Resale’ to listen to three experts in sustainable apparel, resale trends, and supply chain traceability discuss how leading brands are adopting the digital approach to enhance revenue from second-hand sales and achieve a circular economy.