These losses can hurt both profits and reputation. That’s why some brands are now turning to technology to protect their products, their brand equity and their consumers.
“Blockchain is such a rapidly evolving technology and it is really complex,” says Daniela Ott, General Secretary of Aura Blockchain Consortium. “Aura’s goal is to make blockchain easier for luxury brands.”
To date, more than 20 brands use Aura’s software, with more than 17 million products registered on the platform, Ott says.
“These brands are competitors in every other aspect, but they are collaborating on this technology to move forward faster, in the safest way,” she says.
“Traceability and trust”
Creating a “digital twin” for physical products like shoes or handbags, Aura’s software compiles a record of information such as the type and source of the material, where and when it was made, and how much have been produced.
Ott says it will give consumers a greater level of proof and protection by acting as an authenticating digital certificate that uses “bank-grade encryption” and is “impossible to forge” – foiling counterfeiters. The digital twins, accessible via a webpage or mobile app, will provide more information about product origin, improving “traceability and trust” around sustainability and ethical issues for conscious consumers, she says. .
Blockchain does have its limitations though – information is only as reliable as the person entering it, says Ott, and warns that “if a brand doesn’t have a good relationship with the supplier, blockchain won’t help” .
Aura launched its cloud-based software in early 2022. Ott says its plug-in technology will allow brands to integrate the product into their existing operations with “zero blockchain knowledge”.
“Counterfeiting has been around for decades and continues to grow,” says Chammard. Vestiaire’s team of 60 authenticators verifies digital documentation, including photos, before reviewing each item. AI and blockchain could help speed up the process of digital authentication, Chammard says, adding that it would help human authenticators rather than replace them.
“We would still need an expert to do a physical exam to verify all the digital data,” she says, adding that if luxury brands use the same technology, it would help retailers easily access and use them. information.
Blockchain could also be useful beyond fashion, says Ott: luxury sectors like art, cosmetics, perfume and home furnishings could benefit. In the future, Ott says, the ledger could also contain product maintenance and upkeep information, helping to better determine a product’s resale value.
“Our measure of success is to integrate every luxury brand,” says Ott.