News

23 February 2021

Authentic luxury is connected

It is common knowledge that a simple smart tag can turn a physical product into a digital channel that opens the door to a two-way communication between fashion brands and their customers, wherever they are. However, when the connected product also offers the possibility to verify its authenticity, the likelihood of consumers to engage with the brand afterwards increases dramatically, especially when the product is a luxury good. The data says it unequivocally: the Future of Fashion is Connected.

The spread of connected products

A recent study conducted between September and November 2020 by SDA Bocconi, in collaboration with Certilogo and BeSight, on the topic of digital resilience of Fashion and Luxury in Italy, confirmed that more and more companies in the industry are exploring smart tagging solutions to connect their products and exchange information with their customers.

Currently, 36% of companies have adopted a smart tagging solution and 63% of these offer authenticity verification services.

Here’s why.

Checking authenticity increases engagement. That’s a fact

The most effective way to generate consumer interactions with connected products is to offer authentication services, as they act as a real hook to boost engagement towards other contents and services offered by brands.

This is confirmed by the data collected by Certilogo - over 3.3 million authentications from 180 countries and generated by 80+ Fashion, Apparel and Luxury brands, in the last 12 months alone.

Apparently, the experience of authenticating a purchase generates a greater likelihood to receive information about the product and the brand, and increases the willingness to be contacted.

Our data say that upon initiating the authentication journey, 72% of consumers connect to a product equipped with a smart tag for the purpose of verifying its authenticity while only 28% are interested in accessing content dedicated to the brand and the product itself. However, once the authentication process is completed, the amount of users willing to stay connected with the brand reaches 61%.


Luxury goods lovers are more connected and more loyal

It is the luxury brands that enjoy the so-called "authenticity hook effect" the most: consumers who, after authentication, declare that they want to stay connected to the product to find out more are an incredible 70%.

But what happens if the product is pre-loved? As we’ve seen already, 61% of consumers state that they want to continue the experience with the connected product after authentication; when the product is second-hand, the percentage drops to 52%. However, if it is a luxury product, it goes up to 71%.

So, what's the value of connecting to customers who buy a second-hand product? The value lies is getting to know him, give him access to an immersive experience into the brand’s values, and maybe recover items from secondary resale thereby continuing to derive value.

It is not surprising that those who buy in physical stores, the pillars of the luxury shopping experience, are even more eager to enter into a dialogue with the brand after the confirmation of authenticity is delivered: 76 % of consumers are interested in extending the experience. Obviously this is not because they have doubts about the authenticity of a product they bought in an authorized store, but because they can connect and access content and services, such as a certificate of authenticity or ownership. What drives customers to further engage is the desire to extend and amplify the gratification associated with the purchase experience. 

It seems that Luxury brands’ omnichannel strategies work well, too, as even those who buy online are more interested in interacting with the product than the average: 66% vs. 58%.

Finally, let's have a look at the “loyal segment”, i.e. customers who describe themselves as passionate about that brand: 77% of them enthusiastically respond to the opportunity to access content telling the brand’s and/or the product’s story. Once again, we see that the authentication service attracts the most loyal customers, regardless of the purchase channel they have chosen and without distinction between new and second-hand products. Combining "Authenticity" with "Brand Experience" is a winner because it's a duo that consumers expect and desire from purchasing Luxury items.


From China with love

The "authenticity hook" effect seems particularly strong in specific geographies. Unsurprisingly, China is one of them. It is no secret that China is the home of counterfeiting practices, therefore it is quite understandable that Chinese consumers value the authentication service more than others. However, if the product in question is a Luxury good, their gratitude towards the brand that offers the authentication service makes their engagement levels skyrocket: 85% of customers want to extend the experience beyond authentication and enter the world of the brand they love through dedicated content and storytelling.


In conclusion…

Now’s the time to seize the smart tagging opportunity: it will change our purchase habits and our relationship with the brands we love forever. And it’s what consumers are waiting for. The Future of Fashion is Connected.

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