How product digitization connects brands and consumers

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by Henrikke Sylte

Connected products

Product digitization is the process of turning physical products into digital versions. It involves digital tools capturing information about the product’s design, making, and distribution. This helps brands connect better with consumers and provides useful info like how to care for the product or where it came from.

Technology has fundamentally altered the way consumers interact with brands and directly with products. Products are empowered to “speak” for themselves, and consumers get immediate access to the information they care about most. Whether that’s getting more detailed product information before purchase, registering a product once they buy it, enrolling in loyalty programs, or looking for care, resale, repair or recycle information, the transformation of the physical to the digital has changed the brand-consumer relationship. Product digitization connects brands and consumers in a completely new way.

Personalized experiences drive and deepen this relationship, made possible by product digitization through unique digital IDs and serialized identities on garments. 

Making physical products into digital channels 

When physical products become their own digital channels, brands and consumers connect with each other in ways that have never been thought of before. The digital identification technologies involved in digitizing products enable the dynamic potential for transforming customer interactions and experiences across multiple industries, but here we will take a look at how making fashion go digital can enhance brand loyalty and consumer experiences. 

When you think of traceability, you may picture something like a QR code on a product’s label. And as valuable as the information the QR code can open the door to, it can be a lot more profound than what many brands have realized, thanks to product digitization connecting brands and consumers and traceability.

When associated with unique digital IDs, the physical items with which they are associated become gateways to rich, dynamic experiences that are unique to the type of user. That is, a single QR code can deliver different information to an end user depending on who that end user is. A retailer will get a different experience and set of information than the end consumer. And here we want to explore what brands can offer consumers by turning physical products into digital channels. 

Reaping the potential of product digitization, digital IDs and traceability 

When product digitization connects brands and consumers, brands have previously unthinkable ways to interact with consumers to build trust, transparency, and loyalty. Traceability represents an untapped potential for building deeper brand-consumer relationships, where each product becomes a vessel for storytelling, trust-building, and personalization, ensuring that customers remain engaged, satisfied, and loyal. 

While there are many ways brands may choose to engage, some of the primary value-adding use cases include: 

Brand stories

Through traceability, brands can influence consumer perception and narrate their stories in a way that transcends traditional advertising. By scanning a product, consumers can access the brand’s history, values, and mission. This fosters a sense of connection and trust, as consumers get to know the product in a more complete way.

Registration

Digital IDs enable effortless product registration. Consumers can easily sign up for a warranty, access personalized care instructions, and even receive updates about the product’s lifecycle. This ease of registration creates a hassle-free consumer experience, building trust and reliability.

Loyalty programs

Product traceability facilitates loyalty programs. Brands can offer exclusive discounts, rewards, and personalized recommendations to consumers who consistently engage with their products. This personalized approach makes consumers feel valued and appreciated and can increase the likelihood of repeat purchases.

Replenishment and subscriptions

Consumers can receive timely reminders and suggestions for replenishing their products. For instance, if you purchase skincare products, your digital ID might remind you when it’s time to reorder, ensuring that you never run out of your favorite items. Perhaps replenishment is not as relevant to fashion/clothing, but the interactive nature of the communication ensures that consumers are more likely to keep their preferences up to date.

Warranty and after-sales care

By providing consumers with access to warranty information, care instructions, and after-sales support, brands ensure that their customers enjoy a reliable and easy experience with their products. This support can extend the lifespan of products, creating satisfied and loyal customers. Likewise, with the Digital Product Passport, consumer ability to repair is enshrined in law. Traceability makes it much easier for brands to comply and meet consumers where they are.

Resale and second-hand markets

Traceability facilitates the resale of products in the second-hand market. Consumers can easily authenticate a product’s origin and quality, allowing for a more transparent and secure resale process.

Recycling

Brands can guide consumers on how to recycle or dispose of products responsibly. This can reduce waste, increase material reuse, encourage refill-based models where applicable, and reinforce eco-friendly initiatives.

Sustainability

Traceability also offers an opportunity for brands to verify their commitment to sustainability. Greenwashing is a major problem in the fast-fashion world we live in. Brand leaders actively use traceability data to be more eco-conscious throughout the supply chain – and prove it.

Product digitization connects and unites the brand and consumer

The integration of traceability through digital IDs and serialized identities is not just a technological advancement. It’s a powerful means of elevating the brand-consumer relationship. The opportunities for personalization, transparency, and enhanced consumer experiences are boundless. Brands that embrace this digital transformation are poised to reap the benefits through more engaged consumer interactions. 

Learn more about how to harness the power of the digital ID and serialized identities. Register for the upcoming webinar, Elevating the Brand-Consumer Relationship.