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The future of customer experience lies in the digital product passport

February 21, 2023

"Consumers, business partners, authorities and other interested parties will soon be able to access all the information contained in this digital passport. All they will have to do is scan a unique product identification code.

In April 2022, Jan Somers, CEO of GS1 Belgium & Luxembourg, shared his excitement about the democratization of this new technology.

The digital product passport is a document established by an organization that markets and manufactures products. It identifies each product and accompanies it throughout its life cycle, from its manufacture to its end of life.

Each of the parties involved in the life of the product can access the data in this passport and enter new information, such as its use or potential repairs. When the product reaches the end of its life, the digital passport will indicate the best possible management of this product (recycle, recondition, sell second hand...).

New consumer habits

For some years now, consumer habits have evolved, with consumers being sensitive to the good quality of products, their origins and their environmental impact. Here are three causes that have direct impacts on the evolution of consumer habits.

1 - Fraud

In 2021, customs seized 5.65 million counterfeit products, household appliances, textiles, gardening tools... This figure demonstrates a total loss of control for brands that cannot find an effective solution to counterfeiting.

The causes of this spiral of counterfeiting are reflected in the second-hand market, where 37% of consumers have unknowingly bought fraudulent products.

2 - Transparency

If there is the question of conformity, there is also the question of the origin of products and their journey. In the age of transparency, whether new or second-hand, consumers want more and more information on the quality, origin and journey of their product.

3 - The growth of the circular economy

France has been experiencing a boom in second-hand consumption for some time now, particularly with the explosion of reconditioned products thanks to companies such as BackMarket or Murfy.

The second-hand market in France represents 6 billion euros. There are many reasons for this: it is cheaper, more ecological and more profitable. Thus, 27% of French people say they have already bought a reconditioned mobile.

Why do you need a passport for your fridge?

A passport for a fridge, an idea that may seem laughable at first, but the stakes are real. Here is what it can bring:

  • Confidence: The digital passport allows customers to buy second-hand items without the possibility of scams. This technology positions you as a trusted player, the risk of making a wrong purchase is zero. This passport will reinforce the growth of interest in the circular economy and thus participate in a sustainable approach.
  • Profits: This new system will encourage buyers to switch to second hand and therefore to the platforms that offer this service. In this way, parts resellers maximise their profits.
  • Value: Counterfeiting has taken a huge market share in various industries, and consumers are becoming increasingly wary. This authentication solution will recreate a bond of trust between brands and their consumers. In addition, this certificate is a means of communication for brands to share their usage or maintenance advice.
  • Security: By authenticating products through the digital passport, the brand will be able to easily communicate with its consumers in case of a problem on a series of products, a manufacturer's defect or simply to communicate maintenance advice.

These advantages break down the barriers of second-hand goods and will undoubtedly convince the last reluctant consumers. The digital passport is part of a dual approach of transparency for users and sustainability for the planet.

How does it work ?

From use...

Imagine a tool that allows consumers to identify their product thanks to a forgery-proof technology, and then to record the different stages of the product's life. Thanks to the digital passport, the consumer can record all the stages in the life of the product from its purchase to its end of life.

Here is an example of use when buying a fridge.

  • Step 1 - The consumer registers their new fridge through the act of purchase.
  • Step 2 - The consumer anonymously associates this fridge with their passport portfolio to establish themselves as the owner.
  • Step 3 - The consumer records the life cycle of the fridge, such as any repairs.

The history can be used to document certain repairs and facilitate the work of the repairer. When the product is sold, both parties register as buyer and seller respectively, the buyer has a reliable history of the product and all the necessary details without having to be a product expert. The seller secures his sale, as both parties have to validate the transaction.

A QR code gathers all the product information
A QR code gathers all the product information

... To technology

Blockchain and NFTs for my fridge passport?

  • An NFT is a file to which a digital certificate of authenticity has been attached. It is registered in a database that contains the history of all the exchanges made between its users since its creation, this database is called the blockchain.

The technology will allow any person who identifies themselves to write and read unbreakable information. This information will be synchronised, stored and secured by millions of computers around the world.

This is the technology that seems best suited to a digital passport system. Indeed, some players have already started to use it for product identification purposes. This is the case of COLNAGO, the Italian bicycle manufacturer, which has teamed up with the MyLime platform to create a digital passport in the blockchain with the aim of combating the scourges of counterfeiting and theft.

What about Pimster?

To access this technology, Pimster offers an intuitive interface that will allow consumers to register their product, access a knowledge base and exchange with the brand's community.

Identify your users and certify their products
Identify your users and certify their products

The idea of the Pimster platform is in two parts. Firstly, an online tool for brands will allow for the management of product-related content and data management. Secondly, in a WebApp format, consumers will have access to their portfolio of product passports through a digital vault.

The benefit is twofold, as the brand finds a point of contact with its consumers to communicate on tips and tricks in different formats, text, video, photo, live. And secondly, the user regains confidence in the brand thanks to a follow-up throughout the life of the product.

For some years now, consumer habits have evolved, with consumers being sensitive to the good quality of products, their origins and their environmental impact. Here are three causes that have direct impacts on the evolution of consumer habits.