Digital ID technology: helping make loved clothes last

An innovative step towards our circularity ambitions, Digital ID technology is transforming the post purchase experience by unlocking engaging content and services to help our customers form a deeper connection with their products and make more informed decisions.

As part of our mission to accelerate circularity in luxury and fashion, YOOX NET-A-PORTER has rolled out Digital ID technology across all our private label collections. In 2020, we were one of the first retailers to experiment with Digital ID technology, launching a successful pilot that paved the way to expanding the initiative across our brands. We are now working to fully extend this to all in-house label styles in partnership with leading retail Digital ID platform EON, leveraging their CircularID™ Protocol.

Q. What are Digital IDs?

A. A kind of virtual product passport, Digital IDs give customers access to design and provenance information, styling tips, care instructions and repair services via discrete QR labels and NFC tags. These unique IDs can be used to record each item’s history – telling its story from manufacture through use, resale, reuse, and recycling.

Q. How do they work?

A. Digital IDs are designed with ease and accessibility in mind. Each item has a tag discreetly located inside the product with either a QR code (a type of scannable matrix barcode) or an NFC tag (a small chip activated by your phone). It doesn’t even require a special app. By simply scanning the QR code with a smartphone camera or holding the phone close to the NFC tag customers can access information, engaging content and services related to that individual product.

Q. Why do we need Digital IDs?

A. Normally when we buy a garment and remove its tags, it becomes very challenging to reliably trace where it was made, what it is made of, and whether it is authentic. This can make it more difficult to properly care for, resell or even recycle items. We believe that unique Digital IDs can help our industry overcome these challenges.

We see a future where Digital IDs have played an important part in helping shift mindsets around longevity and circularity. This technology provides an opportunity for customers to engage more deeply with their luxury and fashion products – see how they’ve been made, where they’ve come from, and eventually enable them to be passed onto a new owner more easily. This deeper connection helps empower our customers to make more informed choices that will extend the lifespan of our products in their wardrobe and beyond, ensuring the pieces can be treasured for years to come.

Q. What do our customers think?

A. We’re already seeing promising results from our customers engaging with the new technology and showing appetite for more information. Based on data from 2021:

Q. What’s next?

A. As well as expanding the technology across all our in-house collections, we are also working to improve customer experience and uptake and expand features including recycle and resell guidance. As our Digital ID ecosystem develops, important moments such as repair or resale will be digitally stamped. This will help the product find a new owner or be recycled correctly, helping shift mindsets when it comes to longevity and circularity in luxury and fashion.

YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP commits to support our customers to make their loved clothes last by offering care and repair solutions across our four online stores by 2023. This commitment falls under the Circular Business pillar of our Infinity strategy.

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