Fears are growing that the internet is becoming the key outlet for fake consumer goods distribution that is becoming increasingly difficult to track and cease. Associated with this is the increased fear of the threat through both the loss of reputation for the brand owner and online retailer as well as of the endangered safety for consumers.

“Consumers are the prime target of companies selling fake products online under the guise of legitimate brands,” says Alexander Rüegg, chief executive officer for U-NICA.

For several years, industry experts have recommended that the onus is on retailers to double-check their supply chains to stop the flow of illegal goods.

According to U-NICA, however, the effort could also be aided greatly by helping consumers to ‘help themselves’ by performing their own verification via apps on their smartphones.

With U-NICA’s scryptoTRACE® app, it is now possible for consumers to verify products themselves with their own device, rather than relying on a staff member or enforcement official with a specialised reader. There are no costs for the user and the products can be verified from anywhere in the world and at any time, even where there is no Internet connectivity available.

“The knock-on effect throughout the supply chain could be huge,” says Rüegg. “If consumers have the power to identify counterfeit goods at the point of sale, then pressure is applied backwards through the distribution chain. Now companies can be supported by a global enforcement team of 1.9 billion consumers armed with smartphones. The customers needn’t even know they are involved, they could be taking photos of products as part of a loyalty campaign or competition, for example. Soon, this could become the biggest deterrent against counterfeiters worldwide.”

Benefits of smartphone verification

  1. Track grey market activity and get real-time insight into the extent of grey market activity
  2. An easy-to-use smartphone app that can verify products on and offline
  3. Get real-time reporting and insights to track the movement of authentic and counterfeit goods
  4. Intensify customer engagement with promotional activity and marketing campaigns used in conjunction with the app
  5. Uncover actionable insights over how to adapt your brand protection initiative and use resources more effectively

The smarter way to verify FMCG products: scryptoTRACE®

scryptoTRACE® is a breakthrough product verification app that enables consumer goods businesses to empower anyone with a smartphone or tablet to check the authenticity of products, even if their device is offline.

The app scans for unique product markers invisible to the naked eye and enables instant verification anywhere around the world.

Researchers, inspectors or consumers can verify products and collect vital data including user, date, time and location (GEO-tag).

All this enables consumer good companies to empower people to quickly identify fake products. Companies can also carry out detailed analyses and evaluations of their brand protection and anti-counterfeit programmes because all data gathered are transmitted automatically to the central scryptoTRACE® server. With powerful new insights into the movement of products and key hotspot areas, companies can take appropriate mitigative steps, share information with enforcement agencies and gain greater control over brand protection measures.

Find out more about scryptoTRACE® and how it can help consumer goods companies find a new edge in the battle against counterfeiting by visiting our homepage.

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