The modern age has brought great advancements in manufacturing, transportation, and communication. Along with all of these advancements, fresh business opportunities come along with fresh challenges. Staying relevant, protecting your brand, getting your product out there, all of these essential marketing pieces can be difficult to grasp when everything changes so fast. Today, we’re going to look at a technology can help streamline your business strategy by creating a seamless customer experience: digital identities.
What are digital identities?
When you think of a “digital identity,” you may first think of your own online identity, including your name, driver’s license, birthdate, credit card and so on – all of that information that makes it so when you go to buy something online or travel with a passport, the computer knows this is you as opposed to someone else. If your business has an online presence, you may think of digital identity as your brand name, your logo, your specific style and all that comes with it.
Product digital identities work more or less the same way – but on each individual product. Have you ever gone to the store and seen some interesting new product and thought – what is this? What kind of reviews does it have online? Maybe you even look it up on your smartphone to compare prices, read reviews, to see if anyone you know has purchased this product in the past. With digital identities, each product gets its own website. You can use QR codes to make it easy for customers and potential customers directly to this website. And, you can use product digital identity to track your own supply line from production to sale.
Essentially, digital identities create an online presence for your products in much the same way that your personal digital identity creates your own online presence.
5 Ways Digital Identities Create a Seamless Customer Experience
Now that we know what digital identities are, maybe you’re already thinking of ways you could use this technology for your business. Here are (at least) 5 ways.
1. Easy-to-find Product Information.
Digital identities make it possible to centralize product information in one place and then link that place to your product via QR codes and other packaging details, such as a text link to your company website. That way, if someone sees your product on the shelf or at a friend’s house or mentioned in a review, they can easily find your product online on your product’s personalized website. There, they can find detailed information, reviews, and whatever other information you decide to share – including how and where to purchase your product. Without a unique digital identity, this can be hard to manage, with potentially dozens of copies of your product’s information scattered around the net on retailer websites, at least some of it likely inaccurate and/or misleading. Digital identity lets you keep one official product page that’s up to date and easy to find.
2. Targeted Marketing Opportunities.
By creating an online identity for each individual product, you can then associate that identity with a number of online traits. For example, let’s say you are selling a power drink that you market mostly to college age young adults. You would like your brand to become more well-known to people in this age-range who like power drinks. With digital identities, you can associate your products (whatever they may be) with buyer personas. You can then use information from smart devices including connected refrigerators and other devices that support targeted marketing. As preferences and needs change, all the algorithms will ever need to know is what you have readily available in the digital identity information. Without a digital identity, you may know your target market, but it can become exceedingly difficult to match that market with your product.
3. Supply-chain Awareness.
By creating a digital identity for each of your products, you can gain far greater supply-chain awareness by tracking shipment sales of individual product lines. Depending on how you ship your products, you may at present be able to track bulk shipments but not individual products. Not knowing exactly where each product is in the supply-chain or how much is currently on shelves or sold can make it difficult to determine how much more of each individual product you should manufacture or order. Digital identities make it easier for you to watch behind the scenes, to make sure that customer needs will be met by using real-time data linked to this unique product. You can link digital identities to existing ERP software for a more complete picture of your product line.
4. Counterfeit Proof.
Together with supply-chain awareness, digital identities help to protect your supply-chain from counterfeits. By uniquely stamping each product and then linking it back to a unique digital ID, you make it easier for customers and retailers to tell if this is really your product or a copy. If you do have a problem with theft somewhere along the way, ID tracking can give you a way to find out when and where the problem seems to happen. At all levels, from production to delivery, digital identities let you mark your products – and only your products – as uniquely yours, with a single source that anyone can use for verification.
5. Social Media Sharing.
Finally, digital identities let satisfied customers share their thoughts with others via social media. And, they allow you to link to your product via your business’s online presence. By creating a digital identity for each product, you give customers and potential customers a single place to turn to when accessing and forwarding information about that product. This will make it easier for you to track current engagement and to control the narrative when it comes to your product. Otherwise, people may still discuss the product you’re selling, but it will be harder to track what is being said and who is saying it.
Are Digital Identities Right for Your Business?
Whatever your business, whether you are purely online, strictly B2B, or if you sell through brick-and-mortar stores, digital identities can help to establish your brand. For online sales, digital identities help strengthen brand identity and streamline the overall process. For physical stores, an online presence has become a virtual necessity, with over half of consumers preferring to shop online. To stay relevant, to keep ahead of the curve, digital identities are a good idea for just about any business with unique products that they would like to sell substantial numbers of in the future. This includes everything from electronics to toys to housewares. If you have even a single product like this, then digital identities may be a good fit for your business.