top of page

Personalized engagement and product storytelling with item-level traceability

Driving sustainability through traceability
Item-level traceability opens up new avenues for consumer engagement

The story of a product isn’t just written on its packaging or marketing material. From its constituent parts to its manufacturing process to its journey through the supply chain, there’s a fascinating tale to be told. And that tale is something most consumers want to hear.

Item-level traceability brings a host of new ways for consumers to interact with products and brands, understanding more about how their purchases exist in a wider context – social, environmental, and more. So, for brands that want consumers to really connect with them, it’s a technology with a ton of potential.

From building transparency and trust to enhancing the overall experience, and igniting fandom, item-level traceability opens up new avenues for consumer engagement that have never been seen before.

Building transparency and trust

Transparency is no longer optional, it’s essential for building consumer trust and loyalty. Take the case of Bastille Parfums, an innovative French company specializing in sustainable and natural fragrances. They took transparency to the next level by integrating Avery Dennison's RFID sensor technology and the connected product cloud platform to track and trace tagged products across the entire supply chain, improve inventory management, and mitigate counterfeit products.

A single scan with a smart device unlocks a wealth of information

Bastille Parfums are also equipped with a serialized QR code associated with the RFID tag. A single scan with a smart device unlocks a wealth of information, including the origin of ingredients, date of bottling, olfactory values, and sustainability details. This level of transparency not only enhances trust but also provides Bastille with valuable consumer engagement analytics. All of this becomes possible by assigning a unique ID to each product, capturing all essential product/raw material data, and tracking its journey along the way.

Bastille’s CEO, Sophie Maisant, noted how important this is for the brand: “*Our commitment to the highest transparency standards is in our DNA. It’s also essential to our longstanding trust with customers. Now, with this new initiative, we are letting our customers know we hear their desire for not only more information about already available ingredients but for full disclosure of ingredients, including sourcing, provenance, and date of manufacturing.”

The granular data involved in this process can be a powerful tool to build trust and loyalty among a consumer base, as it can be a way of verifying the sustainability credentials of a product.

Enhancing the consumer experience

There are multiple ways to utilize this technology creatively to make the consumer experience even better. Five of the most exciting are:

The business case for sustainability
Item-level traceability allows brands to share the craftsmanship, materials, and human touch

1 - Lifecycle storytelling

The story behind a product can be as compelling as the product itself. Item-level traceability allows brands to share the craftsmanship, materials, and human touch that go into each product, creating an emotional connection with the customer. One example of that is the recent Mara Hoffman dress that features a Digital Care Label, powered by connected product cloud. It contains a QR code that consumers can scan to learn about the making of the dress, including its waste footprint. Leveraging the same digital care label, Mara Hoffman also encourages dress owners to return the garment to the brand's retail store so that it can be sent back to Circ for recycling after its long use.

2 - Real-time engagement

Imagine receiving real-time updates about your product as it makes its way to you. From delivery notifications to personalized service, item-level traceability keeps them in the loop at every stage.

This technology can even go one step further, with multi-tap capability: it can show different information or load different web experiences on each tap. So you can sequentially take a consumer through the journey of their product, depending on how many times they’ve interacted with it. Using the same ‘multi-tap’ capability, you can also offer a different pre- and post-purchase experience with targeted information (e.g. buy again option, complementary products, alternative products, etc.) that can enhance the consumer experience.

Also, by linking the product with a consumer, for example via a customer loyalty program or the brand app, consumers could be sent personalized recall information or alerts, which can help brands with regulatory compliance.

3 - Product authentication

Counterfeit products are a growing concern in many industries that rely on collectability or rarity as a selling point. Serialization and item-level traceability allow customers to verify the authenticity of the products they purchase, which is crucial for those who value genuine products. For example, the wine and spirits industry has faced the challenge of authenticity and counterfeiting. Mosnel, an Italian winery, entered a new era of wine authenticity and traceability working with Avery Dennison and partners to ensure each bottle's authenticity and manage complicated distribution networks efficiently.

4 - Gathering feedback

As well as simply talking about their commitment to sustainable sourcing, carbon footprint reduction, and social responsibility, brands can now prove it. With verified provenance of things like materials and manufacturing, brands can engage even the strictest sustainability-conscious customers.

Measuring impact across five key sustainability dimensions

Avery Dennison has partnered with Dayrize to enable businesses to track the impact of products throughout their supply chain. This data will be presented using a scoring system, measuring impact across five key sustainability dimensions, and will involve granular data on carbon emissions, water depletion, and land used for each product in their value chain. Also, consumers will be able to access environmental and social impact information of the products they are browsing and purchasing, allowing them to make informed decisions based on the product's impact.

Case studies

We’ve seen companies in a diverse set of industries enhance their consumer experiences in creative and effective ways. These include:

Gym+Coffee and carbon footprint communication

Gym+Coffee, an ‘athleisure’ clothing brand based in Ireland, uses item-level traceability to inform its customers about the carbon footprint of their purchases, adding another layer to its brand storytelling. Clare Byrne, Senior Supply Chain Executive for Gym+Coffee says “For, it’s all about customer engagement initially and about telling our brand story. The plan is to let our customers know what the carbon footprint of each product is so they can make the choice based on what appeals to them.”

Gap Inc. highlighting garments’ “souls”

Gap Inc. leveraged the power of connected products through item-level traceability to enhance customer feedback about their Athleta brand’s clothings fit, function, style, and color. This was done through its "voice of the customer" platform; enabling consumers to scan a QR code to view garment-specific fabric 'DNA', unique characteristics that define each item of clothing, and give their feedback on it.

Swijin Swimwear

Swijin Swimwear, a Swiss-based sustainable performance-wear brand, provides consumers with Digital Care Labels powered by Avery Dennison’s connected product cloud, These are scannable QR codes on items in their SwimRunner collection that provide transparency on supply chain, care, and recycling information. On a broader level, this also supports the fashion industry's circular economy.

San Francisco 49ers - unique season ticket holder gift experience

Avery Dennison, the official Cutting Edge Embellishment Partner to the San Francisco 49ers, worked with the 49ers marquee sponsor Levi Strauss & Co. to produce an NFC-chip-enabled patch that was included in season-ticket-holder gift boxes at the beginning of the regular season. Celebrating ten seasons of the 49ers in Levi’s Stadium®, the connected NFC patch unlocked a special "Thank You, Season Ticket Holders" video message from General Manager John Lynch featuring highlights from the past ten seasons.

The future of consumer engagement: a new paradigm powered by traceability

Item-level traceability is redefining what connected product engagement means for modern consumers. It opens up a more intimate conversation about the details that really matter and offers brands the opportunity to build much more transparency into their operations.

As a brand, you can now tell compelling product stories, unlock fandom, and provide real-time information that you wouldn’t have imagined possible a decade ago. As we move forward, the brands that’ll thrive are those that lead the way in leveraging these groundbreaking opportunities.

Ready to take your customer engagement to the next level? Book a free demo with to explore the endless possibilities.


bottom of page