LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has developed the AURA platform, a blockchain system for authenticating luxury goods, with Microsoft and blockchain software company ConsenSys. The retailer will begin implementing its technology for Louis Vuitton and Parfums Christian Dior brands, ConsenSys said in a press release.
While the platform was developed to help consumers trace the origins of their products, LVMH told Women's Wear Daily the technology could also be used to safeguard creative intellectual property and curb advertising fraud. The process to develop the blockchain platform using Ethereum began more than three years ago, according to ConsenSys' release.
With the AURA platform, consumers can trace the lifecycle of its products, including the design, raw materials, manufacturing and distribution. Customers will also be able to find specific product care instructions, after-sales and warranty services on the AURA platform, according to the release.
Everyone loves a good deal, especially consumers with luxury tastes.
Research has shown that consumers are still looking for deals, but it's not clear how full-price retailers will adjust. While research from the National Retail Federation found that consumers are still seeking discount retailers, such as Ross and T.J. Maxx, the rapid growth of resale sites could take up a larger share of the market. The desire for designer deals also likely explains the growth of resale sites like The RealReal and ThredUp, the latter of which estimates that the resale market will reach $41 billion by 2022.
It remains to be seen whether the technology will sufficiently fend off counterfeit merchandise, but tapping into Ethereum technology could be a pathway toward other brands protecting their products and perhaps attracting consumers through transparency and customer perks, too. AURA will be available for other retailers to adopt, though it was created with high-end brands in mind, ConsenSys said in the release. Brands that want to use the platform for themselves have the option of choosing which features to implement, including disclosing the source of its materials or "providing tailored services and strengthening consumer loyalty."
"This model ensures that the possibilities of the technology can be made accessible to all, while maintaining the flexibility to address the specific needs of each luxury brand," the release said.