Secure NFCs or QR Codes – Which Better Protects Your Products’ Authenticity?

When it comes to your products’ authenticity, security, and tracking needs, you may find yourself asking whether or not QR codes or NFC tags might help. 

While both are effective technologies for businesses to use, they each have their own unique characteristics that should be taken into consideration before you invest in the technology.


QR Codes

Quick Response (QR) codes are a type of machine-readable barcode designed to relay information, such as URLs, to a device. They are typically square and contain an array of black and white squares or dots that form a pattern unique to the item to which they’re attached.  

QR codes are different from conventional barcodes in that they store information both horizontally and vertically. This enables them to hold over one hundred times more information than traditional barcodes; one of the main reasons they’ve gained in popularity.

How They Work

When scanned, the device reads the pattern and sends it to a database where the information associated with that particular code is stored. From there, the device pulls up the associated information and displays it to the user.


NFC Tags

NFC stands for Near Field Communication. This is also a contactless communication technology that enables two devices to exchange data when in close proximity. The encoded tags use radio frequency waves to transmit data, and require no physical contact between the transmitting and receiving devices.

How It Works

When two NFC-enabled devices are placed in close proximity, the receiving device wirelessly collects data from the transmitting device, even if it is not currently in active use. The receiver then reacts to the transmitted data, either displaying information or initiating actions based on what was exchanged.


Comparing the Two

While both QR codes and NFC tags offer advantages when it comes to gathering and sharing information, there are some key differences to note between the two.

QR codes are extremely easy to duplicate, store, forward and copy. On the other hand information encoded in the NFC tag needs a NFC reader to access the information. 

For most NFC tags, information access and retrieval is comparable to QR codes. However, secure NFC tags as used and developed by XenTag are impossible to clone, duplicate and share. This makes secure NFC tags very useful for tagging non-fungible assets.


Which Technology is Better for Your Products?

QR codes are best used for basic product information. If you want to protect your brand, deter counterfeits, ensure authentication, track the provenance of your products and provide a host of engagement features to your users, then secure NFC tags are the optimal solution. 

Secure NFCs make each of your products uniquely identifiable (or ‘non-fungible’). This feature allows products to be owned, registered and exchanged, as each one is tracked or differentiated uniquely. 


Both QR codes and NFC tags have varying costs associated with them that may impact your purchasing decision. QR codes typically involve a one-time setup cost; depending on the size of your project, you may need to purchase a QR code generator. 

On the other hand, NFC tags require an initial investment to purchase the tags, but once acquired they often have a longer lifespan (from 50 to 200 years) and can be reused multiple times.


QR codes are more accessible than NFC tags, as they can be read with any device that has a camera and a QR scanner. NFC tags, however, require an NFC-enabled device to read them. 

This may limit their accessibility in certain situations where users may not have access to an NFC-enabled device. However, most current smartphones come with a standard NFC reader, as both Google Pay and Apple Pay both use this technology


QR codes can be printed on any surface and in a variety of sizes and colours, while NFC tags require specialized printing equipment to produce. Additionally, the cost of NFC tags can add up quickly if you require a large quantity.


NFC tags are more secure than QR codes as they can be secured with a password or encryption, providing additional layers of protection from unauthorized access.

QR codes are not secure and can be copied, stored and re-transmitted. Secure NFC tags are almost impossible to hack as they use an onboard cipher chip and use AES and/or public key cryptography


Ease of Use

Both QR codes and NFC tags have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on what you are looking to achieve. Evaluating factors such as cost, accessibility, production, security, and ease of use can help you decide which technology is right for your needs.  

Know Your Sources: How XenTag can eradicate food fraud

From mislabelling GMO produce as organic to lacing infant milk with melamine, easily one of the most reprehensible displays of greed over safety is tampering and fraud within the food and beverage industries.

Unlike other household goods and products, issues in the food and drink market can have deadly consequences. In this post, we’ll look at the targets of this underground industry, its victims, as well as some of the perpetrators most profiting from this illicit underground market.

We’ll then explore how XenTag can help rebuild brands in the face of food scandals by developing community trust. That’s because XenTag helps you know where your products are and where they’ve been, offering immutable data and a clear chain of command.


The human consequences of counterfeit goods

When it comes to fraud and wilfully counterfeiting products in the food and drink industries, fake packaging is as common as adulterated ingredients. Tragically, there are often mortal consequences to this illicit practice. In 2008, the Chinese milk scandal would claim the lives of six infants and endanger more than 300,000 nursing babies.

This criminal disaster involved the infant formula of Sanlu Group, which had augmented its formula components with melamine. According to reports, melamine was added “to increase the nitrogen content of diluted milk, giving it the appearance of higher protein content in order to pass quality control testing. Of an estimated 294,000 victims, six babies died from kidney stones and other kidney damage, and an estimated 54,000 were hospitalized.”

After the initial focus on Sanlu, a leading producer of infant formula in China, additional government inspections revealed that products from 21 other companies had also been tainted.

This raised alarms about food safety and political corruption in China, resulting in a number of criminal trials conducted by the Chinese government. In the wake of the 2008 Chinese Milk Scandal, the criminal trials resulted in the firing or forced resignation of government officials, three sentences of life imprisonment and two executions.

Yet that same year, in late 2008 in China and around the world, “similar adulteration with melamine was discovered in eggs,” and other food, the Wikipedia entry reads. “The source was traced to melamine being added to animal feed, despite a ban imposed in June 2007 following the scandal over pet food ingredients exported to the United States.”

In the end, those 22 companies found to have been selling tainted products “set up a fund to compensate families for deaths and illness. But the amounts were small for families whose children needed a lifetime of care,” Quartz documented.


The current state of global food safety

The reality is that food safety is an ever-changing, complex realm with a variety of very real threats.

It’s not just in China that milk faces safety issues. In a retrospective article evaluating the decade since the Chinese Milk Scandal broke, Quartz business journal noted that no nation is immune. “Earlier this year, a French milk-powder producer recalled 7,000 tons of infant formula after babies fell ill consuming products from the firm contaminated with salmonella.”

Packworld, which comments on global trade, notes that lead has been found inside the spice turmeric, harmful industrial dyes for colour have been found in spices, palm oil, dog food and more.

In addition to the added adulterations are the undeclared substances. “When such substances are allergens—such as with peanut or soy proteins—the safety issues are obvious,” they note.

Often, peanut products are added to cumin in an effort to increase its volume, which then lead to cumin recalls, as was the case in 2014.

To date, the risk of a food safety incident remains high while public trust remains low, in China and beyond.

Huang Yanzhong, a senior fellow for global health at the Council for Foreign Relations in New York  reported on the general perception in China of a “moral decline,” a time when “people try to make money by whatever means it takes.”

“It’s very hard to have a strong sense of optimism,” stated Yanzhong.


2022 and beyond: Know your sources

It’s smart to be prepared and stay informed. Global governments and commerce alike are all undergoing a digital transformation. Joint efforts across industries will continue making strides in vanquishing dangerous frauds in the food and beverage industries.

Consumers are likewise expected to make a considerable impact. Packworld foresees “packaging makers” can expect their food customers to “request specific steps or information” to combat food fraud. Fortunately, technology today makes it possible to protect the supply chain intelligently.


How XenTag helps stop dangerous counterfeits

Each player in the supply chain is expected to take protective measures against further fraud. Everything—from the authenticity of life-saving drugs to ethical farming, to assuring the inherent nutritional value of organic food—can and should be assured.

Yet it has never been so easy for criminals to use fake packaging and labelling, or tamper with food elements.

Quality and safety matter. That’s why XenTag makes food production and safe handling primary goals. XenTag is an embedded RFID/NFC tag that can determine whether a product has been damaged, broken or mishandled.

This tamper-proof tag tracks and evaluates your valuable merchandise, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, art or other valuables, allowing your clients to securely evaluate the authenticity, origin, history and proof-of-custody of products throughout the entire supply chain.

Here are just a few of the next-gen protections afforded by XenTag:

  • Organic Food assurance anti-tamper: Tamper-proof XenTags can protect organic produce and assure the consumer peace of mind and original product assurance.
  • Reinforced 3-layer security: The XenTag hardware and all product data is protected by 3 layers of security. Far more secure than QR or barcodes, the data produced by the tag cannot be replicated.
  • Protecting individual pallets: XenTag can track all consignments at pallet level as they move through critical checkpoints in the supply chain.
  • Authenticity of product assurance: Allows your consumers to check the authenticity of your products in an effortless, frictionless way.
  • Know Your Customer (KYC) feature: XenTag offers a feature to filter customer feedback, eliminating anonymous customers and bogus bots.
  • Universally Unique Identifiers (UUID) protection: Data is protected by random, number-generated codes that change with every login, and stored on a public blockchain.
  • Advanced tag encryption: Every tag is encrypted with machine-generated AES-128 cipher Advanced Encryption, then combined with the random generator on the tag to ensure the tag is unique. Non-cloneable, cannot be repurposed, and information stays encrypted.

We help prevent counterfeiting and build community trust through immutable data. XenTag is the next evolution of supply chain and brand protection.

Let ZenduiT help guide your company through its digital transformation. Contact our consultants today for a free demonstration and see if XenTag is right for you.

How StockX, eBay and Other Retailers are Using NFC Tags to Instill Buyers’ Confidence

A few years ago, online retail giant eBay announced its plans to roll out a new authentication program for sneakers sold on its platform. The project came on the tails of luxury shoe purveyors SneakerCon and GOAT, both of which have had legitimacy verification practices in place since as far back as 2015. 

While requiring some extra investment, these initiatives have proven essential for online retailers who rely on brand credibility to stay afloat. Thorough inspections and high tech tools seem to be the only way to get figurative – and literal – buy-in from scam-weary customers.

 In this article, we’ll explore this reality in depth by discussing NFC tags and how companies like eBay are using them as an insurance policy against fraud. We’ll also cover the ROI that tech-enabled strategies like these can deliver to the businesses that employ them.


What Is NFC?

NFC, short for Near-Field Communication, is a technology designed to facilitate wireless information transfer. It uses radio waves that allow for short-range connection (usually a few centimetres) between two devices. NFC is a relatively inexpensive technology and has many applications, including contactless payment, ticket redemption and access cards.


How NFC Tags Work

NFC connections are enabled by NFC tags – small, passive chips embedded into electronic devices. These tags are attached to antennas that allow them to communicate with each other. When an NFC-enabled device comes in contact with an NFC tag, it can read the chip’s data. This data can range from basic information like the serial number of a product, to more extensive details such as brand, size and colour.


NFC Tags in Action

NFC tags have a lot of potential beyond contactless payment. One important application is authenticity verification; NFC technology uses a combination of unique IDs, cross-checking and short access range, to provide an extra layer of protection against counterfeit goods.

 Below, we’ll highlight some prominent examples of retailers using NFC tags to ensure the validity of their products; in this case, luxury footwear.


eBay is the latest major company of its kind to hop on the NFC train, having partnered with industry leader Sneaker Con to create a shoe authenticity program in 2020. The online retailer invested millions into a new state-of-the-art facility that has been using processes of rigorous inspection to verify that every sneaker sold over $100 in the U.S. is the genuine article.

 To guarantee the validity of its sneaker sales, eBay has independent authenticators review everything from the shoes themselves – including stitch marks, glue and colouring – to the boxes and accessories they come with. Upon passing this multi-point inspection, products are given an ‘eBay tag’ as a guarantee of their legitimacy. These tags are, of course, NFC -enabled and can be scanned by customers to confirm the product’s authenticity.


SneakerCon, another prominent online sneaker platform, has been using NFC tags since 2018. Each sneaker sold by the company is equipped with a tag that contains a unique serial number, allowing customers to verify the item’s authenticity. Once the tag is scanned, an app will pull up information on the shoe’s model name, size, condition, SKU number and any other details necessary to prove its legitimacy. Once a shoe is confirmed as legitimate, customers will be shown a screen that reads “Legit. Sneaker Con Authenticated.”


The ROI of NFC

While it’s pretty obvious that NFC verification comes with an extra price tag (no pun intended), the general consensus among retailers is that the cost is justified. eBay in particular has greatly benefited from its program. Customers are often hesitant to trust the quality of products purchased online. This new verification system virtually eliminates the risk of buyers getting scammed and has opened the door for eBay to capitalize on $500+ range sales.


Tying it Up

NFC tags are the perfect solution for retailers looking to create an extra layer of security around their products and ensure their authenticity. By providing customers with an easy way to verify the validity of their purchases, companies can increase consumer trust in their brand and open the door to a new level of sales. Ultimately, NFC tags represent a small up-front investment that retailers can benefit from for many years to come.


Counterfeit Wine – How big is the problem and how can we solve it?

Wine counterfeiting is about as old as wine making itself. The fact that an estimated 20% to 25% of wine sold worldwide is fraudulent in some way is a sobering issue that plagues the entire industry.

Rare and collectible wines have always been a prime counterfeiting target, with crooks diluting or substituting fine wines with less expensive vintages. Now, the problem now extends to mid and lower-tier wines, with even $10 to $15 bottles falling victim to counterfeiting.

Criminals have realized that it’s much easier and far more profitable to produce mass quantities of fake lower-cost vintages than to attempt creating a perfect Château Lafite Rothschild dupe. A globalized supply chain and increase in market demand only fuels the opportunity to make a quick buck nearly undetected.

In one instance, UK consumers were sold bottles of fake Yellow Tail that contained an odd-tasting substance. Back in 2011, hundreds of bottles of fraudulent Jacob’s Creek wine made it into the UK market. In both instances, fraud was only detected by consumers who drank the wine and noticed the difference. The counterfeit Jacob’s Creek bottles that were imported into the UK originated in China, rather than Australia.

Around 15% of wine sold under the Côtes du Rhône appellation from 2013 to 2016 was faked through high-level counterfeiting activity. This translates roughly to 13 Olympic swimming pools filled with inferior wine.

French police recently busted a gang who used basic printing equipment to pass lower-cost Spanish wine off as Bordeaux. Those fraudsters made hundreds of thousands of bottles of fake wine before they were caught and had respected supermarkets and other international purchasers as customers. Another notorious fraud saw millions of bottles of Spanish wine passed off as French rosé.

The growing Asian wine market is one of the biggest global targets for counterfeiting and other crimes, with rampant fraud found from entry-level to high-end products. Hong Kong has even turned into what one expert has described as a “fake wine dumping ground”. In the most severe cases, so-called wine sold in stores doesn’t even contain grapes.

Fraud, counterfeiting, and forgery are pervasive throughout the entire wine sector. It’s a $9 billion-a-year problem that can’t be solved with the traditional bottle-by-bottle manual authentication approach. The industry needs a way to mass-protect bottles at source and enable efficient verification along distribution channels.

Smart packaging technologies enabled with NFC tags offers an optimal way to do this.


NFC Tags

Near Field Communication (NFC) is an encrypted communication technology that works between two devices in close proximity to each other. One device has a passive smart chip – or NFC tag – that stores and sends information. Another device has an NFC reader that activates the chip and receives its information.

NFC tags can be placed on smart cards, electronic devices, product packaging and physical objects. Smartphones can read them via third-party apps or built-in capabilities. XenTag, for example, can program read NFC tags without a third-party app.

Smart keycards, contactless card payments, virtual wallets, and ticketing systems all run on this technology.


Authenticating Wine with NFC Tags

NFC tags is a versatile, accessible, and convenient communication technology that already has widespread consumer adoption. Tags can be attached directly to objects or built into product packaging. Plus, these smart labels can store rich information and be integrated with software solutions, like inventory management and tracking programs.

This makes them perfect for branding, counterfeit-proofing, and authenticating wine bottles, pallets, and other forms of inventory.

  • Wine producers can equip their packaging with inventory verification information, along with brand-focused content, such as varietal education or links to other assets.
  • Distributors, wholesalers, and retailers can scan codes to instantly validate incoming inventory and provide supply chain updates.
  •  Consumers can scan codes to confirm they’re getting the real deal, see enhanced product information, and cross over into new brand-owned experiences.

NFC tags enable counterfeit-proofing mass inventory quantities, instant and interactive verification, real-time supply chain and distribution updates, and enhanced branding opportunities. Industry stakeholders can shore up confidence, maintain brand integrity, and keep consumers safe.

It’s a fresh and modern way to solve an ancient problem.

The Cost of Counterfeit Luxury: How XenTag can help you spot a fake

“Counterfeiting will become the crime of the 21st century.”

– James Moody, former Chief, FBI Organized Crime Division


The first counterfeiting of luxury goods dates as far back as 27 BCE. A wine merchant hailing from Gaul managed to counterfeit trademarks on a wine amphora (a Roman or a Greek jug or a jar used for holding wine), thereby passing off a local inferior wine as expensive Roman spirits.

The world may have changed and evolved since then, but the counterfeit market is still very much a thriving business.

According to a report by the Harvard Business Review, the counterfeited goods market amounts to approximately $4.5 trillion. Of that number, fake luxury goods account for 60-70%.

With the current available data, the counterfeit goods market has grown in parallel with ecommerce platforms such Amazon, eBay and Alibaba; this is not a coincidence.

Approximately 40% of the sales of luxury fake goods occur online, due in part to the anonymous nature of ecommerce, and in part to the inability of authorities to police the web.

The growth of these ecommerce sites has facilitated the exponential growth of counterfeited luxury goods. What’s more, consumers often purchase these items knowingly. Despite the effort to curb this global pandemic, luxury brands seem to be losing the fight.


The cost of counterfeit luxury goods

Given the staggering number of luxury fakes on the market, one might assume that the only people who stand to suffer are the marketing teams that these luxury brands employ. However, the displacement of legitimate economic activity is far greater.

When it comes to luxury brands, products must be original and in short supply to be successful. The constant production of counterfeit items leads to lost sales revenue, damaged brand reputation and the loss of exclusivity.

Moreover, counterfeits are not made with any specific safety standards in place, which puts consumers at risk. For example, fake perfumes can cause skin irritations and counterfeit bags may contain chemicals that could cause the wearer to have an adverse reaction.

The sale of counterfeit luxury goods puts jobs at risk, which in turn has a negative impact on the global economy. From tax evasion to intellectual property rights, the effects of fake luxury goods are pervasive and long-lasting:

  • Many counterfeiters use the proceeds from fake luxury goods to fund organized crime
  • Counterfeiting contributes to job losses due to manufacturers being unable to match low prices
  • The manufacturers of luxury brands are deprived of profits due to the underground counterfeit market

The most counterfeited luxury brands are Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Fendi, Gucci and Dior (according to the 2018 Global Brand Counterfeiting report). They are cheap to produce and can be sold anywhere for quick profit with almost no consequences or seizures.

Manufacturers of luxury goods have teams of lawyers and anti-counterfeiting task forces aimed at finding and persecuting the perpetrators of fake luxury brands. But what if there was a tool that could be used throughout the entire supply chain process to filter out fake items?


Introducing XenTag

XenTag is a small, pre-programmed RFID/NFC tag that is inserted or embedded into products. The tag helps track and evaluate goods at every step of the supply chain and allows customers to check the authenticity of the product using the tag.


How does XenTag Work?

In the first stage, XenTag is embedded into your products. The tag tracks and monitors your products until they reach a storefront, or your customer’s doorstep.

Your customers can download the XenTag app, available for either Android or iOS, and use it to authenticate their product instantly.


How secure is XenTag?

All product data is protected by three layers of security. The tag hardware and the information it stores is far more secure than QR codes or barcodes and cannot be replicated.

The volume of fake products being sold as genuine has surged exponentially. Despite the adage that if a deal sounds too good to be true it probably is, people are buying fake luxury goods in droves. Protect your brand and your business with XenTag. Contact your ZenduiT consultant today for a free demonstration.


Fake Pharma: How XenTag can solve the underground drug market

According to a report published by the National Library of Medicine, 35 of the largest pharmaceutical companies worldwide accounted for a collective revenue of 11.5 trillion USD, a gross profit of 8.6 trillion USD, from 2000 to 2018.

These numbers speak to the massive profitability of “Big Pharma” over the last two decades, but the sometimes-prohibitive cost of pharmaceuticals has also created ideal conditions for a thriving underground market, and business is good.


Fake Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceuticals are the 10th most counterfeited products in all international trade. In 2016 alone, the international trade in fake pharma products had reached over 4.4 billion USD in sales. Even today, these figures show no sign of slowing down.

Counterfeit pharmaceuticals are produced and sold exclusively with the intent of profit over cure. Fake drugs do not contain any type of specific composition, either in ingredients or in quantity. Often, these drugs use substitute ingredients with contaminants that can cause allergic reactions, illness, and even death.


The Fake Pharmaceutical Epidemic

According to the Economist, a 2011 survey by the World Health Organization found that over 64% of drugs used to treat malaria were fake. The consequences and adverse effects of the widespread counterfeit drug market are most felt in African nations and developing countries in South America and Asia. Unfortunately, the origin of these fake drugs can also be traced back to these countries.

Each year, more than 200,000 deaths can be traced back to counterfeit drugs. These statistics aren’t relegated to third-world countries with lax health healthcare systems. In 2012, tainted steroids killed 11 people in Boston. In the same year, it was discovered that vials of Avastin, a cancer treatment, lacked any active ingredients at all.


Impact on Legitimate Pharmaceutical Companies

Not only are counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs the direct cause of numerous deaths each year, but they also lead to loss of sales and damaged reputations of legitimate pharmaceutical companies. Those companies registered in the United States are the hardest hit by this underground trade.

In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) found that in most developing countries, the ratio of counterfeit or substandard drugs is 1 in every 10 drugs that are sold. By current estimation, this is equivalent to $30 billion USD in losses each year.


Countering Underground Pharma

According to a BBC news report, the journalist reported that the fake pharma industry is booming in West Africa, even more so following the Covid pandemic. Deeper research on this flourishing underground market revealed a highly sophisticated criminal network with powerful underground connections.

The FDA, in coalition with WHO and various other international bodies and governments, have been trying to protect the public from counterfeit drugs. Though there have been great strides in exposing these perpetrators and their network, the criminal syndicates that pull the strings remain largely untraceable.


How Can XenTag Help?

One solution that can help identify and verify the legitimacy of pharmaceutical products is XenTag.

XenTag is a small, pre-programmed RFID/NFC tag that is embedded in your product. The tag will help you track and evaluate your pharmaceuticals, and more importantly allow your consumers to check the authenticity of the product.

With XenTag, you can digitize your pharmaceuticals on a public blockchain. The tag technology allows you to track and trace the trajectory of your product at every point in the supply chain. When your shipment reaches the end user, they can quickly and easily authenticate with the help of the corresponding XenTag app on their mobile device.

XenTag also comes with a tamper-proof configuration which helps determine if the product has been mishandled in any way, ensuring that your products stay safe until they reach your customers.



XenTag offers an advanced yet simple way to guard against fake pharmaceuticals. In time, digital tagging may become so widespread that it eliminates the underground pharma market, decreases death and illness and protects your pharmaceutical brand.

Reach out to one of our consultants today to see how XenTag can work for you.

Counterfeit Cosmetics: XenTag exposes the ugly side of beauty

If a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is. The counterfeit market has long been a counterpoint to all kinds of goods and products, from luxury brand items to pharmaceutical drugs and beauty products.

The unauthorized reproduction or imitation of legitimate goods for financial gain (and misleading people into believing said products are genuine) is considered an intellectual property crime.

In this article we will explore the world of counterfeit cosmetics, and how the growth of e-commerce has facilitated this underground market. We’ll also identify how digital tagging products such as XenTag can potentially put an end to fake beauty.


An overview of the counterfeit cosmetics market

According to a report from the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) report, the international trade in counterfeit and pirated goods and products had an estimated value of approximately $509 billion in 2016. This figure reflected an increase of 32% from 2013 to 2016.

Cosmetics products (including perfume) rank among the top 10 counterfeited products internationally.

Globally, there were as much as 130,000 customs seizures of counterfeit goods and products on a yearly basis from 2017 to 2019. These custom seizures saw an increase from 4% to 10% within a single year.


The impact of counterfeit goods on individuals and the global economy

A report published by the International Chamber of Commerce (IOC) in 2017 estimates that by 2022, the total international trade in counterfeit goods will reach $991 billion USD, which would mean a displacement of legitimate economic activity would stand between $980 billion to $1244 billion.

By 2024, the worldwide economic value of counterfeit and pirated goods and services may reach a staggering $4.5 trillion.

For individuals, this means that by 2022 approximately 5.4 million jobs will be at risk. For the global economy, this could mean a loss of approximately $4.2 trillion.


Counterfeit cosmetics and the Covid pandemic

Counterfeit cosmetics have seen an unprecedented rise amidst the Covid pandemic. According to a study by McKinsey, the sale of beauty products on e-commerce platforms have increased by 20 to 30% since the pandemic began.

The products that are most counterfeited include, but are not limited to, skincare products and haircare brands. The first half of 2020 alone saw as much as a 56% rise in the online sale of counterfeit goods and products that spread across more than 700 different legitimate brands.

According to the study’s demographics, the people most targeted by the fake cosmetics market are older, less informed and relatively new to making purchases online. But they’re not alone.

The booming of online sales has presented and even facilitated the opportunity for counterfeiters to seize market share from authentic and legitimate cosmetic brands. The inability to touch and feel products presents a unique opportunity to sell fake products, then disappear.

Counterfeit cosmetics, which generally have their origin in South Asian nations, have been flooding the e-commerce cosmetic market with substandard and even dangerous offerings. A lack of oversight from authoritative bodies have allowed these transactions to go unfettered.


The impact of counterfeit cosmetics on legitimate brands

Statistically, one in every two customers in the United States lose their faith in a brand if they happen to purchase a counterfeit version of a cosmetic product.

The unchecked rise of fake cosmetic products has cost legitimate brands not only lost revenue, but their reputation and trust in their brand.


Mitigating the counterfeit cosmetic market

While various measures have been undertaken to counter the sale of counterfeit and fake cosmetic products, more needs to be done. E-commerce platforms like eBay, Alibaba, and Amazon have taken a ‘no toleration’ policy towards counterfeit goods and products.

In 2017, eBay launched an ‘eBay Authenticate’ feature to filter counterfeit products out of its e-commerce platform. This authentication program aids with the safe buying of high-end luxury items such as designer products, watches and other expensive goods.

Similarly, Amazon reported that it had placed 8000 employees in a counterfeit “task force” in 2019 to fight the infiltration of fake products and fraudulent practices on their platform.

Large beauty companies such as Estée Lauder and L’Oréal have created professional security task forces dedicated to eradicating counterfeit products and keeping fake versions of their products off the market.

However, seizures of fake products, random raids and investigative task forces are not nearly enough to stem the flow of counterfeit cosmetics into the market. Moreover, smaller cosmetic brands lack the resources or the head count to take up the battle in the same way as their larger corporate counterparts.

What if there was a digital solution that stemmed the flow of counterfeit cosmetics before they ever reached an ecommerce platform?


What is XenTag?

XenTag is a pre-programmed RFID/NFC tag that is embedded into your products, in this case cosmetic products. In conjunction with a proprietary app, this tag tracks and monitors your cosmetic products throughout the entire supply chain, until they reach their final destination.

Your customers can use the same app to track their shipment, identify when it has been received, and authenticate their products. The XenTag app is available on either Android or iOS systems.


Why choose XenTag?

XenTag is the ideal solution for filtering out counterfeit products from the cosmetics market. It’s affordable, which makes it a useful tool for large and small cosmetics manufacturers.

Small, portable, and largely undetectable, XenTag’s profile and functionality make it ideal for cosmetic products.

To ensure safety and data protection, XenTag comes with 3 layers of security, making it far more secure than QR codes or barcodes.

Want to know how XenTag can help you get legitimate products to market while keeping your brand and reputation pristine? Contact your consultant at ZenduiT for a free demonstration.