Here's How Entrupy Uses AI to Take the Fight to Fake Goods
Brought to you by WBR Insights
We're all big fans of luxury goods. There are few things which match the feeling of splashing out on something opulent - whether it is a gift for a loved one or a treat for oneself. However, the process of buying these items can be a bit of a minefield.
One of the biggest issues with purchasing luxury goods is the prominence of fakes. The proliferation of ecommerce has led to a rapid rise in the business of producing fake luxury goods - from handbags to watches - and the industry has been recently valued at $590 billion per year, according to a report from OECD, representing 3.3 percent of total global trade.
While these fakes often begin life online, from there they filter down and can often end up in those physical retail stores which deal in second-hand goods or lack the expertise to spot a supplier of counterfeits.
Spotting the need for a solution to the problem of fake goods, tech startup Entrupy wanted to design an elegant tech-based solution which could be employed by businesses and the general public alike.
Distinguishing a fake handbag from one by a top designer such as Gucci or Luis Vuitton can take a lot of specialist knowledge. Counting the number of stitches on the seam, the grain of the leather, and applying an intricate knowledge of print patterns are just some of the factors an expert must consider when evaluating a piece.
However, Entrupy wondered whether the role of the expert could be filled by artificial intelligence. What if a technology platform could be loaded with all the knowledge which was required to authenticate a handbag, allowing anyone to judge whether a piece is authentic or counterfeit, no matter their location or own level of expertise?
"This is where the founders of Entrupy saw an opportunity," said Entrupy's Director of Business, Deanna Thompson. "To remove human error from the equation and accommodate a wide range of businesses by automating authentication through machine learning and AI. The company spent its first four years just collecting data from all over the world, which largely involved buying a lot of luxury designer handbags - both real and fake. We spent a substantial amount of money on the best counterfeits and then also buying from the brands."
The platform works by installing the Entrupy smartphone app on an iPod or iPhone which is then held inside a Mophie-like gadget. The app directs the user to take several images of the item and shows the key locations which need to be recorded for the authentication to take place. The powerful artificial intelligence algorithms built into the app then go to work, analyzing millions of individual data points to deduce whether the article is genuine or counterfeit.
The app then delivers the results to the user in real time. Entrupy claims the solution boasts an accuracy of 99.1 percent.
"We're confident it will grow quickly, simply because of the convenience and confidence it offers retailers," continued Thompson. "This is a game changer. Not only is it freeing up your time, but it's also removing the liability from the store owner and it's standing behind you and it's creating trust within the marketplace."
Entrupy's artificial intelligence can authenticate over a dozen luxury brands - including Burberry, Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Luis Vuitton, and Prada - with more being added all the time. Customers who have employed the platform to great success are more than willing to shout its praises as well.
"Since partnering with Entrupy, SF Gold Buyer has increased the sales of its luxury handbags and accessories by double digits year-over-year," said Luxury Goods Buyer for SF Gold, Julian Lopez. "The easy-to-use process has also allowed the company to close large deals within the same day without placing a strain on the company's resources. Last year alone, luxury sales were up by 70 percent. Clients of SF Gold Buyer also love to watch in store as items are authenticated right before their eyes."
In a State of the Fake report released by Entrupy in 2019, data from all of the authentications it performed in the previous year - $50 million of merchandise - showed that the majority of fakes were "very good" to "super-fake" quality, and the percentage of items judged to be authentic grew from 85 percent to 90 percent over the preceding twelve months.
In 2019, it shouldn't be surprising that technology is providing the answer to the issue of fake goods. Entropy's solution seems to be making ground in this war and it will be exciting to see what comes out of the innovative brand next.
Artificial intelligence is set to be a hot topic at Future Stores Miami 2020, taking place in February at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay, FL.
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