Electronic Shelf Labels - ESLs

Electronic Shelf Labels: Upgrading the In-Store Experience for Customers and Retailers

How are electronic shelf labels revolutionising in-store retail experiences and operations?

In the ever-evolving landscape of retail and e-commerce, outlets are finding new ways to merge in-store experiences with the convenience of e-commerce and engage customers at the most critical purchase point- price.

One of the highest priorities for most customers is pricing. So it’s no surprise that 90% of all purchase decisions are still made at the shelf edge[1]. Hence why retail stores dedicate so much time and resources to changing, updating and applying accurate pricing labels to their products.

Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs) offer an innovative new approach to pricing, with the ability to display multiple forms of information. (Such as prices, promotions, discounts and traceability information.) In this Knowledge Base blog from Renovotec, we explore how ESLs can streamline operations, implement dynamic pricing and elevate customer experiences.

 

Protecting price integrity

By utilising ESLs, retailers can automate pricing updates, leveraging the data available through their centralised pricing platform. This ability to standardise prices not across one store, but multiple sites, provides a substantial cost-saving measure. Not only does it drastically reduce the potential for losses made through incorrectly priced items. But it also enables retailers to remove the time-consuming task of checking and replacing paper labels. Thus enabling them to redistribute the workforce elsewhere.

At their core, ESLs are all about giving brick-and-mortar stores the same flexibility in pricing as an e-commerce platform. The changes are easy to make, instant and can even be automatically adjusted to match inventory changes. Retail organisations can also adjust pricing in line with other factors. Such as the lifetime of certain products before they expire. Or even seasonal peaks for when there is greater demand. The ability to swiftly deploy pricing updates increases their ability to respond to changes in the market. Thus, efficiently optimising profitability with dynamic pricing.

 

Traceability for products

With access to in-depth information on products with just a single search query, customers have clear transparency on the origin and ethical journey of what exactly they’re buying online. ESLs have the potential to offer a wealth of information. Such as where an item or its ingredients were sourced, the CO2 produced as part of that journey, allergen information and so much more. This information can also be updated centrally so every instance of its sale is compliant with legal requirements and policies.

ESLs can also go further in their display capabilities, addressing potential consumer concerns such as environmental ratings or Fairtrade status. QR codes can also be displayed so customers can navigate from the ESL to find more in-depth information. Not only does this create better customer experiences that build trust in a retail brand. But it also ensures that retailers are upholding regulatory standards regarding product labelling laws.

 

Benefits for customers

In addition to dynamic pricing based on the market, retail organisations can also roll out their own promotions, membership discounts and advertising through an ESL. This is a function that can tie into other digital signage that you have in your store. For instance, changing window advertisements to reflect your most enticing offers and then reinforcing this through your electronic shelf labels.

It also reminds shoppers about the extensive benefits that membership and loyalty schemes can offer. Therefore, increasing the chance of a sale being made. As well as helping drive customers to make more purchases more often when visiting a store. Retailers are constantly looking to find ways to effectively elevate the customer’s shopping experience. As well as seeking to have a positive impact on the perception of their brand.

 

Visually attractive way to engage

ESLs can display vivid imagery as well as extensive information, to catch and hold the attention of your customers. Thus, increasing their dwelling time and convincing them to complete the sale. This can be further tailored to reflect your unique branding. In addition to acting as an effective marketing tool that works in partnership with the digital signage deployed elsewhere across a store.

Additionally, retailers can use unique colours or styles to highlight certain product ranges. Such as discounted products and even organic, allergen-friendly, or Fairtrade-certified products. This will help ensure that they stand out to customers, catching their attention while also making their shopping experience easier. Moreover, the choice of visuals can also mean that pricing is easier to read for customers. Especially those who may struggle with disabilities such as dyslexia or poor eyesight, improving accessibility in your store.

 

Cost effective technology solution

Of course, ESLs also save considerable time and resources compared to manually replacing paper labels. Besides the extensive time taken to make these changes, there are also the additional overheads of the printing and the labels themselves. Not to mention the even more expensive mistakes caused by printing errors.

This not only results in additional reprinting costs but can potentially lead to products being mislabelled if the error isn’t caught. As mentioned above, this can result in not just loss of revenue, but also increasing the chance of legal action being taken against the company. Such an outcome could lead to substantial legal costs as well as affect a brand’s reputation in the long term. With ESLs deployed and used effectively, retailers can mitigate these risks and stay in firm control of their pricing.

 

Supporting safety and sustainability

Cutting down on paper and printing not only reduces your costs. But it also reduces the environmental impact of your operations – and even helps better address sanitary concerns. ESLs that are integrated into your store, with optimised battery life, are considerably less demanding on resources and energy.

They are a long-term investment with a durable casing that will keep them secure from potential knocks and bumps. Furthermore, they also make it easier to ensure a sanitised environment. As they are not only easier to disinfect than paper labels but they also have the benefit of not being constantly replaced. This is especially useful for products where a clean environment is vital. Such as areas where raw meats are being prepared or pharmacies.

 

Leveraging reliable retail data

Operational data is essential to improving internal processes as a retail business, both overall and in day-to-day operations. By using ESLs, retailers can ensure that from ERP to inventory, detailed information on stocks and sales is available in real-time for management and other members of staff. Furthermore, ESLs equipped with LED lights, such as those available from Vusion, can optimise stock picking by blinking to highlight missing products that need to be restocked.

This helps avoid potential mistakes, as well as save time and increase efficiency in workflows for retail workers. Retailers can even use this data when compiling reports to stakeholders and partners, or for internal usage for planning long-term strategies. ESLs give retailers accurate and actionable data which can transform the success of their in-store operations.

 

Electronic Shelf Labels: The future of retail

The integration of Electronic Shelf Labels into retail operations has the potential to considerably improve profitability, efficiency and even brand reputation for retail businesses.

By implementing consistent pricing across your stores as well as easily accessible product information, retailers can better merge your in-store and e-commerce experiences. Creating a more consistent customer experience overall. By elevating customer experiences through engagement with pricing, retailers can nurture increased sales at the shelf edge but also build up long-term customer loyalty through the promotion of unique offers and membership-based discounts.

ESLs not only improve customer experiences but also internal processes and employee workflows within your stores. Cutting down on overheads and optimising operations, so that retailers can deliver on the best value for both their brand and their customers.

As the retail industry continues to evolve, ESLs stand out as a game-changer for both customers and retailers alike, supporting these businesses to thrive in a competitive market.

 

Contact us today to talk to one of our experts about how Renovotec can help you implement ESLs in your stores and take your operations to the next level.

 

[1] https://www.displaydata.com/

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