Throughout the decades, pricing products by hand at the shelf has been one of the biggest drains of resources for retailers. Over the years, retail stores have struggled to ensure compliance on price labelling, flagging, and promotions with the correct information available to customers. With many retailers adopting self-checkout counters, the importance of in-store operation teams ensuring that products are correctly priced is greater than ever. Given the frequency with which prices change, it is difficult to guarantee price accuracy and pricing agility at any given time. Due to the effort involved with changing out in-store pricing, there are only a limited number of times that prices can be changed.
In light of the advent of e-commerce and omni-channel, retailers are now under more pressure than ever to dynamically price products. For the past few years, retailers have started to seriously explore digital smart labels with adoption taking place mainly across continental stores like LeClerc, Auchan Carrefour, and Spar (Italy). These retailers have focused the digital smart labels primarily on their faster moving lines i.e. dairy, and more recently on static products that require competitive pricing.
Currently, retailers have two shelf pricing options:
- Production of shelf labelling in individual retail stores, utilising in-store mobile printers.
- Digital smart label solution that utilises e-paper displays (graphic display similar to kindles) that allow black, paper white, chroma yellow & chroma red colour.
In-store mobile printers: This is the most labour intensive option. The store operator checks/scans the existing shelf label and a replacement label is produced only if the price requires changing. This is time consuming and larger stores will require multiple printers.
Digital smart label solution: Prices can be changed immediately and centrally across all stores or for individual stores if required. The price changes are communicated to the shelf labels via basestations that are secure and utilise uncongested frequencies.
Digital smart labels have the ability to price dynamically and drastically cut labour costs associated with labelling. This is a significant advantage over paper-based options.