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8 Benefits of Using Electronic Shelf Labels in Retail [Updated]

Oct 21, 2022

Customarily, we have printed labels for every item sold in our retail outlets. These can be printed and tagged onto the object itself, put on windows or other more extensive displays, or fastened to the shelf above or below the product display. But things are changing, and electronic shelf labels have several advantages. Examine the background of electronic shelf labels first. Afterward, this article explains how to effectively use electronic shelf labels to attract more customers to your store.


Digital shelf tags in retail stores

The Eight Advantages of Using Digital Shelf Tags


1. Give more information

The only information typically displayed on paper labels is the price. It also held for the first iteration of electronic shelf labels. ESLs initially launched in the 1990s similar to calculators that only allowed for displaying a small number of letters and numbers.

Thanks to advancements in technology like e-paper and electronic ink, they can now say a broader range of information while still being highly legible to the human eye.

Nutritional data, product dimensions, cost per unit of weight, stock levels, and other data can all be displayed in ESLs. Customers and employees benefit from being able to provide more precise recommendations thanks to this.


2. Make shopping more unique for each individual

Extra data shown on ESLs may include QR codes. Customers can use them to further engage with a product by adding it to a wishlist, reading reviews from other customers, discussing the development on social media, or saving it for later online purchases.

This latter feature also allows ESLs to participate in an omnichannel purchasing experience, giving customers access to your company's items long after they've left a physical store.

When consumers can quickly and easily access digital product information in-store, as is made available by ESLs, 67% more of them will make a buy. Customer service is more important than putting electronic price tag on products.



Sales-floor exploitation

3. Avoid sales-floor exploitation

Showrooming, in which potential buyers check out an item in a physical store before making a purchase online, is becoming increasingly common (usually at a lower price). With the help of ESLs in Retail, stores may quickly adjust the costs of their wares in response to changes in the selling prices of similar products at competing stores and online.

When clients are in your store and decide to go online, they will only find pricing that is comparable to yours, increasing the likelihood that they will buy on the spot.


4. Make corrections with more precision

Paper product labels are easily misplaced by customers or become outdated as information is updated or removed. In contrast to paper labels, prone to disappearing, ESLs are permanently affixed to the shelf and cannot go lost.

Second, because ESLs get pricing and product data from a centralized system, the information displayed on the label is always correct and up-to-date.


5. Make the most of workers' time

Understandably, a worker can make mistakes while updating hundreds or thousands of labels. It decreases labeling accuracy and takes a lot of time and extra people.

Most of this labor is no longer necessary when product labels can be updated from a central digital system. Workers are free to focus on other projects or provide more direct customer service.


6. Severely cut down on waste

Many contemporary firms have made it a priority to reduce paper and plastic waste. A straightforward approach is to eliminate the need for perpetual paper label production. One label might not seem like much, but multiply that by the thousands or hundreds of thousands that need to be printed.

During the current trial, one location of the UK retailer ASDA reported saving 60,000 sheets of A4 paper by not having to change the price of around 3,000 products per week.



Measure the traffic flow

7. Measure the traffic flow

After being equipped with motion detectors, ESLs allow you to monitor foot activity in your store in real-time. These high-tech extras can assist generate a digital heatmap of your business, revealing the most and least busy areas.

Such knowledge can be used to determine the optimal positioning of products and advertisements, as well as to determine whether or not prices and locations are optimal. Various tactics can be tried to increase an item's sales, even if the product is displayed in a prominent place.


8. Boost sales

ESLs boost turnover overall, most likely for the reasons listed above. Store sales rise by about 6 percent when ESLs are used. It is encouraging news for you and your customers since it suggests that ESLs can facilitate a more streamlined and satisfying interaction.


The Situation Can Be Better

Your business would benefit from waiting until the kinks in this technology's implementation have been worked out before committing to it.

  • New batteries must be purchased and inserted if the labels indicate battery life.

  • The screens are too small to show a lot of data.

  • There are still many moving parts in retail that need to connect to function smoothly.

  • Its range is restricted because it uses near-field communication.

  • Many local businesses cannot afford to purchase new labels due to their high price.


It doesn't mean these problems can't be fixed in the future. As with all new technologies, rapid progress is being made every year (in this area and many others), and more and more business owners will begin implementing the latest technology.



The rapidly developing retail industry is moving toward electronic shelf labels due to their many benefits, including improved inventory control and a straightforward administration structure.

Incorporating ESLhas proven fruitful for retailers since it provides customers with a fresh new shopping experience. Since ESL has implemented a uniform pricing structure, shoppers may stop wasting time haggling over prices in-store.