Scroll down

How Does an Electronic Shelf System Work?

An electronic shelf label (ESL) system work by displaying product pricing and other information on shelves.

The ESL system automatically updates the pricing whenever its central server changes the price. Retailers usually attach electronic shelf tags to the front edge of retail shelving for customers to see easily.


More than 10 years ago, SOLUM brought up innovations in ESL technology by introducing the first e-paper based ESL to the market. In 2020, we launched Newton, the most innovative ESL in the last decade. Our team at SOLUM developed the Newton System—a powerful system that has ten times faster speed and twice the battery life of other ESL systems. Newton is the right product to investigate new use cases in promotion, operation, and customer interaction, powered by the extended battery life and new features (real-time speed, LEDs, buttons, and location-based service).


With Newton, there’s a solution for every retail sector. SOLUM offers a wide range of uses for electronic shelf labels.

Consumer Electronics

Merchants in this sector face especially big competition from online dealers and need to react quickly to changes in price. Customers, for their part, can use ESLs to get more information or product evaluations or watch product videos.

Food and Beverages

Here, ESLs significantly increase efficiency because staff no longer need to spend hours printing out and swapping hundreds or even thousands of price tags. Specials and discounts can be quickly offered with minimal effort. Flexible price adjustments can also help sell off unsold perishable goods that would otherwise just be disposed of at the end of the day when they’ve lost freshness.

DIY and Hardware

Stores that sell building materials and hardware are typically frequented by the same patrons. With Newton Electronic Shelf Label, displaying tiered pricing (aka showing customers how much discount they’re getting if they sign up for a membership) is so much easier. The ESL’s NFC capability, which customers can access by hovering their phones over QR codes on the electronic labels, can be used to help direct them to your store’s membership sign-up sheet. In addition, NFC technology provides customers with a wealth of product information at their fingertips.

Convenience Stores

Many customers appreciate being able to quickly purchase snacks, beverages, and other items at any time for immediate consumption. This is part of the appeal that convenience stores have. If they can pay for them right at the shelf, they no longer have to spend time waiting in line at the register. Thus, their shopping experience is elevated to a new level. Thanks to price automation and mobile self-checkout, this is also more beneficial for stores with fewer employees.


In the clothing sector, fashion tags are replacing RFID tags as the preferred means of thwarting shoplifters. They also allow customers to conveniently view other appropriate products with a selected item or previous purchases. Choosing a different size or color is also possible without hardly searching for it in the store.


Over the last 3 years, Macy’s, one of the top department stores, has adopted SOLUM ESLs across 540 stores. It was the first rollout project in the department store and fashion industry with item labels. Until now, SOLUM has continually been designing and developing new designs for Macy’s to implement another new section of products.

Which kind of store are you running? Let us know, and our ESL experts will help you learn the right breed of Newton ESL that will fit your business. For you to know more about our Newton lineup of ESL solutions, Contact us today or send us an email at [email protected].

Press Contacts

SOLUM Marketing