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Retailers See Growing Need for Smart Shelf Tags

Retailers are starting to realize the growing demand to use smart shelf tags in their stores due to their positive effects on operation and customer experience.

Modernization continues to impact everyday life and workspaces. The retail sector, in particular, has been impacted by modernization these last few years. It can be seen in the evolving consumer behavior—people are starting to prefer online channels or omnichannel retailing. It can also be seen in retail and grocery trends, with retailers looking for and implementing new technologies to keep up with new customer demands and preferences. One such example of technology and trends is digital labels or smart shelf tags. Retailers are researching these and are starting to invest in them, and for good reasons, too.

Why are retailers investing in smart shelf tags?

According to the Big Retail’s Innovation Mandate: Convenience and Personalization survey, 32% of grocers think consumers would be very likely to switch to other retailers if not given access to digital labels or smart shelf tags. This survey reviewed 300 retailers across the United States and the United Kingdom, which shows how retail technology is starting to shape customer behavior and retailer decisions. These retailers believe that having modern retail technology such as digital labels will increase customer loyalty or retention.


Modern consumers nowadays also prefer transparent information when deciding on a purchase. This is where smart shelf tags come into play, as they can display information about food items, beverages, vitamins other healthcare products, and more. This is a big change in retail, where shoppers want to be more informed about their purchases.


It’s also been reported that several grocers in the United States are looking forward to implementing electronic shelf labels (ESLs). This is due to the issue of changing prices, labor efficiencies, multi-page information, as well as various marketing possibilities.


A smart shelf tag solution is just one of the many retail techs modern consumers prefer. This also includes mobile apps, QR codes, digital coupons and rewards, alternative payment methods for in-store transactions, self-checkouts, and more. However, with the way digital label providers are developing their products, more digital labels are equipped with these other advanced capabilities and technologies, creating a flexible and convenient modern solution for retailers.

What are the benefits of smart shelf tags in modern retail?

Smart shelf tags or electronic shelf labels (ESLs) offer a plethora of benefits to retailers, more than what meets the eye. Retailers right now might be looking forward to smart shelf tags because of customer loyalty and increased profits. However, ESL can go beyond these two benefits and bring a lot more to the retail environment. ESL allows retailers to adjust to and cope with modernization.


Here are some of the benefits of digital labels, or smart shelf tags, in modern retail environments:


  • Real-time pricing updates
  • Efficient inventory management
  • Enhanced customer experience
  • Increased operational efficiency
  • Flexible pricing and promotions
  • Omnichannel retailing
  • Improved compliance and accuracy
  • Reduced paper waste
  • Integration with IoT and analytics


Real-time Pricing Updates

Smart shelf tags enable retailers to update prices instantly across all products in their store. This eliminates the need for manual price changes every day or every week, which can be taxing for any retail staff. This capability allows retailers to implement dynamic pricing strategies. This includes surge pricing during peak hours or discounts during slow periods, based on demand and market conditions. By staying competitive with pricing, retailers can attract more customers and maximize revenue opportunities.


Efficient Inventory Management

Smart shelf tags or digital labels provide real-time visibility into inventory levels. This helps retailers monitor stock levels accurately. With automated inventory tracking, retailers can prevent out-of-stock situations, reduce holding costs and food waste, minimize overstocking, and reduce confusion and dissatisfaction among customers. These, of course, lead to improved sales performance and reduced holding costs.


Additionally, some digital labels can help facilitate the reordering of products when stock levels reach predefined thresholds. This ensures the continuous availability of popular items, and the readiness of retailers to cater to the needs of modern consumers.


Enhanced Customer Experience

Having digital labels in place also improves the customer shopping experience in any retail environment or business. This is because they provide customers with accurate and up-to-date product information at the point of sale, detailed product information, QR codes, coupons or instructional videos, and more.


Customers can easily view pricing, promotions, product features, and other relevant details without relying on manual signage or actual assistance from store staff. This transparency builds trust and confidence in the retailer, which then leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.


Increased Operational Efficiency

By automating price updates, reducing inventory management tasks, and streamlining major processes, smart shelf tags can reduce the time and resources required for retail operations.


Manual labeling and stock monitoring won’t have to take a lot of time and effort now. This means that retail staff can focus on more value-added activities on the shop floor. This includes assisting customers, restocking shelves, facilitating customer service, and driving sales, rather than spending time on administrative or repetitive tasks.


Overall, ESL helps improve operational efficiency and productivity, so that retailers can allocate resources more effectively and optimize store performance.


Flexible Pricing and Promotions

Smart shelf tags, or digital labels, enable retailers to implement flexible pricing strategies. Retail staff can also run targeted promotions and personalized offers directly on the shelf tags. This increases the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and drives impulse purchases among customers. By adapting pricing and promotions in real time, retailers can increase profit margins while meeting the needs and preferences of their customers.


Omnichannel Retailing

Omnichannel retailing is becoming increasingly crucial in the modern retail sector. With specific ESL, retailers can facilitate omnichannel retailing in their stores, ensuring that customers can complete their purchases whether they are in-person or online. This ensures a smooth transaction every time for the target customers and ensures that retailers can compete with other brands in their niche markets.


Improved Compliance and Accuracy

ESL also ensures compliance with pricing regulations and standards by automatically and accurately updating prices in real time, reducing the risk of pricing errors and discrepancies.

Retailers can maintain pricing accuracy throughout the store to avoid potential fines or penalties associated with mislabeled products. Additionally, smart shelf tags provide an audit trail of price changes. This facilitates compliance with regulatory requirements and internal policies.


Reduced Paper Waste

Unlike traditional paper labels, digital labels eliminate the need for printed price labels for every update. This reduces paper waste and promotes environmental sustainability. By transitioning to electronic shelf labels, retailers can minimize their ecological footprint and demonstrate their commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR). This also reduces the costs associated with printing and replacing paper labels, further contributing to cost savings and operational efficiency.


Integration with IoT and Analytics

These digital labels, of course, can be integrated with other technologies and existing systems. With analytics, retailers can collect valuable data on customer behavior, product performance, and store operations. Retailers can analyze this data to gain insights into consumer preferences, purchasing patterns, and sales trends for their strategic decision-making and marketing initiatives.


By leveraging data analytics from ESL, retailers can optimize pricing strategies, improve product placement, and enhance overall store performance. This further drives growth and competitiveness in the modern retail market.

Why is Newton LITE a good start for retailers?

Newton LITE, an ESL solution from SOLUM, is an ideal start for most retailers who want to start investing in smart shelf tags. Newton LITE can help create smart stores, while also helping brands modernize their brick-and-mortar or physical stores. This is how retailers can cope with modernization, and this is how they will win the loyalty and trust of customers.


Newton LITE is equipped with:


  • real-time and fast price updates
  • 7-color LED for operational efficiency or marketing purposes
  • NFC (near-field communication) capability for mobile payments, self-checkouts, digital coupons, and more
  • shockproof plastic case cover
  • customizable sticker bezel for marketing and branding
  • a label management system for label assignment and content modification like prices and product information


Do you need to find out more about Newton LITE? Talk to SOLUM experts and learn how these digital labels can help retailers meet consumer needs and demands.

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