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What are Digital Shelf Edge Displays?

Digital shelf edge labels are electronic signage designed to fit shelf edges of product racks in retail stores, and they play a big part in marketing.

Retail shelves are an important part of any retail environment. Not only do they hold and carry the product offerings as the customer browses, but they also help describe and advertise the product for the retailers. This can be done with the help of shelf edge displays! Digital shelf-edge displays can magnify retail shelves more than any traditional shelf labels. But what exactly are these digital shelf edge displays, and how can they be of use?

What is a digital shelf edge?

A digital shelf edge refers to the area of a retail shelf where digital displays or screens are integrated or attached to provide information or advertisements about the products on the shelf. These digital displays are often used to replace traditional paper shelf edge labels, cards, or tags with much more dynamic electronic screen displays.


Digital shelf edge technology is versatile and incredibly efficient, making it an ideal solution for modern retailers. For example, it allows retailers to update product information, pricing, promotions, and other content in real-time, remotely, and with greater flexibility compared to static paper labels. Retailers can use digital shelf edge displays to enhance the whole shopping and retail experience. They can also help improve inventory management and engage customers with interactive content or personalized offers.


By leveraging digital shelf edge solutions, retailers can adapt quickly to changing market conditions and customer behavior. They will be able to optimize pricing strategies, maximize marketing potential, and provide customers with up-to-date sales information.

Why are shelf edge labels important?

Shelf edge labels play a crucial role in any retail environment. Even more so if retailers turn to digital labels for their retail shelves.


Here are several reasons why shelf edge labels shouldn’t be neglected:


  • Product Identification and Organization: Shelf edge labels help customers easily locate and identify products on the shelves, providing essential information such as product name, brand, and price.
  • Price Transparency: Clear and accurate pricing displayed on shelf edge labels builds trust with customers, showing that retailers are doing honest business.
  • Promotions: Shelf edge labels are used to highlight promotional offers, discounts, or special deals.
  • Compliance and Regulations: Shelf edge labels ensure compliance with labeling regulations and standards, including requirements for allergen information, nutritional facts, and even country of origin labeling.
  • Customer Experience: Well-designed and informative shelf edge labels contribute to a positive shopping experience. They can help customers make informed purchasing decisions and navigate the store more easily.


On the other hand, modernizing these shelf edge labels and finding modern solutions can help retailers keep up with evolving customer expectations and industry standards. With digital shelf edge displays, retailers can achieve enhanced flexibility, efficiency, and competitive advantage like no other.

Newton TOUCH, a digital shelf edge display with touchscreen capabilities, attracts Douglas customers by playing product promotions.

Newton TOUCH, a digital shelf edge display with touchscreen capabilities, attracts Douglas customers by playing product promotions.

What are the uses of digital shelf edge displays?

The benefits of digital shelf edge displays are diverse, especially once retailers take advantage of various features and possibilities. Both retail staff and customers will be able to make the most of it and elevate their experience compared to paper shelf labels. Of course, they can also be implemented in grocery stores, department stores, convenience stores, specialty stores, and more.


Here are some of the key uses of digital shelf edge displays:


  • Dynamic and accurate pricing
  • Promotions and advertising
  • Product information
  • Inventory management
  • Cross-selling and upselling
  • Localization and personalization
  • Interactive experiences
  • Energy efficiency and sustainability
  • Compliance with rules and regulations
  • Brand enhancement and awareness


Dynamic and Accurate Pricing

With digital shelf edge displays, retailers can implement dynamic pricing strategies, adjusting prices in real time based on various factors such as demand, inventory levels, or competitor pricing. This flexibility allows retailers to optimize pricing to maximize revenue and profitability, as well as respond swiftly to market fluctuations or seasonal trends.


Having digital shelf displays will also help ensure accurate pricing throughout the whole store. This is because certain digital label technologies make it possible to integrate with the point-of-sale system and inventory management. Shoppers can be confident that the price on the shelf edge display will be the same once they are on the counter.


Promotions and Advertising

Digital displays provide an effective platform for showcasing various advertising strategies. This includes current promotional offers, new products, or special deals to capture customers' attention. According to a recent study, the act of displaying sales and promotions on digital displays can increase sales by 30%. In line with that, 68% of customers say digital signage would make them more likely to buy advertised products.


Retailers can display visually engaging content for shoppers. This includes videos, animations, high-resolution images, QR codes, and texts to create impactful advertising campaigns and drive sales.


Product Information

Digital shelf edge displays can offer detailed product information to assist customers in making informed purchasing decisions. Detailed information may include product features, specifications, usage instructions, safety warnings, allergen information, a complete ingredient list, expiration dates, and more. This information will help enhance transparency and trust between the retailer and the shopper. Of course, detailed product information will also help retailers avoid discrepancies and liabilities, keeping not only their customers safe, but their overall reputation as well.


Inventory Management

Integration with inventory management systems may enable digital shelf edge displays to provide real-time updates on stock levels and availability. By accurately tracking inventory, retailers can prevent stockouts, minimize overstocking, avoid customer altercations and confusion, and optimize replenishment processes. This then leads to improved operational efficiency and overall customer satisfaction. Rush hours and busy seasons will also be easier and more streamlined for retail staff, as they can keep up with specific customer demands.


Cross-Selling and Upselling

Retailers can also use digital shelf edge displays to suggest complementary or higher-value products to customers. This upselling strategy can help increase the average transaction value. According to Gitnux Advertising Statistics, 40% of shoppers say that digital displays can change what they buy because relevant information is served close to the point of purchase. This shows that strategic placement of cross-selling or upselling suggestions alongside related products can encourage impulse purchases and boost sales revenue.


Localization and Personalization

Digital shelf edge displays can deliver content tailored to specific demographics, preferences, or geographical locations. These personalized promotions, recommendations, or localized offers enhance relevance and engagement with customers. This fosters stronger connections with customers and drives better conversion rates.


Interactive Experiences

Some digital shelf edge displays also support interactive features such as touchscreen capabilities, gesture recognition, or QR code scanning. Customers can engage with interactive content to explore product details, view additional options, compare prices, or participate in gamified promotions. This results in a more immersive shopping experience, a better-informed customer, and even upsell opportunities.


Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

Compared to traditional paper labels or signs, digital displays consume less energy and produce less waste. These energy-efficient digital displays contribute to sustainability efforts by reducing carbon footprints and minimizing resource consumption, aligning with eco-friendly business practices.


Compliance with Rules and Regulations

Digital shelf edge displays also enable retailers to quickly update product information to comply with labeling regulations and standards. Automatic updates ensure accuracy and consistency across all displays. This reduces the risk of non-compliance penalties and helps maintain trust with regulatory bodies and consumers.


Brand Enhancement and Awareness

Embracing innovative digital technology enhances retailers' brand image and positions them as forward-thinking and customer-centric. It should also be noted that digital signage increases brand awareness by almost 48%. By providing a seamless and engaging shopping experience, digital shelf edge displays strengthen brand loyalty, increase customer satisfaction, and differentiate retailers from competitors in a crowded and demanding marketplace.


These are just some of the popular uses of digital shelf edge displays. Overall, they offer a versatile platform for retailers to enhance the shopping experience in their stores, optimize operations, lessen the burden on employees, and drive sales opportunities. In today’s increasingly competitive digital retail environment, this kind of digital shelf edge solution will give retailers the advantage they need.


Why use electronic shelf labels?

Electronic shelf labels, such as SOLUM ESL, can be a powerful and innovative digital shelf edge solution. This is because SOLUM ESL is equipped with state-of-the-art technology that automates and streamlines various workflows. From customer browsing to shelf restocking and even to visual marketing, these electronic shelf labels will empower retail stores.


Here are a few SOLUM ESL features that will benefit digital shelf edge in retail:


  • Breakneck update speed for real-time updates of hundreds of labels
  • 7-page capacity for accurate and detailed product descriptions and information
  • 7-color LED indicator for operational efficiency and marketing
  • Multifunctional, programmable buttons for easy customer service and operations
  • Full graphic e-ink display technology for a paper-like and glare-free reading experience for shoppers
  •  A wide size range from 1.6” up to 11.6” for various digital shelf edges in numerous retail environments
  • Freezer label variation for cold settings and frozen items
  • Near-field communication (NFC) capability for mobile checkouts or self-checkouts and omnichannel retailing for the convenience of the customer
  • IP67 rating for shock-proof, dust-proof, and water-resistant capabilities
  • ESL management system for central, remote management that will oversee hundreds of labels in a store
  • 10-year battery life to allow a high return on investment for retailers


Electronic shelf labels hold many possibilities for a digital shelf edge. With the right placement and the right features, it can help bring retail shelves to life.

How does using technology such as electronic shelf labels benefit retail merchandising?

Electronic shelf labels, or ESL, can be the ideal digital shelf edge displays for retail stores. This is because they impact the visual merchandising strategy of any retail store. Apart from that, they can also contribute to a store’s operational efficiency, which makes them a completely valuable modern solution.


Here are some reasons why ESL is perfect for digital shelf edge:


  1. Real-Time Price Updates: ESLs allow retailers to update prices instantly across all stores and departments, which eliminates the need for manual price changes. For display shelves, this ensures that customers will be able to see product prices and details clearly.
  2. Consistency and Accuracy: ESLs ensure consistency and accuracy in pricing and product information. This reduces the errors that can occur with manual labeling and price changes. This consistency builds trust with customers and minimizes the risk of pricing discrepancies or confusion.
  3. Enhanced Efficiency: With ESL labels and systems, retailers can streamline merchandising operations starting from the display shelf. They can reduce the time and labor required for price changes and shelf labeling, making other tasks easier and leaving more room for staff to accomplish other tasks. Store staff can focus on customer service, restocking and inventory, and merchandising initiatives, improving overall efficiency.
  4. Dynamic Merchandising: ESLs enable retailers to experiment with dynamic merchandising strategies, such as flexible pricing, bundling, or cross-promotions. By adjusting prices in real time and offering specific promotions, retailers can optimize sales performance and maximize profitability.
  5. Data Insights: Some ESLs also capture valuable data on customer interactions. This includes data such as price changes, product views, purchase patterns, and customer preferences. Retailers can analyze this data to gain insights into customer behavior and trends. As a result, future merchandising decisions and marketing strategies by the retail store can be improved.
  6. Adaptability: ESLs are easily adaptable to various retail environments and formats. This includes grocery stores, clothing stores, hardware and DIY stores, and convenience stores. They can accommodate different product types, sizes, and languages, providing flexibility to meet the diverse merchandising needs of different markets.
  7. Sustainability: ESLs contribute to sustainability efforts by reducing the paper waste associated with traditional paper labels and signage. By eliminating the need for disposable paper labels, retailers can minimize their environmental footprint and demonstrate commitment to eco-friendly practices.
  8. Competitive Advantage: And of course, adopting ESL technology gives retailers a competitive edge. With enhanced operational efficiency, a better customer experience, and innovative merchandising strategies, retailers can boost their stores and improve customer loyalty. After all, retailers that embrace technology-driven merchandising initiatives are better positioned to succeed in today's dynamic retail landscape.


Do you think your store will also benefit from dynamic digital shelf edge displays like SOLUM ESL? The time is now! Talk to SOLUM experts today and find out how ESLs can transform your retail shelves for the better.

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