Innovation Insights - Articles and Reports

Entering the New Digital Era of Retail with Electronic Shelf Labels

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Publication date: 22/04/2020
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Traditional retailers have faced challenges in entering the digital era, as digital shopping platforms and online comparison sites have forged a new wave for how consumers shop. Supermarkets and other retailers alike, now face stiff competition from online competitors whilst appealing to price-savvy consumers who can access a breath of product-related information from the internet. Alongside this, retailers face growing pressure to operate responsibly, with consumer rights and manage food waste with effective stock management, and competition to create engaging and immersive shopping experiences.

Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs) offer an innovative solution in competing against online retailers and to maximise consumer experiences. ESLs enable retailers to display and alter their prices electronically, instead of carrying out the process manually with conventional paper shelf labels. Around the world, the use of ESL is increasingly becoming common practice in retail, particularly in North America and in European countries like Germany, France and the Nordics. UK retailers have been comparatively slow on their uptake of using such technology, in relation to their European counterparts. However, a few retailers, like Tesco, M&S, Waitrose and SPAR, have begun trialling technology over the past few years.

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