Retail intelligence: the essential role of electronic gondola labels


For retailers, the current challenge is, more than ever, to improve the in-store shopping experience by reducing the points of friction that consumers are confronted with. After a rise in e-commerce over the past year, due to the health situation, it is important to re-establish a strong link between consumers and stores by optimizing the shopping experience.

The ” Retail Intelligence », Which makes it possible to achieve greater efficiency thanks to point-of-sale management based on the collection, measurement and processing of data, is often considered the perfect answer to this problem.

But what we sometimes forget is that the “Retail Intelligence” approach can be implemented by a tool known to all: electronic gondola labels. These are already in place in many businesses, but their potential is rarely fully exploited. They are, however, a decisive element and are the real engine of the digital transformation of physical commerce.

Free up time for sales teams

The primary role of electronic shelf labels is to reduce the costs associated with the resources required to manage paper labels, while optimizing price management. Changing paper labels manually is indeed a very time-consuming task for teams, as is monitoring the shelves afterwards to ensure that each label is correct. It is indeed necessary to check that the displayed price is the one that will be recorded at the cash desk in order to avoid disappointments to the consumer and tensions. Even beyond the price, it is compliance that is at stake here. The store must ensure that regulatory information is constantly updated on all labels.

This paper management requires a lot of resources and can be a source of error, both in terms of compliance and price integrity. During promotions, this finding is all the more true because of the more regular label changes.

By setting up electronic shelf labels, the store ensures that all prices and regulatory information are updated in real time via a dedicated interface. There is therefore no longer any need for the intervention of employees, who can thus devote themselves to customer relations, by having an up-to-date view of the stock in real time, and to other tasks with greater added value. This point is particularly decisive for the good management of the store during a pandemic, because the teams are regularly reduced in number.

Implement more dynamic price management

But the role of electronic gondola tags does not end there. They make it possible to set up strategies for pricing dynamic in order to adapt prices to different variables. This type of strategy would not be feasible with paper labels, due to the workload required.

The store can thus adapt its prices to external variables, such as fluctuations in demand or the market, but also to data intrinsic to the products on the shelves.

By way of example, since the use-by or shelf-life date may be part of the data recorded on the electronic label, it is possible for the store to carry out flash promotions on products arriving at the expiry date. This makes it possible both to reduce the unsold stock and to fight against food waste.

Collect more information on the customer journey and facilitate the management of restocking

Optimization doesn’t stop with price management. Electronic shelf labels are a crucial asset in the analysis of the customer journey in order to identify the best sellers but also cold areas.

They are indeed able to detect the most requested products, through the intervention of employees who can press a dedicated button to alert on products with a low level of stock on the shelves. This will trigger the replenishment of the department to avoid stockouts on the best sellers.

More interestingly, it is possible to send this information directly to customers if the store wishes. Thus, in addition to ensuring the permanent availability of products, this option makes it possible to gauge the customer’s interest in the various products in stores.

In order to facilitate the management of restocking, the electronic gondola labels are also equipped with a geolocation system. The team can then quickly find the location of the product requiring a new shelving. This option also makes it possible to facilitate the management of the point of sale, by quickly finding on the shelf the products to be withdrawn – due to recall or expired DLC.

A harmonious and optimized shopping experience

Thanks to this optimized management, customers experience a more pleasant store, both at the organizational level (assurance of an up-to-date display, significant reduction in the number of expired products on the shelves, better stocked shelves), and at the level of identity. visual rays with the possibility of defining a specific design.

De facto, the in-store shopping experience is improved. Consumers no longer find themselves faced with almost empty shelves and no longer face unpleasant surprises at the checkout due to incorrect prices. At the same time, they have access to more promotions, but also to up-to-date product information – or even accompanied by QR codes giving them access to additional data (list of allergens, recipes, opinions and recommendations, etc.).

A harmonious and optimized shopping experience

At the same time, the store can offer new services to further improve customer satisfaction. The electronic gondola labels also contribute to the establishment of a contactless commerce thanks to an improved self-service experience, with in particular the possibility of paying or accumulating loyalty points via the NFC technology with which the electronic labels are equipped. of gondolas.

Click & Collect is also one of the new essential services to respond to changes in consumption habits. Here again, electronic gondola labels have a role to play in order preparation: thanks to the presence of LEDs, products can be quickly identified on the shelf. This allows the employee at the point of sale to save time by performing their picking more easily and quickly.

In summary, the electronic shelf labels have multiple functionalities for an optimized and more dynamic management of the points of sale, and can be configured according to the needs of each store. Too often seen as a “basic” tool, they are nevertheless the cornerstone of “Retail Intelligence”, and the first step in digital transformation, when they are used to their maximum capacity.