Dynamic pricing and Electronic Shelf Labels

Paul Milner

Yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph quoted Displaydata’s CEO, Andrew Dark, about how Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs) help retailers ensure prices are accurate on shelves.

Andrew said: “This kind of technology will be dominant in the UK within two years and within five years it will be rare to see a paper price tag. Paper tags often show the wrong prices as they have to be manually replaced by staff when prices move, but electronic labels can be updated in just 20 seconds.”


At Displaydata we help retailers optimize revenues and margin by improving the customer experience at the shelf-edge where 90 percent of purchasing decisions are still made. The Sunday Telegraph’s piece also mentioned that ESLs can be used for ‘surge pricing’. While our labels enable versatile pricing, the notion that they will be used only to raise prices isn’t grounded in reality. The UK is one of the most driven retail markets in the world, especially in the grocery sector, where success is determined by offering customers competitive and consistent price and promotions across in-store and online channels. In our experience, there are many other important reasons why retailers are looking at our ESLs. These include:

  • Improving customer service: By freeing staff / associates from manual price changes, in-store teams can spend more time helping customers. Labels can also show much more information – such as competitors’ prices, ingredients, social reviews, stock levels and many more – to help people make more informed decisions.

  • Ensuring price accuracy: It was only a few months ago that retailers were criticised for not ensuring that prices at the checkout matched those on shelves. With some grocery retailers selling 50% of items on offer, ensuring prices align when they come on or off of promotion is a demanding task. ESLs resolve this problem, allowing retailers to ensure that price are accurate – on every shelf, always.

  • Protecting the environment: By having the freedom to remotely changes prices on any shelf in seconds, retailers can use price drops to encourage consumers to buy perishable goods before they approach the sell by date – reducing waste. What’s more, huge savings are made in paper and ink when replacing paper labels with electronic ones.

  • Giving customers more: Using our ESLs with Bluetooth beacons, retailers can send customers more personal and engaging offers to their smartphones.

  • Reducing costs: Our labels help retailers run their stores more efficiently – e.g. staff can manage inventory much faster – allowing them to reduce costs and pass these savings back to consumers.

In today’s tech savvy, internet of things world – where in-store retailers have to compete with agile on-line merchants who change millions of prices a day – it’s an anachronism that paper labels, that are expensive to maintain and prone to error, are used to manage pricing. It’s time for a new form of pricing, it’s time to price this way.

About Displaydata

Our Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs) bring the shelf-edge into the Internet of Things era, helping to create shopping experiences that are more engaging, rewarding and personalised – and profitable. We help retailers optimise sales and margin at the shelf-edge, where 90% of purchases are still made.

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