Sailing Through Uncertain Times in Retail

Posted by Paul Milner on Mar 28, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Quantitative easing, low interest rates and relatively benign conditions have seen western economies achieve modest growth post 2008’s depression. But with the ending of supportive monetary policies and the likelihood of rising interest rates – along with Brexit in Europe – living standards will be squeezed. When disposable income falls, as night follows day, price competition increases.

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With this in mind, what can you do now to hedge against this? The obvious plays are to reduce costs to protect consumers from price rises, and, look for new ways to free your staff from mundane and expensive manual tasks to have more time to improve customer experience. With these goals in mind here are 5 ways that Electronic Shelf Labels can help:

1. Reduce waste: Every year the US throws away a third of its food and grocers account for 10% of that[1]. In the EU around 88 million[2] of tonnes of food is thrown away annually – around 5%[3] by grocers. The main reason that stock is unsold is that retailers are often unable to spare the staff needed to reduce price tickets. An easy way to overcome this problem is with Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs). With ESLs installed on your shelf labels you can remotely make unlimited price changes. This gives you the freedom to graduate mark downs as the sell by date nears incentivising customers to buy goods to protect margin and slash waste.

2. Spend more time with shoppers: Ask any staff member what their least favourite job is and changing prices will probably be number one. However, with ESLs you can manage the price of every item remotely to free staff from this task. In larger stores this can deliver big cost-savings in time and money. But whatever size of store you run, freeing staff from manual price tasks will increase their job satisfaction and allow them to create a great in-store experience for customers and increase sales.

3. Intrigue shoppers: ESLs are eye-catching and appeal to increasingly tech-savvy consumers. The labels are a blank canvas to show pretty much whatever you want – from price per kilo, to origin, recycling compliance, social reviews, finance deals, currency conversions, and many more. What’s more, in our price-conscious times you can display competitors’ prices to embrace showrooming – when a customer sees you’re price competitive they’re more likely to buy there and then.

4. Be rewarding: Loyalty programmes are the next big innovation-front in retail. And with Bluetooth built into one of our ESLs you can easily install a beacon network in your stores. With this in place you can use your loyalty app to connect to customers’ smartphones to send them personal messages and offers based on their location, purchase history, shopping list, preferences they’ve selected in your app, any points / rewards they’ve accrued, and more. This more personal, attentive and rewarding approach to customer interaction can incentivise loyalty and repeat visits.

5. Optimise efficiencies: You can use ESLs to display inventory levels on labels so your teams can refresh stock as it sells and have visibility over what’s available in the back of the store. You can also help teams accelerate merchandising by flipping between six pages on the . So, for example, the labels can show planogram details, stock replenishment location and more. Incremental time savings supported by labels across merchandising and inventory processes can add up to big cost and time savings.

For more on how electronic shelf labels can:

 

[1] http://www.businessinsider.com/why-grocery-stores-throw-out-so-much-food-2014-10?IR=T

[2] EU

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/13/action-to-cut-food-waste-gains-momentum-across-europe

 

 

Topics: retail, bricks and mortar, technology trends, reduce waste