What are the benefits of Electronic Shelf Labels or ESL?

What are the benefits of Electronic Shelf Labels or ESL?

Digital Price Tags, why do stores use them?

You might have seen the ESL (Electronic Shelf Labels) in various stores recently, they are rapidly increasing in popularity and finally are coming to Australia. But why do retailers use them? What are the benefits for Retailers?

Amazon retail stores use ESL among other innovations.


  • Retailers can change prices as many times as they wish at a click of a button (In the POS system) with no labor involved. This is the number one ROI driver and benefit, with labour scarcity and the increase in wages, retailers are savings thousands of dollars per store per scheduled price change! So most important is increased labor efficiency and reduced labor cost. For a supermarket with hundreds of locations to change a few prices requires weeks of planning, communication, rostering, printing tickets, finding the products and replacing the prices and all this done at the same time the peice in the POS till is centrally changed. Now imagine if this was dine instantly across the entire store network with ESL.
  • Allows retailers to increase prices at some hours of the day or on holidays so retailers gain significant additional margin.
  • Allows retailers to actively price match. Currently price matching and staying relevant with market prices is a big and tiresome effort, takes lots of planning and HQ to store communication. Now if a retailer notices a lower price, all it takes is a few clicks in the POS/ERP and every single store will have the price changed for that item instantly.
  • Reducing waste by instant price reduction of overstocked or close to expiry items. A very easy and effective waste reduction method is price reduction that is currently impossible in most retail environments as it requires new tickets and labels to be printed. Using ESL, prices could be dropped automatically and gradually or instantly with no labor wastage leading to significant waste reduction.
  • Implementing promotions and specials. The value of promotions is well known to retailers but implementation of these require weeks of preparation from designing and printing shelf talkers and tickets to physically placing them on the shelf and then the time and waste of removing them. Using ESL, a simple price tag can switch to a vibrant promotional ticket in an instant allowing a particular SKU to be put on promotion in every location the business has around the world in a few clicks. Presaved templates and conditional logic means that the only thing the retailer needs to do is change the price in the POS system.
  • Using ESL, retailers can implement systems such as happy hours and daily specials which has proven to be highly effective in increasing basket size, increasing co-sell, controlling customer purchase habits and creating loyalty.
  • Member pricing can be easily implemented allowing for some products to have offers and promotions for rewards cards Increasing loyalty, increasing loyalty card uptake and increasing benefits of the membership.
  • Retailers can display additional information such as allergens effortlessly and automatically creating confidence for shoppers in the very short time they consider buying products. What is displayed on the ESL is live connected to info on the retailer backend or on third party source which is pulled in by API data connection.
  • Retailers can now use QR codes on tickets to quickly direct customers to a scraped or full version of their website with accurate information more than can be displayed at the shelf. This feature also increases web engagement and traffic and can add to total basket size by offering larger, bulkier or out of stock products to be delivered to the customer directly.
  • Price discrepancy is an issue in retail where the price at the shelf and at the till are different, it's estimated in an average supermarket up to 200 products have a mismatch between till and shelf. Price discrepancy can be eliminated and this can drop to zero with ESL especially if the system is cloud based.


Morrisons in the UK has recently started using electronic ticketing in some stores.



Walmart Montreal using Vusion ESL


Woolworths Australia has been seen using Electronic Shelf Labels in many stores

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