Samsung Debuts Electronic Shelf Labeling (ESL)

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

The ability to instantly and remotely change product prices is the impetus for electronic shelf labels (ESL) that were recently rolled out by Samsung at the Customer Show in Melbourne.

Price updates can be done wirelessly at the store level and it is also possible to input the pricing on a central server, which then sends the price data to all the price tags in the system, even if they number in the thousands.

Europe, Japan and Asia have had this technology in use for some time, but a Samsung spokesman expressed confidence that Australian retailers would be embracing the ESL technology with great enthusiasm over the next one to two years.

Retailers would benefit in a number of ways.

Labour costs would be reduced through the elimination of time-consuming paper labeling, which would lead to an increase in productivity with in-store sales personnel able to focus more on sales and customer service and less time on administrative/inventory control tasks.

Perhaps the most important benefit, however, is that retailers can adjust prices to be competitive with Internet based retailers and hopefully reduce the practice of customers coming into a store to get a hands-on experience of a product, and then go online to try and find a better price. ESL technology will allow retailers to adjust prices in real time and hopefully swing the pendulum away from online stores and back to brick and mortar merchants.

One very creative application of ESL technology involves combining it with store video security systems that are capable of collecting demographic data in order to tailor prices for a specific time of day, based on gender and age.

ESLs can also be used to closely monitor inventory levels in order to be better prepared for sales and promotions.

The electronic shelf labels are the brain child of Samsung’s Electro-Mechanics division (SEMCO).

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