Pay at the shelf, not at the till

Published on 07/01/2020 in Inspire

Pay at the shelf, not at the till

Connected electronic labels are not only automating prices but also offering a wide range of services to shoppers, through the cloud, like mobile payment at the shelf instead of at the cash register.

“Electronic shelf labeling (ESL) has drastically changed thanks to the cloud. It provides retailers and consumers a broad arsenal of software and service solutions. These solutions improve products but also optimize shops and sales experience,” says Nicolas Méraud, Sales Manager Northern Europe/UK at SES-imagotag. “These days it goes much further than digitalizing the traditional price tag on a product. Modern ESL technology offers the opportunity to synchronize the physical store and e-commerce, which is a good thing for both customer and retailer.”

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Gedimat La Vallée has equipped its 900 m2 store with an Electronic Shelf Labeling system (ESL). Profitability and customer experience lie at the core.

Equip store with ESL

ESL meets consumer information needs

“ESL technology is both customer- and retailer-driven,” Nicolas goes on. “For the retailer, it’s a handy way of finding information. In addition to prices, the screen also gives access to other product information. Using smartphones and QR codes, customers can find out a lot about the ingredients and origin of a product, and even learn about possible recipes. Thanks to our most recent technology, it is no longer necessary to have an app from a particular store or chain.”

Waiting at the cash register is a thing of the past

“The electronic labels also provide the possibility to pin down the exact location of a product in the store. An illuminated screen guides the customer to the product he or she is, looking for. Consumers can even pay directly at this spot. There is no need to go to the cash register afterwards.”

The electronic labels also provide the possibility to pin down the exact location of a product in the store. An illuminated screen guides the customer to the product he or she is, looking for. Consumers can even pay directly at this spot. There is no need to go to the cash register afterwards.

Nicolas Méraud, Sales Manager Northern Europe/UK at SES-imagotag

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Stock management becomes measurable

Some advantages for the retailer are obvious, such as fast price modification. “You can also indicate how fresh a product is, and this may or may not be linked to a special price when the sell-by date is near,” says Nicolas.

“But thanks to connectivity and the use of cloud technology, ESL can also help staff in stocking shelves. It is possible to detect whether a certain product is still available on the shelf and whether the product is in stock or not. This means that our technology is helpful for stock management in stores. Figures don’t lie: the error margin in pricing is reduced to virtually nothing and shelf stocking gets a sizable measurable boost.”

Belgian market helps to set the tone

The Belgian market seems to be taking on a pioneering role in the implementation of the possibilities offered by ESL. “When we look at our neighboring countries, we get a rather varied picture,” Nicolas explains.

“France has gone a fairly long way, but in the Netherlands they have not yet made so much progress, although they’re busy catching up. Historically, Carrefour was our first customer in Belgium. Now we have installed our technology in all Mediamarkt stores, too, and we are working with Colruyt. By the end of this year, all their stores will be equipped with ESL solutions. We have also joined forces with a few Delhaize franchise holders where we are now installing our latest technology.”

Internet of Things

“Physical stores will continue to hold a central position in an omnichannel retail environment,” Nicolas concludes. “But we have to be bold enough to make full use of the potential offered by digital technology and electronic labels. This is not only the lever to improve store management efficiency but also an instrument to enhance the customer experience. The entire sector needs to realize this. The store of tomorrow wi ll be data- driven and will use the possibilities offered by the Internet of Things. And ESL is an important chapter in this story.”

Data determine the future of your physical store.

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SES-imagotag is a partner of SpearIT and Proximus. With a turnover of 187 million euros and an annual growth of over 20%, the firm is the leader on the ESL market, with a share of 50%. It is a listed company (Euronext Paris), operates in 62 countries, has labels in 17,000 stores and represents 160 million ESL.

Nicolas Méraud graduated from the EDHEC Business School (Lille). He began his professional career with Altran and Michelin. At SES-imagotag he is responsible for operations and sales in Benelux and for sales in the UK and the Nordic countries.

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