Pierre Salagnac, Sales Director Europe, Middle East and Asia at Pricer


The simple electronic shelf label (ESL) has been improved and several South African retailers are already investigating its newfound potential. 
Although few ESLs were born equal in the past they all offered a basic standard facility: they would communicate prices from servers to the shelf, allowing retailers to perform many thousands of price changes, updates or corrections per minute. The better versions would then communicate back to the server, confirming the price change to ensure no discrepancies arose at the till. And they would do more, like divulge stock on hand, rate of sale and more, right at the shelf. 
Now they have been improved with new features focused squarely on major retailer issues like shelf space optimisation, click and collect efficiencies, customer in store experience improvements and omni-channel efficiencies.
“We’ve really built a platform that will help retailers deal with their business and competitive issues,” says Pierre Salagnac, sales director Europe, Middle East and Asia at Pricer. “Giving them a platform allows them to extend the effectiveness of ESLs so that they can derive better return on investment (ROI).”

One of the new features is the ability to communicate with shoppers’ smartphones. The ESL system knows at any given moment where customers are in the shop, can track their movements and record the data for analysis. That data feeds heat maps, divulging where shoppers walked, how fast they moved, where they lingered, which products likely grabbed their attention, which did not, whether or not promotional offers were effective, if display advertising is working correctly or not and more. 
That information helps retailers to figure out whether or not their promotions are being effective and if not why not. It helps them to figure out shelf densities and where to place items on shelves, which shelves in the stores and how much space to allocate them. 
The future for companies like Pricer and its retailer customers is focused on building the value proposition of shelf edge digitisation. Helping shoppers and staff quickly find products is becoming a brick and mortar fundamental. These systems combine in-store geolocation, increased planogram compliance capabilities and pick-to-light or task-to-light tag features for which there is growing demand. The system links the product shelf-edge tag with customer or staff remote electronic requests and starts and stops flashing on command. This feature is open to interconnection with any retail marketing or operational software application such as self-scanning and digital shopping lists. 
The tag flash feature is designed for activities-to-light. This simple yet highly effective capability enables rich new software capabilities to enhance in-store critical functions such as click and collect, targeted promotional capabilities, and shopper guidance solutions. 
Simple? Yes. Effective? Yes again. 
“This is the clever application of existing technology that feeds into retailers’ current computer systems to give them practical data that helps them meet their current and future needs,” says Arnaud Lecat, VP of store solutions at Pricer.




Arnaud Lecat, VP of store solutions at Pricer


“The ability to quickly locate items, for customers as well as employees, means retailers can offer new levels of service,” he says. “Retailers in Europe are offering click and collect services whereby customers order their goods online or from a smartphone app. Store employees prepack non-perishable goods and when customers arrive outside the store employees then pick perishable items. The entire shopping experience becomes very personalised and customised and also very quick and efficient for the customer. At the same time the personalised and customised shopping experience could be very expensive for retailers to offer so this process helps them to minimise the costs.”
About XON Systems
XON builds, operates, and manages information and communication technology (ICT) solutions created specifically for customers. We are a level 3 EmpowerLogic-certified BBEEE black-empowered business that embraces social responsibility and upliftment.
For more information, visit www.xon.co.za
Media enquiries: Minesh Manga, XON
Contact details: 011 237 4500, minesh@xon.co.za