Electronic Shelf Labeling System  

In an era where digitization is in a frenzy, the electronic shelf labeling system is another technology for stores and businesses to enforce flexible inventory management. This electronic shelf label technology saves customers the stress of straining their eyes to read through the contents of a product as they are boldly displayed on its screen.

With the constant change in product prices, electronic shelf label manufacturers have been able to come up with a device that allows managers to virtually update product details across their various stores from a single server. This helps to ensure that shelf and terminal prices are equal at all times.

In this article, we will be discussing how the electronic shelf label system works, how it can be applied, and the benefits derived from using it.

What is Electronic Shelf Labeling System

How does Electronic Shelf Label Work
Source: Pinterest

An electronic shelf labeling system also known as an electronic price tag system is a digital wireless device that is designed to display prices and other details a customer needs to know about the product before making a purchase.

Over the years, the ESL (short form for Electronic Shelf Label) device has been a great substitute for traditional labeling. This is because product prices can be updated remotely without having to pay much Labour cost. ESL is a technology that has been able to provide extensive enhancement across several business departments, including bookkeeping, marketing, inventory management, customer service and human resources.

The electronic label system is usually positioned at the front of retail shelves where customers can see them boldly. Automation of the digital price tag system is done by connecting the ESL with the store’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Point of Sales (POS) system. This will ensure a uniform update across all connected stores.

In a situation where there are frequent breaks in the power supply, it is best to reach out to an e-ink display manufacturer. The e-ink display is a type of electronic labeling system that contains microcapsules that allows product image and description to remain on the screen when power is cut off.

How Does Electronic Shelf Labeling System work

Primarily, the electronic labeling system is made up of three components, namely: a communication network, a communication unit, and a display unit.

  • Communication network: This component enables the user to set up prices and stock details for all the products they offer across their various stores. 
  • Communication unit: This unit serves as an intermediary between the communication network and the display unit. It helps make a wireless transfer of all product information from the communication network to the display unit using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. 
  • Display unit: This is the final destination where all necessary information is displayed to the customers. The display unit is placed in front of the shelf, and it is made up of an e-paper (electronic paper) which allows this information to be visible on the ESL screen.

For the ESL shelf labels to be fully centralized, it needs to be connected with the store’s existing POS or ERP software. 

Benefits of Electronic Shelf Labeling System

Price Error Reduction

The main difference between human and digital effort is accuracy. The ESL eliminates errors by ensuring prices on the POS terminal are always in line with prices on the shelf. This is attainable because the ERP software will ensure all product details are synchronized on the electronic shelf label screen.

As opposed to traditional labeling where price tags can get mixed up as a result of fatigue or human error. The electronic label is highly reliable as errors made can be easily noticed and modified. When there is a uniform price, there will be no room for confusion or misunderstanding among staff and customers.

Flexible Price Update

Prices of products are constantly changing as a result of several factors, such as inflation, market demand, and supply, world events etc. For a business to get proper customer recommendations, product prices need to be updated.

Although product price can also be changed frequently through traditional means, it requires a relatively higher amount of labor cost and effort. When it comes to price updates, the electronic price tag will perform the task in the blink of an eye from the central point. This will help to maximize profit by cutting excessive labor costs and also ensure employees engage in more productive activity during working hours.

Inventory Management

When there is proper inventory management, it is easier for a business to keep track of every unit of product they offer. At times, when products are not fully displayed on the shelves, the ESL price tag will give customers a hint of the numbers left in stock. It also allows the employee to know when and where a product should be restocked easily.

Perishability Management

Locating goods approaching their expiration date in a variety of stores can be tedious. But thanks to the electronic price tags, product expiration dates are boldly displayed alongside other details. The supermarket’s electronic price tag system allows the management to automate discounts on goods approaching expiration dates. 

Discount sales will help the store clear off nearly expired products and also help customers get more quantity with their money.

Applications of Electronic Labeling System

The electronic labeling system is applicable across various industries. In as much as there is a product to display, there is a need for an electronic label system. Here are a few places it can be applied!


Electronic Price Tags for wine retailer
Source: Zhsunyco

A supermarket electronic price tag is something every manager should own. The device gives room for constant price updates and management of inventories within the supermarket. The electronic price tag also ensures products remain organized on the shelves as customers see their content displayed on its screen.


Electronic labels used for Hospital Staff Communicating
Electronic labels used for Hospital Staff Communicating

The office space is not left out as well. In this case, an electronic label system can serve as a digital conference room sign, which will display the required reservation contents. Electronic labeling may as well serve as a reminder to notify workers of the working schedules in the office.


Electronic Shelf Label in the Pharmacy
Source: Pinterest 

Retail pharmacies record a high amount of medicine sales due to prescriptions from hospitals. But they usually have a few employees. An electronic shelf label system helps to tackle this issue by providing customers with frequent price updates and descriptions. A digital price tag system also is used for digital signage in hospitals. They are usually placed at the head or end of patients’ beds, at the door of the medical staff’s office, or at the door of the operating room to present information in a timely manner.


Electronic Shelf Label in the Warehouse
Source: Zhsunyxo

For a very long time, warehouses have been faced with challenges related to inventory management. Keeping track of stock inflow and outflow is easier with the ESL. It allows top management who are mostly not present in the warehouse to get a synchronized update of all dealings. This will give room for early managerial decisions and efficient control.


The electronic shelf labeling system remains a top-tier substitute for the traditional labeling system. Before making a purchase, Battery capacity, display, size, and communication information must be considered. These are the properties that determine the efficiency and useful life of the electronic price tag system.

You should get in touch with a professional electronic shelf label supplier to get an electronic labeling system that will perfectly suit your business.

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