How Do Electronic Price Tags Work

Electronic price tags, otherwise known as digital price displays, electronic shelf labels, and so many other names, are the new alternative to paper labels and signage. They are e-ink digital displays that show many forms of product information that standard paper prints can’t provide.

Worker hands holding tablet on blurred warehouse as background
Source: iStock

When originally created, the main aim for the electronic shelf label (ESL) tags was to replace traditional paper labels in retail business to bring accuracy, accountability, and advanced grocery store display ideas. But the technology has evolved to be more innovative, and used across many industries like healthcare, offices, commercial institutions, etc.

Now the question is how does electronic shelf labeling work? We will disclose that in this article, but before that, let’s explain what the technology is and its many benefits.

What are Electronic Price Labels

Electronic Shelf Tags
Source: iStock

Electronic price labels are digital devices attached to store shelves to display product information, including pricing, promotions, etc. They are typically small digital screens or e-ink displays fixed to each product shelf to provide customers with the necessary information they need to make purchases.

Benefits of Electronic Shelf Labels

Since its invention, electronic labels have helped streamline many industries’ operations, reducing expenses and increasing profits. Here are the major benefits of electronic shelf labels.

  • Display More Information: ESL tags are not just for showing products prices; they serve as a guide to help shoppers decide which product to buy. Other information like product descriptions are displayed, which influences the decisions of customers. For example, the display of two cereal brands’ nutritional facts can be helpful to customers in choosing what they want.
  • Dynamic Pricing: ESL label allows for change of product prices in real-time. Just with the click of a button, product prices can be adjusted, making your business stay profitable despite frequent fluctuations. With this, you can increase the prices to take advantage of demand or lower the prices to increase sales.
  • Reduced Operational Cost: The ultimate goal of marketing operation is ROI. ESL pricing improves return on investment as you won’t have to use paper labels, which come with additional expenses for ink, printing equipment, and many staff for labor. Money that ought to go to these expenses will be saved.
  • Inventory Optimization: One of the major problems of retail businesses, especially sole proprietorship is stock level assessment. With digital shelf labels, you will have an accurate insight into your inventory. You will be notified when the inventory level in the store or even the warehouse is low, ensuring that you don’t run out of stock.

How Do ZhSunyco Electronic Shelf Price Tags Work

Digital Price Labels

At ZhSunyco, we’ve made the working process of our electronic price tags to be extremely simple. While the design and construction speak volumes of expertise, they have a pretty simple operation pattern. All that’s needed are:

  • Electronic price tag
  • Accessories that will be used to mount the ESL tag, such as adapters, profiles, and brackets
  • ESL software that links the store’s management system to the electronic price label
  • An access point or router for transmitting data from the ESL software to the shelf tags

Then the ESL is programmed with your store’s existing POS or ERP software. This is controlled from a center point, meaning that your displayed product information can be managed remotely.

How Does Electronic Shelf Label Wi-Fi Work

Electronic shelf label Wi-Fi solution uses the original Wi-Fi network system to transmit product information to the ESL tags. The store’s information management system is connected to the ESL Wi-Fi through a simple software deployment, and the ESL tags are enabled to display the information.

How Do NFC Price Tags Work

ESL NFC working principle involves inserting an NFC reader into a mobile device, which is pointed at the digital shelf label to control the display. NFC price tags features include a wireless power supply that’s transferred to the label, ensuring that the connection and display last long. With the NFC electronic shelf label, you don’t have to worry about constantly recharging the batteries.

How Does Bluetooth Electronic Shelf Labels Work

Bluetooth electronic shelf tags use Bluetooth 5.0 to edit and save images on the ESL server cloud for reference purposes. From the server cloud, the images are transferred to the mobile device, through which they are displayed on the electronic price tags.

2.4GHz Electronic Price Label Working Principle

The 2.4GHz ESL solution transfers product information between the ESL management system, wireless base station, digital price label, and other devices. It works efficiently when an ESL electronic shelf label is tapped onto a POS station, the information on the electronic price label is shown on the POS device, and the inventory data within the server will be updated.

433 MHz Electronic Price Tags Working Principle

The 433 MHz digital price tag creates a retail data center for managing and changing all information in real-time. It ensures all barcodes and NFC chips offer accurate pricing and product information across all other retail stores.

Does ESL Price Tag Need a Battery

Yes, digital price tags require batteries to power their display and wireless communication functionalities when there is no power supply. The type and capacity of each battery varies; however, ESLs are generally designed to have long battery life.

Contact ZhSunyco to Get All Electronic Price Label Solutions

Are you looking for a one-stop provider of electronic price label solutions? ZhSunyco is one of the best electronic shelf labels manufacturers around the world and has helped over 180 countries with advanced digital price labels.

ZhSunyco Logo
Source: Zhsunyco

We focus on supplying retailers with state-of-the-art electronic shelf edge labels that will streamline their operation and management system. With us by your side, you can eliminate unnecessary expenses and contribute more to your business profits.

Are you ready to get started? Contact us today and enjoy a bunch of custom and after-sale services prepared for you.


Electronic price tags have come to change the manner through which retail business management is conducted. With various benefits in place for both business owners and customers to enjoy, the technology is rapidly growing in every part of the world. Having a simple working principle, electronic shelf labels are easy to use in all businesses, including small-scale and large-scale enterprises.

For more information on the benefits and how digital shelf labels work, you can check here.

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