What Is Smart Shelving  

Retail is projected as the future of the shopping sphere, and AI has a big part to play in its rise. Growth in the demand for a digitalized shopping system has created a global market for smart shelves. 

These digitalized shelves are applicable in supermarkets, grocery stores, workshops, and other physical stores where their different functions serve retailers, shoppers, brands, and even larger organizations.

This blog post discusses smart shelving and its technology, how it works, its benefits and equipment, and how it can elevate your brand.

What Is Smart Shelf Technology

Smart Shelf Technology
Source: Istock

Smart shelf technology refers to the integration of technology with retail shelves to deliver improved personalized experiences to customers while providing customer-behavior insight that helps to increase sales and store efficiency. 

This technology also aids in tracking inventory and stock by detecting when a product has been purchased or removed from its shelf. Smart shelving is achieved by linking devices, such as electronic shelf labels (ESL), internet of things (IoT) sensors, digital signages, etc., to traditional shelves. 

These digital shelves can monitor the product load of each frame, display product details and prices, as well as showcase advertisements, branding materials, and other additional information that engages shoppers and allows them to understand more about the product and the company.

With their enhanced capabilities, smart shelves are more involved in the selling process than ordinary shelves. By implementing a high level of automation and unique analytic systems, digital shelves provide a solution to vital retail challenges, including inventory tracking and customer engagement.

Benefits of Smart Shelf

Smart shelves have many features, such as real-time updates, NFC capability, customizable design, and information display, that helps retailers and businesses in various ways. Here are some benefits of using smart shelves.

  • Data-driven Decision Making

Smart shelves collect data on customer behavior, which is used to make informed decisions about what products to restock and when to reload them. Using digital shelves also collect data that informs you on what brand of your product portfolio is selling the most, productive marketing strategies implemented, peak sales period of products, and other essential information.

  • Improved Personalized Shopping

Supermarket electronic price tags can display instant price updates, adequate product info, in-store promos, and popular product alternatives, as well as show high-definition and engaging videos about the product. By monitoring customer shopping trends, retailers can use the analytics system and artificial intelligence in smart shelves to discover more convenient and exciting ways to shop.

Analytics systems like Anonymous Viewers Analytics can be added to your smart shelves to determine the age and gender of buyers, enabling you to create and transmit specific messages to the target customers.

  • Inventory Automation and Intelligence

As a leading electronic shelf label manufacturer, Zhsunyco provides a highly automated inventory solution that accurately tracks products on the shelf, creates an auditing and management process, and grabs customers’ attention. 

Our system operates with a high degree of accuracy to deliver quality insight into customer behavior and provide up-to-date data on inventory while creating new opportunities for businesses.

  • Real-time Information Relay

Zhsunyco aims to close the gap between digital and physical retail experiences. Using our electronic labeling system, retailers can instantly display specific messages or videos when a customer picks a product or engages with the product. This provides customers with necessary, informative content that is engaging and interactive.

Equipment of Smart Shelf

  • IoT Sensors
IoT Sensors Sample
Source: Istock

The Internet of things (IoT) involves a connection of various devices, including software, actuators, sensors, and electronics, among others, which enables the collection and automatic transmission of data. IoT sensors can be used in various ways in supermarkets, but their most common function is temperature control.

Through the collection and transmission of data to retailers for analysis, this technology also provides information on which products customers purchase the most and the best ways to display products on the shelf. IoT technology enables the display of commercials and catalogs, as well as specific and personalized information to customers.

  • RFID
RFID Application
Source: Istock

A microreader, antenna, and reader make up the tag of a radio frequency identification reader (RFID). These tags store information electronically, identifying and transmitting data using smart barcodes and radio waves. Smart shelves using RFID ensure proper product placement, data collection, and delivery with minimal human intervention.

When the shelves are running low or empty, store reps are notified on their applications by the RFID tags for restocking. These digital tags also enable faster shopping by automatically scanning purchases at checkouts.

  • Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs)
Electronic Price Tags for wine retailer
Source: Pinterest

Electronic shelf labels are a digital alternative to paper price tags. It displays product information and details in real-time using electronic or digital paper. The ESL display can be manually or automatically controlled through a central server based on the business’ preference. 

Visible light, infrared, or radio waves control its wireless communication, and a QR code links online products and offline products on the shelf. Electronic shelf labelings from a top e-paper display supplier aid in executing special promotions, improving customer interaction, and creating a more competent shelf management operation.

  • Personalized Advertisements
Digital Advertisements On a Shelf
Source: Pinterest

Smart shelves have enormous capabilities to increase customer interaction with the products through applications on their smartphone. Sensors can automatically display a deal when they sense a customer approach. If the customer uses the store app for a shopping list, smart shelves can direct customers to the product’s location on the shelf.

Advanced cameras on the shelves can record customers’ reactions and moods while watching the ads to collect data on products they like and those they do not like. Smart shelves use beacons to transmit promotional and personalized information to customers.

  • Pressure Sensor Foils
Pressure Sensor Foils Application
Source: Pinterest

These devices detect changes in the position of products on the shelf. Sensor foils use a multiplexer chip, a capacitive-to-digital converter, resistors, capacitors, and other components to perform their function. Smart shelves with pressure sensor foils are primarily applied in retail stores, hospitals, and hotels.

  • 5G Technology
5G Technology Application
Source: Istock

5G technology is the next-level smart shelving system. This technology has wide, highly digitalized possibilities, including augmented reality application that guides customers to their product of interest, dynamic product monitoring through sensors, and exceptional shopping experiences.

How Does Smart Supermarket Shelf Technology Work?

Smart shelves collect and transmit inventory data, which retailers analyze and use to improve stock availability. This allows retailers and manufacturers more time to work on other aspects of their business, such as enhancing the in-store shopping experience by creating a customer-centric retail space.

By using smart shelves, supermarkets increase their interaction with customers, thus increasing awareness and enabling branding. To optimize shelf stock, smart shelves use weight and proximity sensors, IOT sensors, LED and optical sensors, 3D cameras, microphones, RFID tags, NFC, electronic printed tags, etc

As products on a shelf get low, smart shelves automatically notify store representatives for restocking by sending a prompt to their connected devices.

Why do Retailers, Brands, and Shoppers Use Smart Shelves

Smart supermarkets and brands integrate digital shelving elements to monitor purchases and display targeted product information to customers. This digitalization of traditional shelves offers many benefits to retailers but also reshapes the shopping process for consumers.

By integrating concepts that allow buyers to purchase products without going through the checkout process and enable retailers to track inventory and minimize loss, smart shelves offer a more reliable, interactive, and profitable way to trade products.

Due to the increasing availability of product content, greater competition for the loyalty of customers, and the fast pace of change, it is important for physical retailers and brands to catch up with the fast-moving technological innovations and new customer shopping habits. 

  • ESL Labels and Smart Shelf Benefits for Retailers

With rising competition from e-commerce platforms, grocery chains, and plucky upstarts, retailers need to adapt to the increasing shopping expectations of customers in terms of cost, convenience, experience, quickness of purchases, and curation. 

For retailers, smart shelves and ESL labels present a faster and more cost-effective method for price updates, information dissemination, online and offline store synchronization, stock monitoring, and advertisements, among others. Smart shopping carts in retail stores can track purchases and advertise specific products to customers.

  • ESL Labels and Smart Shelves Benefits Shoppers

Customers’ expectations change quickly. With more options and new experiences, shoppers want more quality, customization ability, and efficiency in purchasing. ESL price tag and smart shelves enable customers to locate nearby stores, analyze products through reviews, and have faster access to detailed product information. 

The use of digital shelves also drives brand loyalty as customers find better ways to engage with products and customers.

  • ESL Labels and Smart Shelves Benefits for Brands

Using traditional shelves, brands have less insight into shopper behavior. This has led to decreased shopper loyalty, failure of new products, and reduced profit margin. Smart shelves empower brands with on-the-ground and detailed information on customers’ engagements with products. Brands have more visibility and access to engagement metrics, target messaging, and other insights.

However, smart shelves and electronic shelf labels are not limited to retailers, shoppers, and brands. This technology is becoming common in warehouses for tracking stock levels and monitoring inventory.

How Can Smart Shelf Technology Change Your Supermarket

Smart Shelf Technology In a Supermarket
Source: Istock

Supermarkets and groceries have many shelves, containing numerous products from household items to electronic appliances. These shelves are riddled with paper tags used to indicate the prices of products, which have to be switched for every change in price, store promo, or discount. 

This is often a hassle in the supermarket as a staff has to go from shelf to shelf, depending on how many product prices have to be changed. Paper labels are not only difficult to replace, but they are also prone to printing errors and are expensive. 

Electronic shelf labels allow your staff to work conveniently and your business to operate efficiently. When electronic shelf labels are integrated into your supermarket’s system, they are connected to a central server from which you can update the prices on the digital tags. ESLs from trusted electronic shelf label manufacturers do not require you to move to each shelf to update the prices.

Some ESL price tags have specific features that enable them to perform other functions, such as calling a store representative’s attention. Zhsunyco manufactures ESLs with Near Frequency Communication (NFC) tapping capacity, which allows customers to check out by themselves after the purchase with NFC-tapping cashless payment. These additional features help to improve the business’ image and enhance the customer’s in-store experience.

Smart shelves offer an easier process for running your business. By advancing your supermarket operations with digital tags, sensors, RFIDs, etc., you create an edge over competitors.

Supermarkets Using Smart Shelf Technology

Many supermarkets in western Europe and North America now use digital shelves as it significantly improves store operations, enhances customer service, saves time, and reduces waste.

Some of these supermarkets and grocery stores include Kroger supermarket chain in the USA, German Buenting Group’s Familia Markt chain of hypermarkets, South-Korean LotteMart, Carrefour City in France, Swiss Migros, Dutch Natuur Winkel, Sunka in Spain, Shoprite in the USA, and Canadian Loblaws.

Go For Electronic Price Tags For Companies Engaged In Smart Shelving

Zhsunyco is a premium supplier of electronic shelf-label solutions and an LCD display manufacturer. Our various digital labels and smart shelving solutions have the best quality and several additional features that make our products more effective. 

Our electronic shelf labeling capabilities are exceptional as our products provide all essential features that allow you to elevate your supermarket operations to the next level. Here are some features of our electronic price tags.

  • More information is displayed.
  • Quick updates
  • NFC/WIFI/Bluetooth capability
  • Customizable design
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Various LED display colors, etc.

For more information on how Zhsunyco can optimize your business operation, maximize your profits, and increase your visibility, you can contact us today or visit www.zhsunyco.com

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