Technology such as the digital shelf edge is very rapidly changing the expectations of shoppers and what it is possible to deliver in terms of the retail experience for consumers. Despite this, very few retailers are taking advantage of the technology that is available to them.
While use of payment technologies is growing – driven strongly by customer demand, we are seeing very little use of in-store technologies such as digital shelf-edge displays, where retailers can alter prices of displayed products instantly. Having such a capability would make a tremendous difference to supermarkets, who could respond to market price fluctuations or the competition almost immediately. They could be totally consistent and accurate with pricing and even adjust prices to take advantage of peaks in buying of certain products throughout the daily and weekly cycle. They would also save millions by reducing the amount of time staff have to spend on changing prices all over the store.
This technology is already being used very effectively by some petrol retailers on garage forecourts to adjust prices as and when they need to through the day, so it is perhaps surprising that it is not being more widely used. Some supermarkets are running proof-of-concept tests, but are some distance from rolling it out nationally.