Electronic Shelf Labelling (ESL)

Electronic shelf labelling (ESL) represents a modern and dynamic approach to displaying pricing and product information in retail environments. This technology replaces traditional paper price tags with electronic displays.

The main advantages of electronic shelf labels are their ability to update prices and product information remotely and instantly, ensuring consistency and accuracy across a store or chain of stores. This system is not only efficient but also environmentally friendly, as it reduces the need for paper and ink.

  • Real-Time Price Updates

    ESL systems enable retailers to update prices and product information in real-time across all labels in the store. This is particularly useful for dynamic pricing strategies, promotions, and ensuring price accuracy, which is essential for regulatory compliance and customer trust.
  • Wireless Connectivity

    ESLs use wireless communication technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or radio frequency to receive data from a central server. This wireless feature allows for seamless and immediate updates without the need for manual intervention, increasing operational efficiency.
  • Energy Efficiency

    Most ESLs are designed to be energy-efficient, often using e-ink technology, which consumes power only when the display is updated. This makes them suitable for long-term use with minimal battery replacements or power concerns. Typically ESL tags are designed to run for five years.
  • Customisable Displays

    ESLs offer the flexibility to display a wide range of information beyond just pricing. This includes product descriptions, barcodes, QR codes, promotional messages, and even customer reviews. The displays can often be customised to match the store’s branding and layout needs. With a simple to use WYSIWYG interface.
  • Increased Operational Efficiency

    ESL systems streamline the process of updating pricing and product information. This automation reduces the labor-intensive task of manually replacing paper labels, saving time, resources and labour costs.
  • Accuracy and Consistency

    With ESLs, the risk of pricing errors is significantly reduced. Prices displayed on the shelves can be synchronized with the point of sale (POS) system, ensuring consistency and accuracy, which is crucial for customer trust and regulatory compliance.
  • Dynamic Pricing Capability

    Retailers can implement dynamic pricing strategies easily with ESLs. Prices can be adjusted in real-time to respond to market changes, promotions, or inventory levels, allowing for more responsive and strategic pricing management.
  • Improved Customer Experience

    ESLs provide customers with accurate, up-to-date information, enhancing their shopping experience. They can also display additional product details, promotions, and even QR codes for further information, enriching the customer’s in-store journey.
  • Reduced Environmental Impact

    By eliminating the need for paper-based labels, ESLs contribute to environmental sustainability. This reduction in paper usage aligns with eco-friendly business practices and appeals to environmentally conscious consumers.
  • Cost Savings in the Long Run

    While the initial investment in ESL systems might be higher than traditional labeling methods, they offer significant cost savings over time. Reduced labour costs, minimal printing expenses, and decreased waste all contribute to long-term financial benefits.
  • Enhanced Store Aesthetics

    ESLs offer a modern, clean, and uniform look to store shelves, enhancing the overall aesthetics of the retail environment. This can positively impact customer perception and store branding.
  • Inventory Management Integration

    ESLs can be integrated with inventory management systems, providing real-time updates on stock levels. This integration helps in efficient inventory tracking and management, reducing instances of stock-outs or overstocking.
  • Data Analytics and Insights

    Advanced ESL systems can collect and analyze data related to pricing, customer behavior, and sales trends. These insights are valuable for making informed business decisions and tailoring strategies to meet market demands.
  • Security and Compliance

    ESLs enhance security by preventing unauthorized price changes and ensuring compliance with pricing laws and regulations. The use of secure wireless communication and encrypted data ensures that only authorised changes are made.
  • Retail Stores

    In supermarkets, department stores, and specialty retail outlets, ESLs are used to display product prices, promotions, and information. They allow for quick price adjustments in response to market changes, sales, and inventory levels, enhancing the shopping experience and operational efficiency.
  • Warehouses and Inventory Management

    ESLs are employed in warehouses to manage inventory more efficiently. They help in tracking stock levels, providing location information, and facilitating the picking and packing processes, thereby optimizing inventory management.
  • Health Care Stores

    In pharmacies, ESLs are crucial for displaying accurate and up-to-date information on medications, including prices, contents, and expiration dates. This ensures compliance with health regulations and enhances patient safety.
  • Libraries and Bookstores

    Libraries and bookstores use ESLs to manage their collections more effectively. Labels can display information about books, such as genre, author, price, and availability, making it easier for patrons to find what they are looking for.
  • Electronic and Appliance Stores

    ESLs in electronic and appliance stores provide detailed product specifications, pricing, and promotional offers. They are particularly useful for items with frequently changing prices or specs, like electronics.
  • Hospitality Industry

    Hotels and resorts can use larger ESLs to display room rates, services, and promotional offers. They can also be used in conference centers to provide information about event schedules, room assignments, and facility availability.
  • Corporate and Educational Institutions

    In corporate and educational settings, ESLs are used to display room bookings, event schedules, and general information. They aid in efficient space management and dissemination of information.
  • Transportation Hubs

    Airports, train stations, and bus terminals can use ESLs for displaying timetables, ticket prices, and gate or platform information. This helps in managing passenger flow and providing real-time travel information.
  • Museums and Galleries

    In museums and art galleries, ESLs offer a modern way to provide information about exhibits, artists, and art pieces. They enhance the visitor experience by offering interactive and updated content.
  • Healthcare Facilities

    Hospitals and clinics use ESLs for room identification, patient queue management, and displaying important health and safety information. They contribute to the efficient operation of healthcare facilities and patient care.

Most ESLs use e-ink (electronic ink) displays, similar to those found in e-readers. E-ink provides high visibility and readability, with low power consumption. Some models might use LCD or OLED displays for more dynamic content. ESLs typically communicate using wireless technologies. Common protocols include Zigbee, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and proprietary RF (radio frequency) systems. The choice of communication technology affects range, battery life, and network scalability.

ESLs are usually battery-powered, with batteries ranging from coin cell to larger AA batteries, depending on size and functionality. Battery life can vary from a few months to several years, depending on display technology, update frequency, and communication protocol. Our solutions are typically designed with a battery life of five years. under normal working conditions.

Specifications will vary from model to model, please request a specification sheet for the model that interests you.


What is Electronic Shelf Labelling (ESL)?

Electronic Shelf Labelling refers to the use of digital displays, typically using e-ink technology, to show pricing and product information on retail shelves. These labels are electronically controlled and can be updated remotely, offering a dynamic and efficient alternative to traditional paper labels.

How do ESLs work?

ESLs work by receiving data wirelessly from a central server. This data typically includes pricing, product descriptions, and promotional information. The labels use low-energy communication protocols, such as radio frequency or infrared technology, to update this information in real-time.

What are the benefits of using ESLs?

ESLs offer several advantages including real-time price updating, reducing the labour and material costs associated with manual price tagging, minimizing pricing errors, enhancing customer experience through accurate, timely information, and providing opportunities for dynamic pricing strategies.

Can ESLs display more than just price information?

Yes, ESLs can display various types of information such as stock levels, product details, promotional offers, QR codes for additional product information, and even customer reviews.

Are ESLs energy efficient?

ESLs are generally energy efficient, particularly those using e-ink technology. They consume power only when updating information, not for maintaining the display, making them suitable for long-term use with minimal energy consumption.

How are ESLs integrated with store systems?

ESLs are integrated with a retailer’s existing management system, such as a point of sale (POS) or inventory management system. This integration allows for seamless updates to the labels whenever there’s a change in the system, such as price adjustments or stock updates.

What is the typical lifespan of an ESL?

The lifespan of an ESL varies depending on its usage and the environment in which it is used. On average, ESLs can last several years, with some models designed to work efficiently for up to five years or more.

How secure are ESL systems?

ESL systems typically include security features to prevent unauthorized access and tampering. This includes encrypted data transmission and authentication protocols to ensure that only authorized personnel can update the information.

What are the challenges of implementing ESLs?

Challenges can include the initial investment cost, the need to integrate with existing store systems, ensuring consistent wireless coverage throughout the store, and training staff to work with the new system.

Can ESLs be customized for different store formats?

Yes, ESLs are highly customizable in terms of size, colour, display information, and design, making them suitable for various store formats and branding requirements.