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Dynamic Pricing : Brick-and-mortar stores vs. online retailers

How do electronic shelf labels help brick-and-mortar stores compete with online retailers?

 According to this article from Pricer, to compete with online retailers, brick-and-mortar stores are embracing dynamic pricing. Experts say in the face of price changes, consumers are much more receptive than they think.

At the Intersport flagship store in Athens, Greece, they made the decision to replace traditional paper price tags with electronic shelf labels to display prices and easily change them in seconds. A customer who wants to buy a pair of sneakers from the huge footwear department will be surprised to see prices that are changing in front of their eyes in real time.

For retailers like Intersport, electronic shelf labels have many advantages as they allow the retailer to be more productive and dynamic by responding in real time to competitors’ promotions.

Saved around 1 month of work per year  

According to Aggelos Stefanou, Intersport’s IT Supervisor in Greece, Cyprus and Balkans, the switch to electronic shelf labels in the footwear department has saved around a month of staff time per year, that can be spent on customer service. QR codes on electronic shelf labels also allow consumers to scan in-store items and be directed to a detailed review page on Intersport’s website, and they can buy directly online if a certain size is sold out.

Being renowned for their price elasticity, dynamic pricing is a core strategy for online retailers, but conventional signage (like paper labels) in physical stores seeks such agility. But since the introduction of electronic labels, this is no longer the case.

Nils Hulth, chief product officer at Pricer, said Intersport was an outlier in adopting electronic shelf labels – the most enthusiastic industries today, he said, are home improvement, grocery and consumer electronics. “Some online retailers change prices 100 times per day because they all have to match Amazon,” he said. “But ESLs allow anyone to change a lot too.”

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