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No more staff shortages! Find out how electronic shelf labels are helping retailers manage their operations

Businesses across Canada have once again had to deal with the impact of the sixth wave of COVID-19. While this wave was more manageable than previous ones, recurring outbreaks of COVID-19 have continually caused labour shortages in many industries, particularly in the retail sector. 

To overcome these challenges, more and more retailers have turned to technology solutions, optimizing their in-store omnichannel operations. Installing in-store technology tools has enabled retailers to better respond to the online order load, which exploded during the health crisis.

Among these technological tools, one solution that has convinced more than one retailer has been the installation of electronic shelf labels (ESL).

But then how can Pricer ESLs coupled with other technologies help retailers solve staffing shortages?


Price automation, one less tedious task!
The printing, changing process (removing and reattaching), and continuous updating of a single paper label can take up to two minutes, which is not only a tedious and repetitive task but also increases the chances of delayed and/or inaccurate pricing. Moreover, this price change is crucial to demonstrate transparency and comply with legislation. As a result, the installation of electronic shelf labels represents a dynamic and instantaneous pricing solution, allowing staff to focus on more productive tasks while avoiding the hiring of dedicated staff.

Geolocation and Put-To-Light, the perfect combo to restock your shelves efficiently!
Replenishment is one of the most time-consuming tasks because it is often complicated to find the right location of each product on the shelf. With our Instant SmartFLASH labels and geolocation system, it is possible for a clerk to replenish empty shelves twice as fast as the usual time. In addition, this solution is also beneficial for customers who have trouble finding their way around the store. All they have to do is consult a kiosk in the store or on their smartphone, which will automatically generate the optimal route to reach the desired product. Once there, the label will flash to indicate its location on the shelf. This fusion of geolocation and put-to-light saves the customer and staff time and frustration. Similarly, by offering this solution to customers, they gain autonomy, which again allows staff to focus on essential tasks.

A fast and error-free Click-&-Collect service!
During the pandemic, online grocery ordering exploded and became the norm for some, who still fear going to the store for fear of being contaminated. While many retailers offered Click-&-Collect to continue offering their products, few had advanced digital solutions for order picking. Again, it was through the installation of ESLs and the use of geolocation that many retailers were able to truly respond to the increase in e-commerce orders, without the risk of making mistakes during picking or delaying delivery. This time saving in order picking allows staff to be freed from this task more quickly.

The Shelf Vision, eyes where there are none!
Constantly watching for missing or empty products on a shelf is both very tedious and time consuming in a day. To prevent staff from spending time circling the store and taking note of which products are soon to be unavailable, retailers can now rely on the artificial intelligence placed in the Shelf Vision, a technology tool developed to quickly identify replenishment needs and ensure maximum availability on the shelf.

Fight food waste while saving costs!
Another tedious task that requires great attention is the monitoring of expiring products. Indeed, it happens very often that the staff in grocery stores do not spot the products on the shelves, sometimes too immersed in a pile of products to sell. Pricer has partnered with companies that develop advanced waste management solutions, such as WhyWaste or Wasteless, to better regulate end-of-life products. In fact, these systems are integrated into a page behind the display of electronic labels, highlighting upcoming expiration dates while dynamically adjusting prices to promote products in this case.

Easier hiring and open to everyone!
The installation of electronic shelf labels and all the technological tools mentioned in this article allows retailers to avoid being in a vulnerable position when trained employees leave a store. Tasks such as price changes, replenishment and click & collect may seem less daunting to experienced employees who are used to doing them on a daily basis. Moreover, hiring and training new people is very expensive. This is why the technological tools mentioned above facilitate the integration of new employees and intermediaries. 


Today’s job market offers more options than ever before and also shows us that the working population is turning less and less to jobs that require patience and repetition of tedious tasks. In addition, the pandemic has been devastating for many businesses, forcing them to lay off employees. The shortage of personnel also forced many people to confine themselves to their homes to avoid the risk of spreading the disease. 

The use of several in-store technology tools proved to be essential to managing operations during the pandemic, saving many retailers. Moreover, the installation of these technologies not only makes the workspace more attractive and easy, but also improves customer and staff satisfaction.

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