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Smart Shelves: What is Smart Shelving?

Like most industries today, the retail sector is grappling with the rise of the digital era, which has brought profound changes to business operations and customer expectations. While it may seem daunting, retailers must dive into the process of digital transformation in order to remain competitive. Fortunately, with new technology come innovative solutions that can truly revolutionize every aspect of business and are well worth the effort put into the transition!

In this article, discover the concept of smart shelving and find out how these digital solutions can help retailers!

What are smart shelves?

Broadly speaking, smart shelving is the implementation of new technology in retail to optimize the shopping experience. There are a variety of devices that can be installed on and around shelves to keep track of inventory, manage prices, collect data and provide insights into customer preferences and shopping patterns.

Types of smart shelf technology and how they work

Shelf sensors

There are a few different types of sensors that can be used on store shelves. Weight sensors can track inventory as products are removed and detect when items are out of stock. This makes it much easier to manage inventory and determine when restocking is needed, improving customer satisfaction by avoiding situations where items are unexpectedly sold out. 

Bluetooth and NFC (near-field communication) can be used to detect shopper proximity and the amount of time they spend in front of the shelf, collecting valuable data about their habits and preferences. Furthermore, if desired, this technology can interact with an app on customers’ phones, showing them personalized promotions based on their previous purchases.

Shelf cameras

Shelf cameras have a variety of applications in retail. Cameras can be installed on opposite shelves to monitor the products in real-time, detecting any gaps and notifying staff accordingly. They can even verify planogram compliance, making sure that every product is in its proper place on the shelves. 

Our AI-enabled technology tool, Pricer’s Shelf Vision, is specifically designed and tailored for retail businesses. The Shelf Vision, which on the surface looks like an electronic shelf label (ESL), is actually composed of a sophisticated wide-angle camera that uses a wireless optical system and IoT capabilities.

Meanwhile, front-facing cameras on smart shelves can assess shoppers’ gender and age ranges, facial expressions and moods, providing retailers and manufacturers with important data about customer demographics and how they respond to products, advertising, etc.

Digital signage

Digital signage is the smart alternative to paper posters. Much easier to change and update than their traditional counterparts, digital signs can be used to showcase high-profit-margin products and limited-time deals. They can feature ads, product demonstrations and video testimonials, and even offer interactive options for customers!

Smart signs immediately grab customers’ attention and influence their behaviour and decision-making, all while providing them with a more enjoyable shopping experience.

Electronic shelf labels

Electronic shelf labels (ESLs) are smart replacements for the paper labels that traditionally display the prices of products. They are all connected to a central system and can be updated automatically, removing the need for manual price changes.

Many electronic shelf labels on the market are equipped with flashing lights, but only Pricer digital price tags from JRTech Solutions can guide staff to the correct location when restocking products or picking for click and collect orders. These features can significantly reduce the need for staff and the associated costs at a time when labour is at a premium.

Benefit from smart shelf technology with JRTech Solutions

JRTech is the leading supplier of electronic shelf labels and smart shelving solutions in North America. We are proud to provide retailers with proven technology from industry pioneer Pricer to help them digitalize and meet the needs of the modern world of phygitalization! Contact us today.