DIGITAL PRICE TAG – UNASSUMING TECHNOLOGY – BIG IMPACT?

May 11, 2015/POSTED BY Paul Windermut/

It’s well known that the digital transformation has had an effect on markets, their power structures and entire business models. Another innovation which contains the potential for conflict has recently been introduced by the multimedia giant Mediamarkt and the retail chain Rewe. The so-called “Price Tag Revolution“ will see the classic printed labels on shelves replaced by price tag computers. These are operated from a centralized system and can be adjusted several times a day if needs be.

Retailers expect that the technology will reduce workloads and improve flexibility. Time spent labelling will be reduced and this should eventually benefit customer service. Electronics retailers have a further advantage: they can more quickly react to the pricing strategies of online competitors.

Customers could be enticed to buy something which would otherwise be disposed of by lowering the price of fruit and vegetables before closing time. 

The price tag revolution could also have an influence on many social issues. It is possible to develop a system in which food waste could be prevented. Customers could be enticed to buy something which would otherwise be disposed of by lowering the price of fruit and vegetables before closing time.

The discussion about store opening times could also be taken up again. The punitive additional costs which still must be incurred to employ staff outside of regular working hours could be financed by permitting opening on Sundays or by allowing businesses to charge premiums for late opening. Because shopping at unusual times provides added value, digital price tags could communicate price differences in a transparent manner without upsetting customers.

The worry amongst consumer advocates is that the technology could lead to permanently unstable prices such as that experienced at filling stations. This scenario, however, seems unlikely considering the value placed on customer loyalty in the retail sector. Customer loyalty is founded on customer satisfaction and reduced price consistency would squander this goodwill. Another criticism which is frequently voiced is the lack of legibility of certain models, a fact attributed more to the absence of design experience rather than to any calculated decision.

We’re looking forward to seeing in which direction this development goes!

 

picture credits: codswollop / photocase.de