Technological advancements in the retail sector aim to enhance the customer shopping experience. The rising complexities in managing large retail stores are encouraging the stakeholders in the industry to focus on automation. As part of the process, retail stores across the world are adopting electronic shelf label (ESL) systems for delivering precision and flexibility in operations. To automate their operations, retailers are opting for full-graphic e-paper, liquid crystal display (LCD), and segmented e-paper ESLs.
Moreover, the increasing need for enhanced functional efficiency in inventory, warehouse, and physical management will support the electronic shelf label market growth during 2021–2030, since valuing $800 million in 2020. Improved efficiency in warehouse and store management has eased the burden of retailers. Owing to the ease of operation offered by these systems, they have become useful in scheduling service and delivery and displaying product information and managing it.
In recent years, ESL-manufacturing companies have been focusing on the deployment of the near-field communication (NFC) technology in these systems. This technology enables retailers to update information, such as product costs, discounts, special offers, and other product details, by using NFC-enabled smartphones. Thus, the deployment of NFC-based systems helps supermarkets, hypermarkets, specialty stores, and non-food retail stores in price optimization and efficient stock management.
At present, ESL manufacturers are focusing on partnerships to reach out to more retailers and industrial companies. For instance, in November 2020, E Ink Holdings Inc. partnered with Yes Optoelectronics (Group) Co. Ltd. to develop ESL systems, to support sales and marketing and propel research and development (R&D) in e-paper-related components and key materials. Similarly, in April 2021, E Ink Holdings Inc. collaborated with DATA MODUL AG to become a reseller of such systems in the U.S. and Europe.