May 31, 2018
ICA Maxi Lindhagen in Sweden sees several advantages of electronic shelf labels. The store saves a lot of time by automatic price updates, so the investment pays off quickly. Not least, technology improves the customer experience of the store and the retailer can trust that prices are always accurate and reliable.
Printing, removing old and putting new price tags to the shelves takes a lot of time. Something that most of those who work in a store can testify.
“We have from 50 to 1000 price changes a week in our departments, this week we have, for example, 940 goods with a new price. In the past, it took an hour at least, but usually we spent a lot of hours changing prices. Since we introduced Pricer’s electronic pricing, we save a lot of time.”, says Fredrik Nybäck, ICA Maxi Lindhagen.
Oskar Mollberg, Sales Manager in ICA Maxi Lindahagen, agrees: “The main reason we acquired this system was to save time and minimize the risk of giving the customer incorrect prices. We also wanted to make price changes fast. I see it as a future investment, and working with it is really simple. Since Pricer synchronizes with Store Office, our store system, simply pressing a button on our computer changes prices in the store.”
Paper consumption decreases and problems with inconvenient printers are history. But even more important is that the risk of incorrect pricing completely disappears, something that could annoy both the customers and employees because of a mismatch between the price at checkout and on the shelf.
“We have something we call 25ers. This means that the customer will get back 25 SEK if the price does not match, regardless of what the item costs. Now the cases of 25ers have significantly decreased because the electronic system is completely consistent and the checkout and the electronic pricing labels are in sync,” says Fredrik Nybäck.
This brings greater value over time as customers gain increased confidence in the store.
“Now, prices are pretty much always correct. This gives customers greater confidence in the store overall. Cases of incorrect pricing makes customers increasingly suspicious of the store as a whole and will make them leave with a bitter aftertaste,” says Oskar Mollberg.
It is also possible to do pricing in innovative ways that have not been possible previously. Special prices and promotions can be signaled by a flashing light on the price tags.
“This is something we’re studying and experimenting with right now. We have more opportunities to make frequent and faster price changes without additional work. The technology offers brand new opportunities while allowing us to compare our own with competitors’ prices”, says Fredrik Nybäck.
The technology behind the electronic shelf labels is constantly evolving and today there are several features that add value for customers and retailers. So, what is required for the stores to be completely paperless?
“Today we still work with paper tags when we want larger formats. But as soon as the larger electronic price labels come down in price, we will become completely digital. The electronic shelf labels show what potential the technology has for both customers and retailers. I see it as if we are only at the beginning of our digital journey”, Fredrik Nybäck concludes.
Fact box: ICA Maxi Lindhagen
ICA Maxi Lindhagen is unique in the sense that it lies in the middle of Stockholm, Sweden, while other Maxi stores are usually outside the city centers.
“In this way, we can say that we are also a huge supermarket where some people come in and buy some items and a liter of milk. Many customers visit the store several times a week. We also have many lunch customers”, says Oskar Mollberg.
The Maxi store, which is also special in that it covers two floors, has many well-known urban residents as customers. Organic and premium goods are a good deal, but customers also ask for other ways of shopping.
“We are relatively advanced in terms of technology; among other things, we offer WiFi for our customers and many customers come in with the mobile phone in their hand. We see a change in behavior in buying food, where online shopping is growing sharply. Today, we are at the top of ICA stores in Sweden in terms of online sales. Many want home-delivery or Click&Collect”, says Oskar Mollberg.
Technological development helps the store to automate a lot of administrative work and gives the staff more time to focus on the customer.
“As online sales increase, we compete with people, become personal in our customer meetings and our business environment. As an ICA store, we have very good opportunities to be personal, meet our market demands and stand out”, concludes Oskar Mollberg.
Number of customers per week: ca. 32000
Number of employees: ca. 160