Less noise, more edge

By Blackdog - 6 years ago

Resident retail expert Dave Shrimpton tells it straight about the world of retail, online and instore. A plague on bad shopper marketing, Dave leaves no shelf unturned when it comes to highlighting retailers that make shopping easier for customers.

It’s easy to overlook the importance of the humble SEL (“shelf-edge label” for the uninitiated), but they are often the final tipping point before purchase.

You’ve had an amazing multi-channel promotion, fabulous Point of Sale, but this lowly piece of paper (or digital screen – see more below) is the decision maker for the customer to make a purchase.

So, what have I found out from being in store and amongst the SELs this week?

The good

Handwritten price fonts work well, as do the beauty of the stores that just produce the one SEL, with different casings and covers that are reusable and therefore altogether more friendly. Just the one you say? Groundbreaking I know, but as the adage goes if it ain’t broke why fix it?

The bad

Many stores are still overwhelming the customer with shelf edge noise. Up to 15 different SELs makes for a messy shelf edge, all “shouting” for attention. Which of course, means that not one is heard.

The less is more approach certainly stands out, probably because it makes shoppers’ lives easier. Which after all, is what any good retail store should be aiming for.

The beautiful

Many food retailers are considering electronic shelf-edge pricing and Sainsbury’s seems to be forerunning. These digital shelf-edge labels have a range of benefits: responsive, easy to edit and show the very latest product and price information. They can be updated automatically from head office or similar, so no manual labour required.

Then you have retailers like Kroger, said to be rolling out new tech (this time called the “Kroger Edge”) which will display not only pricing but also nutritional information, video ads, coupons and more.

While this reduces the need for staffing, it does succeed in making the lives of shoppers and product display easier. Rather than the over-fussy, complicated nature of paper labels, where more is more is the mantra, the design is clean and simple.

Possibly because, given the displays are electronic, it has to be.

There’s still some tweaking to go before these electronic displays look as nice as paper printed ones. But do they reduce noise and in turn, crank up the volume on each price point and product? Oh, without a doubt.