Electronic price labelling in a pharmacy

Electronic price labelling explained

This article explains electronic price labelling. As simple and clear as possible. The introduction of electronic price labelling in the German wholesale and retail trade raises many questions. We take up this topic and inform you what the ePaper Display can do. We explain the different technologies, the function, the possibilities and the industries in which electronic price labelling is being introduced.



Electronic price labelling explained

Electronic price marking can be used in a wide range of applications.
Wherever paper is used and the information on the paper is changed from time to time.

The diverse possibilities of the e-ink displays will ensure that they will find their way into many new areas.


Electronic Shelf Labels Translation

Electronic shelf labels are translated electronic shelf labels. However, a different terminology has become established, namely the translation of "electronic price labelling".

In this article, electronic price labelling is mentioned in various forms. So that you can get a feeling for the different designations that have been given to this technology.

However, electronic price labelling is more than just a simple price tag.

To understand this, let's take a quick look at the technology.


Variations of the ESL

Three technologies have established themselves across manufacturers in electronic price labelling.

The LCD segment technology we know from our alarm clock, among others. The EPD Segment ePaper technology, which is currently only used for electronic shelf labels

Kindl and digital price labelling also use dot-matrix ePaper technology.


Electronic price labelling as LCD segment

As with the digital alarm clock, individual segments can be controlled.

Thus the LCD segment can display labels, prices and individual letters.

Depending on the manufacturer, special segments such as "promo, unit of measure, battery status, basic price" can be addressed, to name but a few.

Even if the display technology is limited, the low price plays a major role in this technology.

Advantages and disadvantages LCD:

+ Low price

+ Displays all necessary parameters

- Limited display (e.g. no font and no logos)

- Short battery life as ePaper


Digital price labelling as EPD segment

The EPD segment labels, can do everything that the LCD display can do.

This is an ePaper technology. It consists of microcapsules whose position can be changed by electric voltage.

This condition can be maintained for weeks even without electricity, which makes this technology unique and particularly energy-saving.

Due to their lower power consumption, these will sooner or later displace the LCD variants from the market.

Advantages and disadvantages EPD:

+ Low price

+ Displays all necessary parameters

+ Long battery life

- Limited display (e.g. no font and no logos)


dot-matrix technology

The future belongs to dot-matrix labels. Like the EPD segment labels, these are based on ePaper technology. The dot-matrix labels have a fully graphic-capable display.

With this technology, pixels can be converted to logos, writing and numbers.

A market with 15,000 articles could thus avoid additional paper and stickers. The design is always centrally adjustable. The technology is particularly helpful when rearranging complete shelves or entire assortments.

Advantages and disadvantages EPD:

+ Attractive price

+ Fully graphics-capable display

+ Any content can be displayed

+ Long battery life


Hard & Software


There are different manufacturers of electronic price labelling with different systems. Simply put, all known manufacturers use radio waves. Each technology has its advantages and disadvantages.

A radio module sends the information it receives from the software to the individual ePaper displays. With some technologies, the individual elements send a confirmation back to the wireless module.

Common radio frequencies:

      • 433 THz
      • 866 MHz
      • 2.4 GHz



To manage the system, a user interface is usually provided.

The digital price tags can thus be addressed individually.

A construction kit to create the design or layout of the ad, any reasonable software should offer.

The software and the different components vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Features are always nice, but as with all big applications, too many features make it impossible to see the wood for the trees.



There is a possibility to automate the ESL (Electronic Shelf Labels) solution.

With the help of an interface to the merchandise management system, the ESL system can easily be controlled fully automatically.

Now the data is transferred to the individual price tags by means of an export, which is either carried out manually or automatically.

Common interfaces:

      • Importing a file
      • Reading a database


ESL server

Here too, there are different approaches. One variant would be to install the ESL application on an existing server in your shop. However, this procedure would be questionable for security and data protection reasons.

As a secure alternative, a separate ESL server or ESL box can be offered.
Sensible providers offer this preconfigured system in a Plug'n'Play variant. This is then connected via the network with your existing EDP system.

Nowadays, cloud solutions have become more and more popular, so this technique for electronic price labelling is also available. This brings with it monthly costs.



Why should digital price labelling be introduced?

First and foremost, the saving of working time is always considered.

This means the time an employee needs to exchange 100 prices in a certain period of time.

Saving printing and paper costs is the second factor.

The question arises, what other possibilities are there? Let's look at a few examples.



The flexible pricing allows supermarkets to display different prices on days with high throughput than on days with less customers. If a Dynamic Pricing System is already in place, it perfectly complements the electronic price display.

Combining dynamic prices with paper prices is costly. If no Dynamic Pricing System could be introduced yet due to the high effort, Digital Price Labels create a stable basis for the system.

A direct communication with the employee, on the product itself. Is only possible with the introduction of electronic price labelling.


Petrol stations

Employees of filling stations have to struggle with optimized processes. An example would be the time within which a customer should be served. From my experience I can say that even short conversations with employees of smaller petrol stations were mostly not possible.

They should deal with customer complaints at the car wash and the petrol pump, preferably simultaneously.

The prices, are to be changed simply by the way. Dissatisfied customers and errors are pre-programmed. With electronic price labelling, pricing and service can be optimised.

Flexible prices are very important for petrol stations, especially in the evening and on Sundays, and can be implemented with digital price labelling. This could compensate for the increased personnel costs of the night shift.

In order to increase turnover, prices can be changed during regional events or when fuel prices are low.


Car dealerships

Large sales areas and a used car market hundreds of meters from the sales office make it difficult for car dealers to keep your information on individual vehicles up to date.

If an employee has to run down 100 cars once a week, open them up, update the appropriate information, etc., it takes a very long time and is expensive.

Why not smart, with a solution that relies on ePaper Displays?



In contrast to many other industries, pharmacists are subject to a great many conditions and restrictions.

A pharmacist has to take care of the free consultation of his customers, while at the same time keeping an eye on the contracts of the health insurance companies with the pharmaceutical companies, quality management and much more.

In this constellation, the commercial nature of the pharmacy is neglected. The potential of free choice and choice of view can only be exploited with difficulty.

With electronic price labelling and flexible price management, which is also offered by pharmacy consultants, sales increases can be achieved.

This gives pharmacists, who today suffer from a lack of personnel, more time. More time to take care of other business areas of the pharmacy. 30 minutes of time saved per day is 144 hours per year. During this time you can look after your customers.



Since the start of Industry 4.0, all kinds of changes have been made in this important industry.

Production islands where instructions are currently printed out according to customer specifications can be optimised with the help of ESL. With electronic displays, simply show the required information and change it if necessary.

The error rate can be reduced, because the wrong paper is never hanging on the respective production island. The desired automation process.


Commission warehouse

Particularly when things have to be done quickly, the challenge in this area is of course to minimize the error rate and to time when and where which goods should be taken out.

Here it is possible to meet three challenges at once with electronic displays. New goods can be coupled with a label. So you know where the goods are located.

The commission agent is shown the correct name of the product on the label. An LED in different colours indicates which product is to be removed.


Storage solution

Pallet warehouses that are not fully automated are difficult to manage. The right pallet must be in the right place. In reality, chaotic warehousing is easiest to implement, simply park the incoming pallet in a free space.

If it weren't for the labeling of the pallet spaces. Who does not know this, you are looking for a pallet and where the labeling shows this, the wrong pallet is in it.

With 50 pitches this is annoying and costs a lot of time and money. What about 1000, 6000 or 10000 pitches?

Digital signage is exactly the right solution to get a grip on this.



Something is constantly changing in the gastronomy. With ePaper Displays the guest sees his name at the reserved table. This would work without any problems even with 100 tables and reservations.

Until now, buffet signage has also been inflexible. Here too, the ePaper solution can be used to create flexibility and a modern ambience.



A conference room signage system that can be changed centrally, which conveniently pulls the data from your existing system, looks modern and professional.

The room signs show not only the room number, but also how long it will be occupied.

The ESL (Electronic Shelf Labels) also beat conventional TFT monitors in this area, as they simply do not require a power supply.


Other areas of application

In the future a wide variety of projects will be covered.

First and foremost, it is important to spread the word that the new technology exists. Many wonderful ideas came directly from our customers. These ideas, in turn, only come about when potential customers are familiar with this technology

The more familiar electronic price marking becomes, the more new areas of application are found.

As a result, all manufacturers are putting more money into research and development. This leads to better, faster and more versatile technology.


The Future

A customer creates a shopping list from home. In the store he is navigated to the appropriate articles and can interact with you.

To be able to present such solutions, an infrastructure is needed on which future solutions can be built. It is exactly this infrastructure that the digital price tags offer.


My opinion

Now you have an overview. You now know that there are the LCD segment, the EPD segment and the dot-matrix labels. What differences these three technologies have and also the advantages and disadvantages.

There are different technologies also for communication, with correspondingly different hardware. One software, which manages everything. The software offers an input mask or can be used in the background via an interface.

The software is either installed on the company's own server or a preconfigured PC is supplied. Like everywhere else, cloud solutions are already available.

Head offices can determine and update all prices of the branches. Currently, the main reason for an investment is to save working time.

A short overview of supermarkets, petrol stations, car dealerships and pharmacies shows the different requirements for electronic price labelling.

The industry with automation processes, all companies in general with warehouse or commission warehouse, can make an important contribution to the optimization of their processes with digital signage.

The catering trade has shown interest. First projects are to be examined. As well as the possibility to equip conference rooms innovatively with ePaper Displays.

How important the level of awareness of electronic price labelling is for its further development and finally what the future holds.


Do you have questions, suggestions or a completely different opinion? Just leave a comment.

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