Keyword archive for: Electronic price labeling

Omnichannel in China with digital price tags

Everyone knows Amazon, Ebay and Zalando. Most of them go shopping regularly at Rewe, Lidl, Globus or Real, while we use all kinds of apps with our smartphones every day. But how can this be combined? The answer is Omnichannel.


Why inner cities are dying out

Who can remember the little corner shop on the corner? Quickly bought chewing gum or something to drink.

The convenience store in my neighborhood that I knew was closed. It was displaced at a time when everyone preferred to shop downtown.

Department stores in a small town

How beautiful it was when the next department store around the corner beckoned.

In the cellar there was porcelain and crockery, on the ground floor stationery and school backpacks.

The first floor was the clothing area for adults and the second floor was the paradise for the little ones with toys and clothes.

Unfortunately, all the department stores in my town have filed for bankruptcy.

Fewer and fewer shops

With 25,000 inhabitants, we are not one of the largest cities. But a full pedestrian zone with many shops, in such a small city, has its own charm.

Nevertheless, I have the feeling that few businesses have been able to hold their own in the tough market. Unfortunately, most of them change tenants every year.

There can only be one in the end

The trend is for the little one to give way to the big one. That the big one will be placed on the city limits and the customers will make a pilgrimage to him.

In the end, the customer is too convenient and orders a lot of things online.

After all, 65% of German online shoppers are already researching in 2011 and making their purchase decision before buying offline or online.

The exceptions

If small businesses survive, this may be because they are usually family-run businesses that own the entire building and therefore there is no lease.

On the other hand, our society is getting older and older and our older Anti-Amazon fellow citizens support our inner city. Sooner or later, the young of today, the old of tomorrow. But by then they will be used to Google and its partners.

What are the Chinese doing?

There are good reasons why I take China, of all countries, as an example. On my first visit to Beijing, I had limited views, nourished by the media and a general lack of interest.

China was rarely mentioned in school. Anyone who has ever been to China, and especially experienced one of the many large metropolises, knows that China turns over at the speed of light.

The example is of course slightly exaggerated, but it should show that the Chinese are now leading the way in some areas.

Explanation of Crosschannel

Comes originally from the media sector. This enables television stations, for example, to record higher advertising revenues. Products can be marketed not only via TV spots, but also via the broadcaster's website.

Marketing campaigns that use cross-channel solutions market the products through various channels.

For example, a product can be offered via telephone and e-mail. The supermarket in the neighbourhood can offer its goods locally and on the Internet. At least two channels are always used.

Definition of Multichannel 

This approach pursues the idea that the customer can make a purchase decision anywhere. On the go on his smartphone, while surfing the web, at home on the Internet or while shopping.

The simplest example would be a supermarket that sells its goods locally and via an online shop. This means that the products are not only marketed through different channels, but are also consistently sold through several channels.

Definition of Omnichannel

This is a further development of the multichannel strategy. The result of omnichannel marketing should be a networking of all channels.

Let's take a bank as an example. Nowadays you can make your transfer at the next branch. You can make a bank transfer at home via online banking and then transfer the money via your smartphone app.

Is it Omnichannel yet? Only when you make your bank transfer online, check your account balance on your app on the road and print out your account statements the next day at your branch. This is Omnichannel. The crucial point here is that the channels must be networked with each other.

smartphone ecommerce

Ordering via app on your smartphone via e-commerce

Explanation of terms Online to Offline (O2O)

Also known as online to offline. This is a concept in which the end customer is animated to shop in a real store via the Internet. Electronic price labelling plays a major role in this area.

In another article I will go into this point again in detail.

Example HeMa Fresh Store

HeMa belongs to the Alibaba Group. The B2B platform, founded in 1999, primarily serves companies.

Here companies can find potential suppliers for larger purchase quantities. In 2016 the Alibaba Group opened the first HeMa Fresh Store.

Specialising in food, with a store size of 4500 m², the company relies on an Omnichannel strategy.

Successful Omnichannel Strategy

HeMa receives up to 4000 orders daily via its online portal. HeMa commits itself to its customers, no matter if you buy online or offline (in the shop), that within a radius of 5 km the goods are delivered within 30 minutes.

At the cash desk, payment is made exclusively by APP, with Alipay.

Showroom, warehouse and restaurant

In this constellation, the shop area has several functions. On the one hand, customers can view the goods as usual.

At the same time, orders can be placed or normal purchases can be made here. The shop area is also the storage area.

On request, customers can have tasty menus created in the in-house restaurant after shopping, with their purchased ingredients.

Overall, it is clear how differently and ingeniously the Chinese system works. This system has already been adopted in Germany to some extent.


Due to the success and popularity of this shop model, a large sum was reinvested, which led to the opening of ten new stores in Shanghai.

customer perception

HeMa offers 3000 articles from 103 countries. 80% dry goods and 20% fresh goods, whereby in the near future the fresh goods will be increased to 30%, which, as already mentioned, will be prepared directly on site by chefs in the in-house restaurant. The shopping experience gets a completely new face.


The biggest challenge with online/offline orders is the delivery time. According to HeMa, 10 employees work in two shifts as pickers.

There is an in-house delivery service and the usual forwarding and parcel services. A total of 200 employees work on the delivery of the goods. Every internal process has been scrutinised and optimised.

Digital price tags

One of the key factors in the optimization is the ESL system from our manufacturer Hanshow Technology. HeMa has decided to use the Hanshow ESL solution in all branches.

By switching to ESL, the pricing process became easier than ever. The prices in the online and offline store are always synchronized in real time.

The advantages are significantly reduced personnel costs, fewer erroneous prices, increased efficiency in managing prices and an optimized overview of any stock as it is displayed directly.

What improvements are planned for next year?

In the future, HeMa will be able to localize individual products using barcode scanners. A flashing LED will provide another visual aid.

Since the picker no longer has to search for the products, a few minutes per order are saved.

How can HeMa deliver so fast?

A conveyor belt system in the background collects the goods in cool bags.

Thus HeMa needs only 10 minutes after the order is received. This is the secret of fast delivery.

How HeMa influences the Omnichannel trade with digital price tags

HeMa's influence has had a lasting impact on the already strong Chinese omnichannel trade.

Retail experts believe that digital price tags will be the standard for all Omnichannel retailers in the future. The automated price labeling process, warehouse management and other related solutions are crucial.

Example 1919 Liquor Store

It is difficult for a traditional company to advertise online for customers. 1919 Liquor Store in turn has integrated a successful omnichannel model. The combined flow of online and offline data makes this success possible.


By July 2016, 733 stores belonged to the 1919 chain. In 300 different cities, spread over 31 states. The 1919 Liquor Store supply chain enables the 733 stores to be delivered within 19 minutes.

1919 Liquor Store is thus China's largest spirits Omnichannel chain. Third largest chain in itself, after Tmall and Jingdong in China.

World class service

1919's service includes reasonable prices, very good quality, wide selection and fast delivery. These are the main reasons why the chain is expanding so fast.

The prices can be guaranteed because 1919 negotiates directly with the wineries and can therefore offer the products at attractive prices.

In order to guarantee the high quality, it is necessary to work directly with the wineries. Specially trained employees decide which varieties are offered.

A QR Code on each bottle provides detailed information about its origin.

1919, with its 17 years of experience, can rely on a large number of suppliers.

A rich assortment of 7000 articles is offered.

Logistically, online orders are always sent to the nearest branch to carry out the delivery. The individual stores act as the nearest warehouse in this system.

Unique franchise model

Omnichannel solutions play a crucial role in saving operational costs and ensuring fast delivery.

For this reason, 1919 must expand rapidly. To maintain better control over service and quality, a new franchise model was introduced.

The Franchise Model

The investor brings the necessary sum for the opening of the plant. 1919 takes over the complete control of the branch.

This model allows a constant management at a high level, uniform processes and service, which means that a high level of quality can be implemented consistently in all branches.

How can Omnichannel be used?

In November 2015, 1919 became the largest online platform for spirits by acquiring a competitor.

The complete Omnichannel process was realized with smart solutions. A shipping department pays attention to the processes and works constantly to keep costs low.

Digital price tags at the 1919 Liquor Store

In May 2015, 1919 signed with our partner Hanshow that the complete chain should be equipped with ESL.

It was also agreed that a Big Data platform would be jointly developed to generate a better service through the analysis of the data.

Improvement through the Hanshow ESL solution

Synchronize online and offline pricing, improve management of products on the shelves and increase the effectiveness of staff in localizing products.

QR Codes on each ESL provide detailed information. More time is left for customer care.

The analysis of the data will be indispensable in the future. This service will reduce unnecessary marketing expenses and point the way forward.

Scanning QR Codes

Scanning QR Codes

My opinion

While the inner cities are dying out here, the Chinese market offers us interesting approaches such as combining online and offline. Reality must be faced. Nowadays an online presence is essential for survival.

HeMa and 1919 are successful examples of Omnichannel solutions. The ESL solution plays a central role in both scenarios. The future will show when the German market will react nationwide.

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

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Back to the beginning


"Shanghai Sunset" by Adi Constantin

"Ecommerce Smartphone" by WDnet

Pharmacies Price Indication Ordinance

Are you unsure whether you have to indicate prices? Here I go into this explicitly again. We always recommend to award. You will find the reasons in this entry.

Pharmacies Price Indication Ordinance

We have often been asked about the issue of mandatory price labelling. According to my understanding and after consultation with our partners who offer pricing services, there is always a requirement to label, including VAT.

Both the sight voting and the free voting must be easily visible and clearly marked. If you do not comply with this, you may be fined by the regulatory authorities.

In Germany, price marking is compulsory. Unfortunately, there are still many commercial pharmacies that do not display prices. We would like to point out that prices are necessary, and to have no price marking in any form is prohibited in Germany.

Please contact your lawyer to discuss what exactly should be considered in your case.

Basic price labelling

Is for crooked quantities like 75ml, 3pcs etc. the basic pricing must be indicated.

In case of doubt, simply always quote the basic price. Once you get the job done, you can always fall back on it in the future.

Base price items usually have weight, volume, length or area specifications. The basic price should be specified here.


According to the section 3 para. 1 No. 2 Economic Offences Act 1954, this is an administrative offence and fines of up to 25,000 euros may be imposed!!! Issued by the regulatory authorities or trade offices of the municipalities.

My opinion

If you always indicate the final price in an easily recognizable way, you are on the safe side. As long as the customer can at least see the articles, this should be indicated in any case. Items for which the basic price must be indicated separately have special characteristics. Here too, it is more time-saving to indicate the basic price for all articles.

The Woutex electronic price labelling explicitly displays all the necessary information. So that you can take care of your pharmacy in the future and not about basic prices.

Disclaimer Legal notice

Please note that this blog is not legal advice and cannot replace legal advice!

Special thanks to Mr. Brehm for the helpful hints.

Back to the beginning

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.


[layerslider id="3″]


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.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Get a quote now:

Click here


Back to the beginning