Intelligent store shelf: What is it, how does it work, and what can it change in your store?

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Intelligent store shelf: What is it, how does it work, and what can it change in your store?

In the retail industry, convenience and speed of actions and strategies are the basis for success. To meet these needs, new, attractive, unusual solutions that improve customer satisfaction and facilitate the management of goods. What are we talking about? Today, we want to introduce you to intelligent shelves, an innovation in retail that can change how buyers and sellers approach shopping. What are they, and why is it worth talking about them?

Intelligent store shelf – what is it?

Thanks to special sensors, smart store shelves collect data on the goods they are related to – this can be the availability of products, their rotation, or demand. With greater awareness of what’s happening on store shelves, companies can significantly reduce display costs and waste and gain control over what they offer.

Intelligent shelves are technologically advanced, using sensors, scales, or even LCD screens and electronic labels to monitor inventory, prices, promotions, and customer behaviour. They are part of a larger concept of “smart stores” that aim to streamline the shopping process and provide customers with new, better experiences (and the importance of CX, or Customer Experience, is always worth discussing!).

The operation of intelligent shelves is being tested,, by the Rossmann drugstore chain.

Advantages of intelligent shelves

Now, let’s discuss what the intelligent shelf can change in our experience in the retail industry, both from the perspective of the customer and the seller.

For customers:

  • A better experience: more information, less frustration. Information about products, promotions and prices is easily accessible – the customer can get it without contacting the store staff.
  • Faster shopping. Availability information (e.g. displayed in an online store) will ensure that users do not waste valuable time shopping when what they came for is not in stock. In addition, payment automation, in line with the idea of an innovative store, shortens the shopping time.
  • Up-to-date data. Electronic Shelf Labels (ESL) are a frequently used solution in conveniences such as intelligent store shelves. They allow you to update prices, promotions, and availability without involving employees in replacing and managing price labels.

For resellers:

  • Inventory optimisation. Automatic monitoring of stock levels speeds up the replenishment of shortages and informs what is in high demand at a given time, allowing for better goods management.
  • Cost reduction. Less manual work on updating prices and promotions means more savings for businesses.
  • Increase sales. A better understanding of customer behaviour often means better matching the offer—we are discussing inventory and proper display planning (i.e., what, where, and when it will appear).
  • Theft prevention. Monitoring products and customers can reduce the percentage of theft.

The market for intelligent store shelves is growing!

According to the report Markets and Markets on Intelligent Shelves, the value of this market segment is expected to increase from $3.0 billion achieved in 2022 to $8.3 billion in 2027 (interestingly, previous forecasts were for $7 billion in 2027; as you can see, the forecast trend is also optimistic).

This growth is driven by the increasing use of technologies such as IoT and RFID in retail and the trend of phygital. Smart shelves use new technologies to track inventory, manage prices, and improve the customer experience. As you can see from the numbers in the report above, retailers and customers see the potential of smart store shelves.

Are intelligent shelves the future of shopping?

Intelligent shelves aren’t just a temporary trend—forecasts show that they could become the future of retail. Thanks to them, shopping has become faster, more convenient, and often more personalised. This benefits both customers who save time and salespeople who can increase their efficiency and profits.

If you’re a store owner, consider investing in intelligent shelves. They could help you succeed and stand out from the competition in the era of digital retail transformation.

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