The digital price tag is nothing new today, but with the rise of online sales and the development of technology, its functions have expanded somewhat and new directions have opened up. We asked one of the leading companies in the field about the potential uses and benefits of the application. We spoke to Jean-Christophe Solus, Vice President of SES-imagotag.
Beyond the “classic” use case of displaying prices, what are the possibilities and benefits of such a solution?
The digital labels are micro web pages. They can display almost anything like a tiny product web page. Due the its small size, the choice is always dynamic information. The most common use is price and promotions. Depending on the product it can also be available sizes (for shoes), products on stock (consumer electronics), ratings etc. The emerging usage is badges that often appear on eCommerce pages as well. The badge outlines a promotion (-30%), successful products (“Best Seller“) or a sponsored call to action (“New Recipe, “No plastic“).
Can the system be used to monitor the activity of customers in the shop? Where do they stop, what do they look at, how long do they spend there?
The system does not try to spy the shopper. It aims at providing contextual information. Since the experience is smartphone based it is logical to track which products pages are browsed but so far the system has been kept anonymous to comply with GPDR rule.
Does the solution include a payment service to avoid queuing? If so, are there specific conditions for integration and use?
Yes, eCommerce payment is very common and can easily be applied to the in-store experience. And tt is a powerful tool to address queuing issues. But it requires the store to organize itself to check shoppers with digital receipts. It necessitates interface to the bank and to the store to maintain inventories.
How does the system work in practice from the user side? What does the customer have to do to use it? Do they have to download something or scan a QR code?
Most existing experiences rely on apps but we think that web app are better suited because there is no initial download. The starting point is a QR code on a product label of store poster. It can also be an NFC tap which is the same, a URL dedicated to the in-store experience.
Can it only be used in the shop or can some functions work at home? For example, can the consumer check if a particular product is in stock in the store?
Nothing prevents it to work from home but the onboarding step is missing. So far the experience is 100% in-store.
Can the system be linked to retailers’ own apps?
Yes it can, although it is more logical would start with a ‚no strings attached‘ web-app and then move on to the retailer’s app for intensive usage.
Although the hardware is part of the technology, the software seems to be very important. Is the software being developed or updated with new features, capabilities or otherwise?
Yes, the capabilites appear endless. We have implemented several directions. Voice listening and answering, AR in-store navigation, AR experiences like hair dying, queue management etc.
Which market players could benefit from using the solution? At what size can the benefits really be exploited?
Search and find is a universal need and is seldom well done inside stores. Product information is also a universal need. We think these requirements are a new normal.
For a webshop, could your solution be an alternative to developing its own application?
Not really because webshops need delivery options and other eCommerce features that do not make sense inside stores. The product data is shared, the features a context aware.
In what structure do you offer the solution? Is it a one-off investment or a service with monthly costs?
There is an initial project that usually lasts about a week and a monthly per store depending on it size. It is not a very expensive solution.