The digitalization of stores and adoption of automation in the retail industry, need for higher profits and lower time consumption during the shopping process, rising demand for price optimization, and increased functional efficiency with real-time product positioning are the major factors responsible for the growth of the global electronic shelf label (ESL) market. Due to the above-mentioned factors, the ELS industry is projected to advance at a significant rate during the forecast period (2021–2030).
In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global electronic shelf label market suffered to a huge extent. The imposition of multiple lockdowns and restrictions on the transportation of workers and goods and opening of retail shops halted the growth of the electronic shelf label market. The sudden lockdowns, coupled with the high risk of virus spread, have also changed the consumer buying behavior, visible in their rapid shift from the offline mode of purchasing to the online mode. This shift is expected to negatively affect retail outlets and, in turn, the procurement of ELS systems.
On the basis of retail end-users, the market is categorized into hypermarkets, supermarkets, specialty stores, non-food retail shops, and others. The presence of a large number of hypermarkets in North America and Europe has driven the adoption of ELSs in these regions. To increase efficiency and productivity, hypermarkets are incorporating ESLs into their stores. This technology boosts productivity and lowers costs. Various technological developments aid hypermarkets in reducing customer response times and, as a result, enhancing the overall consumer experience.
Geographically, Europe is expected to witness the fastest growth during the forecast period in the industry. Here, retailers currently account for around one-third of all the ELSs in use. The labels are mostly used in retail outlets in the U.K., France, and Germany. The adoption of advanced technologies across Europe will drive the market growth. The early acceptance of ESL solutions in the European region is the reason for the regional ESLs market growth.
North America was the largest region in the ESLs market in 2020. This was mainly due to the strong presence of retail giants that are focusing on customer-centric practices, easy availability of processing machinery, and rising demand for full-graphic E-paper displays in this region.
Players in the electronic shelf label market are involved in pursuing client wins to gain a significant position. For instance, in July 2020, the Canadian Tire Dealer Association (CTDA) selected Pricer AB as its exclusive supplier of ELS systems. CTDA selected Pricer's infrared ESL technology and range of fully graphic three-color ESLs, for scaled deployment across Canada. By adopting the ELS system, CTDA aims to support its dealers in effectively managing their stores and improving customer service.
Some of the major players in the global electronic shelf label market are Pricer AB, SES-imagotag, Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co. Ltd., E Ink Holdings Inc., Displaydata Limited, Altierre Corporation, Diebold Nixdorf Incorporated, CLEARink Displays Inc., Panasonic Corporation, SoluM Co. Ltd., and NCR Corporation.