Displaydata's New Electronic Shelf Label Interacts With Shoppers

The company's Aura 29 BLE shelf label employs Bluetooth beacon technology that stores could use to deliver information to its shoppers and its workers, as well as track store traffic.
By Claire Swedberg
Feb 26, 2016

Displaydata has released an electronic shelf label (ESL), known as the Aura 29 BLE, that the company says will not only allow retailers to manage shelf pricing remotely, but also help them to deliver discount coupons and other promotional offers to shoppers based on their location, thanks to an integrated Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon.

The U.K.-based company says it is the largest supplier of fully graphic electronic shelf labels, which use electrophoretic display (EPD) technology to show information regarding a retailer's products. Each label receives updates to the information it will display via the company's Dynamic Communicator, according to Paul Milner, Displaydata's global marketing director.

The Aura 29 BLE electronic shelf label's Bluetooth beacon can be used to deliver content related to the product displayed on that label's shelf.
Displaydata launched the Aura 29 BLE as a means of offering both ESL and beacon technologies built into a single product. "BLE is another way to start interacting with customers," Milner states.

A retailer using the Aura 29 BLE labels would, in most cases, integrate the BLE functionality into its own app. The retailer's customers would need to download that app on an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet, and have their device's Bluetooth radio turned on. The phone would then receive each electronic shelf label's "discovery signal," consisting of a unique ID number. Displaydata's content-management software, known as Dynamic Central, monitors the labels' battery levels, runs health checks, switches their beacons on and off, and performs other functions as well.

As a shopper moves around the store, his or her smartphone or tablet would receive the ID transmitted by each ESL beacon located in the aisles in which that person traverses. Based on the shopper's location, the app would then display product-related content, such as coupons, promotions, product information, reviews or suggestions about other foods or recipes that might work with that item.

In addition, an app could be used for wayfinding. Upon entering the store, a customer could input the product he or she seeks in the retailer's app, and would then be directed to that item based on the individual's location. (The retailer's own software would use the beacon technology to pinpoint where that shopper was located within the store.)

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