Walmart deploys digital price tags to save time

By MCM Editorial Team

June 13, 2024
Walmart employee uses digital shelf tag, stock to light.

Retail giant Walmart announced it will roll out digital shelf tags to 2,300 stores by 2026 replacing the paper tags it uses now. The omnichannel technology upgrade will help increase efficiency in updating prices, replenishing inventory and picking ecommerce orders, according to Walmart in a press release announcement.

Walmart piloted the electronic price tags at a store in Grapevine, Texas. Walmart stores have more than 120,000 products, with prices that frequently change. Employees can now update product prices in minutes using an app, instead of manually updating the tags by walking the store, which took a few days, according to Walmart.

Employees can now use the time they save replacing tags to assist customers, according to Walmart.

Walmart’s digital shelf tags can help online order picking accuracy

The electronic tags also have an LED light that illuminates when replenishing inventory on the shelf. The tags flash a light, quickly guiding associates to the correct spot to place the inventory, instead of having the associate confirm the product’s bar code number with the tag.

The tag lights can also help associates when picking online orders, to help guide associates to the correct product, faster.

This feature will increase the likelihood of employees accurately picking online orders, said Brendan Witcher, vice president and principal analyst at research firm Forrester Inc.

“Nearly a third of consumers have reported they had issues with an online order that they picked up in a store in a three-month period,” Witcher said. “This speaks to how quickly retailers moved to launch this capability without fully having the technical tools and processes needed to execute consistently.”¬†

“Digital shelf labels having this Pick to Light feature is exactly the kind of smart, scalable strategy retailers should be employing today,” he added.

Digital shelf tags are not a new technology, but cost has been a barrier for retailers, Witcher said.

“Today is a different story, especially when the ROI can be reached with both labor cost savings and the potential positive impacts to top line revenue,” he said.

Physical retail technology vendor Vusion Group developed Walmart’s digital shelf tags.