Smart shelving does not only store products, but also knowledge and efficiency

September 5, 2023

In the competitive retail industry, providing an exceptional shopping experience is key to attracting and retaining customers. In this context, smart shelving has emerged as a revolutionary technological solution that not only optimises product management, but also improves customer interaction.

Smart shelves are transforming the retail shopping experience, offering tangible benefits for both businesses and customers.

Personalised shopping experience

Smart shelves enable a highly personalised shopping experience by offering relevant information and product suggestions as customers browse the aisles. These shelves are equipped with NFC price tags, video rails and displays that show details, reviews and ratings from other customers, as well as product videos or recommendations for cross-selling other products.

Image: macrovector / Freepik

RFID technology that enables product recognition, detecting which item has been selected, and triggering additional information that can influence the customer's purchasing decision.

Dynamic pricing; improved efficiency, sustainability, and improved margins

Staff shortages are an issue for all retailers today, making it all the more important to find task automation tools; not only to ensure staff shortages, but also to enable staff to take on more important and impactful work for the business.

A key part of smart shelves are the digital price tags themselves, which allow price changes to be automated and streamlined, so that staff do not spend hours changing prices on paper, with the high implementation costs that this entails, and reduce paper spend to be more sustainable, an important challenge for all businesses.

Digital labels also reduce errors between the prices displayed on the shelf and those at the checkout; and the fact of speeding up price changes allows them to react in time to competition and improve margins.

Stock management and improved replenishment

It has been shown that 32% of customers stop buying a product when it is out of stock, and 12% buy from competitors, so tracking and monitoring shelf stock is a critical but challenging task.

Image: macrovector / Freepik

Smart shelves facilitate this process by providing real-time data on stock levels. Cameras integrated into the shelves constantly monitor product availability and send automatic notifications to employees when products need to be replenished.

This prevents out-of-stock situations and ensures that products are always available to customers.

Smart retail: Information analysis and data-driven decision-making

Another significant benefit of smart shelves in the retail sector is the ability to collect valuable data on customer shopping behaviour and which days and times each product is out of stock, indicating shopping trends.

Local computer vision to monitor a retailer's inventory while protecting customer privacy is an Edge AI use case. Photo: Sony.

The cameras integrated into these shelves can collect information on which products are selected most frequently, which products are missing each day throughout the month and which campaigns have the greatest impact on purchasing decisions. This data can be analysed to gain key insights into customer preferences, the effectiveness of marketing strategies and optimisation of product layout in the shop.

Reduction of waste in greengrocers

The biggest problem in food establishments is the loss of fruit and vegetables due to the deterioration of the products and the difficulty in controlling the stock.

Thanks to technology such as computer vision and artificial intelligence, the greengrocer's area is transformed into smart shelves, informing in real time of the level of stock of each fruit and identifying the freshness of the product.

In this way, the price of fruit that is losing freshness is automatically lowered to encourage sales and those that are low in stock are replenished, increasing sales and reducing waste.


Smart shelves are revolutionising the retail shopping experience by providing personalised interaction, efficient inventory management and valuable data analytics.

These technology solutions not only provide tangible benefits for retailers, such as increased customer satisfaction and inventory optimisation, but also significantly enhance the shopping experience, allowing consumers to access relevant information and make informed decisions.

In an increasingly digital world, smart shelves have become an indispensable tool for success in the retail sector.

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Image: Macrovector / Freepik.