A Prototype for real-time price and advertisement display on shelves in retail stores
Nzomo, Denis Kioko
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Price display is an integral part of the shopping experience in retail stores in Kenya. It helps the customer make an informed purchase decision while in the product aisle without the need for involvement of retail store staff. Current paper based price displays on retail store shelves lack reliability, durability and accuracy required for the retail stores operations. They are susceptible to wear and tear, and can be tampered with. It is also very difficult to tell exactly what price is currently displayed for a specific product on a shelf without being physically at that location. They also act as a bottleneck to these operations where other systems from the store management to the point of sale systems are computerized.This research aimed to come up with an Electronic Shelf Label system that will allow for real-time price and advertisement information update and display on retail store shelves. It will be able to integrate with store management and point of sale systems seamlessly and facilitate instant price changes when necessary. Similar systems are already in use in developed countries with varied rates of adoption and success. The key differentiator for the architecture of the proposed model is that it also provides an advertising platform where retailers can charge vendors to advertise their products. This not only creates various cross-sell and up-sell opportunities for the vendors, but also provides an income generation avenue for the retailers, which overcomes the initial setup costs that have otherwise made retail stores particularly in Kenya shy away from such systems in the past. It will, in the long-term, also provide a platform for analytics for both retail stores and vendors to gauge correlation between customer purchase patterns and the prices of their products as well as competitors. The research is a form of applied research. The sample size was computed through convenience non-probability sampling. Most of the respondents recommended an automated system hence the reason for creating this prototype. The prototype was developed using v-process methodology since the clarity of the user requirements was high and the technical expertise needed was readily available. The prototype produced 98% accuracy in real-time price information update and display with alerts for the non-successful updates generated by the prototype to inform the operator so that they resend the information.