Dynamic pricing and shelf replenishment do the heavy lifting to move product and automate key inventory processes
TOKYO, JAPAN/NEW YORK — January 12, 2023 — SATO America LLC, a leader in modern identification and labeling solutions, is helping supermarkets, grocery stores and convenience chains better manage inventory, reduce expired products and optimize labor costs through two new offerings showcased at the annual NRF Big Show, January 15-17, 2023, in New York City at booth 4265.
Food retailers have long struggled with how to modify the price of perishables as they age to prompt purchase and reduce food waste.
Even today, retailers in the U.S. dispose of up to one-third of perishables because they expire. Markdowns are proven to move older (and still within the sell-by period) products, but the manual process to manage pricing is simply too difficult and labor-intensive.
SATO Dynamic Pricing removes this barrier by automatically repricing products as they near their sell-by date, appealing to price-conscious consumers and reducing the volume of expirations by moving older products first. Because prices are automatically reconciled with each product’s expiry data, no staff intervention is required at checkout, unlike most AI pricing that isn’t integrated with POS systems.
Using a combination of a GS1 DataMatrix barcode, encoded expiry data, manufacturer-applied group tags and electronic shelf labels (ESLs), retailers can simply stock shelves and input group pricing data into the store management software. As products age, the group pricing automatically changes on the ESL, so consumers can see the price options and choose the product that best fits their needs. Group identifying tags applied by the manufacturer eliminate the need for in-store staff to manually reprice items, allowing them to focus on customer service. Best-of-breed partnerships with digital commerce brands and utilization of GS1 standards offer a turnkey solution that is easy to deploy for retailers of all sizes.
“How we interact with products is changing. Tracking products at the lot and batch level is one area where retailers can improve expiry management of perishable foods,” said Kentaro Oguchi, head of retail strategy at SATO Holdings Corporation. “This is why we are promoting the transition to 2D barcodes at point-of-sale – which GS1 US has dubbed Sunrise 2027 – which can help enhance not only inventory management but recall readiness, sustainability and ethical sourcing practices and product authentication for greater brand trust.”
“Legislation such as the Food Waste Policy Action Plan and the Zero Food Waste Act have been introduced in the U.S. that will be holding organizations accountable for reducing the volume of food lost during its lifecycle. At the same time, consumers are eager to stretch their grocery budgets,” said Kerry Langley, vice president, of SATO America LLC. “By giving consumers more options that fit their lifestyles, we effectively reduce waste and lower costs with less human intervention, while allowing retailers to optimize margins for every sellable product.”
A pilot project supported by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) was conducted with Ito-Yokado, one of the largest supermarket chains in Japan.
Lost sales due to out-of-stocks are common among food retailers, with traditional inventory systems showing only total inventory (on-shelf and back-of-store lumped together as one number). By placing product-sensing mats with embedded tags on shelves, retailers can get a near-real-time view of actual stocked product. Employees can be alerted when stock is low or unavailable for fast re-stocking.
This approach eliminates the alternative—and much more expensive and labor-intensive— approach of placing RFID tags on individual products and is equally effective with products placed side-by-side, stacked or in rows. It is made possible with Wiliot battery-free IoT Pixel tags, wireless energizing from Energous and SATO’s unique shelf sensing devices. It provides more comprehensive visibility and is easier to deploy compared to AI cameras and requires no additional labor, unlike manual stock-checking. Data can be easily shared with CPG brands to determine when or where in-the-store products sell better.
As consumers remove products from the shelf, the software continuously updates the inventory data to show a near-real-time count of remaining products, visible to store employees. This ensures that lost sales are minimized, and product availability is maintained, improving revenue and customer satisfaction.
For more information, visit www.satoamerica.com/solutions/retail/