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How Smart Labels Are Revolutionizing Retail Shopping

Despite the prevalence of online shopping, brick-and-mortar stores haven’t completely disappeared from the economic landscape. They’re still a necessary part of many communities, especially in isolated regions that have limited Internet access and amongst those who would rather stick with tradition. Not only is it important to continue service to these shoppers, but it’s critical to do so in a way that is unique and innovative without infringing on their conventional lifestyle; and that’s exactly where smart labels and tags come into play.

An Innovation that Preserves Tradition

Whereas most innovations are an attempt to replace tradition and makes things a little bit easier, there will always be those who simply don’t want to change. The smart label, sometimes known as a smart tag, is the ideal solution for bridging the gap between traditional retail shopping and technology. But what exactly is a smart label, and how can it improve the act of shopping at a brick-and-mortar location?

Smart Labels Create Smart Shoppers

Next-gen smart labels can provide you with in-depth information about a product. All you have to do is scan the product’s label, either with your own smartphone or through the store’s own scanning device, to access these details.

Manufacturers can use smart labels to store any type of data whatsoever. This system isn’t limited to nutritional value and listing the ingredients, although it can do that, too. Instead, the smart label platform is meant to inform consumers about the materials used in packaging, where they were sourced and even where the product can be recycled at the end of its lifespan.

How Are Retailers Using Smart Labels?

Savvy retailers are using smart labels to provide digital coupons or recommendations on complementary products. Not only does this increase overall profitability on behalf of the retailer, but it can save the shopper some time and money in the process.

This data can also be collected by the retailer, manufacturer or advertiser. Such information can be used in the future to forecast market trends, ensure available inventory and to offer deals or promotions that are relevant to individual shoppers.

In one example, Target, a popular big box chain, introduced smart labels to every one of their locations by the end of 2016. They’re currently using the smart label system to bolster inventory control as well as order accuracy and fulfillment.

Other retailers, particularly those that work with perishable goods, use smart labels to monitor the condition of their inventory. Having instant access to informatics such as temperature and the expiration date can play a significant role in consumer health as well as the well-being of our surrounding environment. According to recent studies, inaccurate readings into the condition of perishable goods results in more than $160 billion on an annual basis.

The Future of Smart Tags

Smart tags give manufacturers and retailers the ability to introduce technology into the standard shopping process without scaring away their long-time customers. While there will certainly be some who are happy with online shopping and the convenience it offers, those who prefer tradition should be satisfied with the smart label system.


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