In theory, it’s certainly possible for retailers to change prices within a very short period of time and sometimes even several times per day. However, when asked, retailers and manufacturers state that in reality, this is presently not the case. For example, Media Markt and Saturn, which have equipped all of their 420 stores in Germany with ESLs at this point, issue the following response to this skepticism: “We generally have to monitor how frequently price changes truly make sense. That’s something we have actually always done by the way. In the past, this was done manually, now it happens digitally. Our goal is definitely not to constantly change prices like gas stations are in the habit of doing and thus confuse our customers. If price adjustments are necessary, we normally implement them outside of the usual business hours.“
Professor Martin Fassnacht of the WHU- Otto Beisheim School of Management also doesn’t consider price changes as dangerous. ”What is so wrong about the fact that prices change? They have always changed in the past, except today it’s simply faster to implement. The only problem is that consumers are not too familiar with ESL systems yet. We Germans are generally afraid of new things. However, our lives are becoming more dynamic and unique. Right now, there are not many ESLs in stores but this is about to change.“
The benefits for customers and retailers
Maybe the benefits of ESLs are able to help customers and retailers to overcome their fear of this digital change. On the one hand, digital tags actually prevent wrong pricing because they indicate the exact price the cash register applies, once they have been connected to the inventory control system. And incidentally, this is the price that ultimately counts.