The Future of Retail – Embracing Digital Pricing


In the ever-evolving landscape of retail, technology continues to revolutionise the way we shop. One such innovation making waves in the industry is the adoption of dynamic pricing, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) software. As the traditional yellow discount stickers may soon become a thing of the past, supermarkets are turning to digital price tags and high-tech stickers to provide real-time pricing updates. This shift not only aims to reduce food waste but also offers retailers greater flexibility in offering discounts and influencing consumer behaviour. At RDS we embrace technology so let’s explore the rise of AI-driven digital pricing, its potential benefits, and the concerns it raises for both consumers and retailers.


The Rise of AI-Driven Dynamic Pricing

Supermarkets across mainland Europe have already embraced AI-driven dynamic pricing, with grocery retailers in Spain, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands leading the charge. Retailers in these countries have partnered with tech companies such as Waste-less, whose AI-powered system gauges the risk of food items expiring on the shelf and determines whether a markdown is necessary. By analysing factors such as sell-by dates, stock levels, and demand patterns, the AI ensures that prices are automatically adjusted to optimise sales and minimise food waste.

Benefits of AI-Driven Dynamic Pricing

Reducing Food Waste

One of the primary advantages of AI-driven dynamic pricing is its potential to significantly reduce food waste. Currently, UK supermarkets and food retailers are responsible for approximately 300,000 tonnes of wasted food each year. By accurately predicting demand and adjusting

prices accordingly, retailers can sell perishable items before they expire, minimizing the need for markdowns and preventing food from ending up in landfills. Wasteless claims that its system can cut supermarkets’ food waste by more than a third, presenting a promising solution to the pressing issue of food waste.

Improved Stock Management

AI-driven dynamic pricing not only helps retailers reduce food waste but also enables them to optimise stock management. By analysing sales patterns and demand fluctuations, the AI generates valuable data that can assist retailers in making informed decisions regarding stock replenishment. This data-driven approach allows retailers to avoid over-ordering or under-stocking, leading to more efficient inventory management and mitigating potential financial losses.

Enhanced Consumer Benefits

While the disappearance of traditional yellow discount stickers may disappoint some bargain hunters, AI-driven dynamic pricing offers new opportunities for retailers to provide greater benefits and discounts to consumers. Digital price tags and high-tech stickers enable retailers to easily change prices, allowing them to offer real-time promotions and discounts. This flexibility not only benefits consumers by ensuring they receive the best possible prices but also encourages increased footfall and customer loyalty.

Potential Concerns and Challenges

Although AI-driven dynamic pricing holds immense potential, there are several concerns and challenges that need to be addressed for its successful implementation.

Lack of Clarity and Price Unpredictability

One potential drawback of dynamic pricing is the lack of clarity regarding reference prices. Consumers may find it challenging to ascertain whether they are truly getting a deal, especially when prices are constantly changing. This unpredictability can complicate budget planning for individuals on a tight financial squeeze. To address this concern, retailers must establish clear guidelines and governance to ensure transparency and avoid any unintended negative consequences for shoppers.

Risk of Price Discrimination

Another concern associated with AI-driven pricing is the risk of price discrimination. Products that are more popular in certain areas may see their prices pushed up due to higher demand. This could potentially disadvantage consumers living in specific regions, leading to higher prices for certain products. Retailers must be mindful of this issue and ensure that pricing algorithms do not inadvertently discriminate against certain consumer demographics.

The Future of AI-Driven Dynamic Pricing

Despite the potential challenges, experts believe that the benefits of AI-driven digital pricing in supermarkets will outweigh the negatives. With added sophistication and flexibility digital price tags allow easier changing of prices and provide greater benefits to consumers and it is this that will ultimately win over shoppers. While some consumers may miss the thrill of hunting for yellow sticker discounts, the price reductions they receive through AI-driven pricing may compensate for this change.
The retail landscape is continuously evolving, and AI-driven dynamic pricing is set to revolutionise the way we shop. By introducing artificial intelligence and real-time data analysis, retailers can reduce food waste, improve stock management, and enhance the overall shopping experience for consumers. However, it is crucial for retailers to address some of the concerns I have mentioned earlier in this article, things such as clarity of pricing and potential price discrimination to ensure the successful implementation of AI-driven dynamic pricing. As technology continues to shape the future of retail, embracing innovations like digital pricing will help retailers stay competitive and meet the evolving needs of consumers.


At RDS, we have been at the forefront of retail design for two decades. Over that time, we have witnessed numerous changes and innovations in the industry. While we embrace technology and innovation we will miss the traditional yellow stickers we have all come to love over the years. Who doesn’t love the thrill of finding that bargain sticker! But as digital pricing becomes more mainstream, we are excited to explore how it can further enhance the retail experience while preserving the joy of hunting for discounts.

To explore how RDS can enhance your design or layout and boost in-store spending, get in touch today.

Together, we can create a retail experience that delights customers and drives sales.


Written by Neil Thurston

Many thanks to everyone involved in creating this article and all the tech talks we have had over the current Retail Landscape, you know who you are 👍