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Bulgaria’s leading electrical retailer, TECHNOPOLIS, has rolled out an ESL (Electronic Shelf Label) solution from Pricer, the world’s most reliable provider of ESLs, to its store estate following a successful pilot implementation.  The ESLs will digitally automate pricing and promotions to deliver greater operational efficiencies whilst driving customer experience ahead of peak trading.  

Having launched in 2001, TECHNOPOLIS has grown to become Bulgaria’s leading specialist electrical goods retailer, with 34 hypermarket stores in 26 key cities.  With over 25,000 SKUs in its catalogue – from white and black goods to small domestic appliances, home office equipment and other IT products – TECHNOPOLIS offers a ‘one-stop shop’ for electricals, all housed in its Big Box format stores to give customers extensive choice and unrivalled convenience when shopping its ranges. 

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As a Big Box retailer, TECHNOPOLIS recognised the need to digitally transform its store estate, not only to drive operational efficiencies in store, but to make it easier for its store staff to serve and add value to its customers, while also delivering the digitally-led customer experiences its shoppers had come to expect.  It also wanted to ready itself for Bulgaria’s adoption of the Euro in 2024, which will require the retailer to show dual pricing in Euros and Lev during the currency adoption period.

In 2021, after a competitive pitch process, TECHNOPOLIS turned to Pricer having been impressed by the flexibility and robustness afforded by its ESLs, to run a pilot in its Business Park Sofia – Mladost hyperstore ahead of its Black Friday and Christmas trading period, its busiest and most critical time of the year for sales.  Implementing the solution with its trusted partner, SIS Technologies, which had worked with TECHNOPOLIS since their launch in 2001, the Pricer ESLs had to be fitted in under 5 months, without impacting customer experience in the store in the lead up to peak trading.  

Going live on time and on budget, the ESLs allowed the store to automate pricing and promotions centrally in real-time.  This not only ensured pricing and promotional compliance, but it saved considerable labour hours that would otherwise have been spent by store staff updating traditional paper-based labels, especially in the context of TECHNOPOLIS’ large format stores and extensive number of SKUs.  It also meant store associates were freed up to focus their efforts on adding value to the customer experience in-store, providing product information and advice to shoppers during the consideration phase of their buying journeys and helping to drive in-store conversions.

Bojidar Kolev, Co-owner of TECHNOPOLIS, commented: “The speed and flexibility we now have in our pricing and promotions is enabling us to operate much more efficiently, but in a much more agile way – and that means we’re better placed to meet the needs of our customers in delivering the value and the quality they expect from us.”

Sasho Ganchev, CEO at TECHNPOLIS, added: “As well as powering huge in-store efficiency improvements, the move to ESLs comes at a strategically important time for the business as we look to future-proofing our operations for the adoption of the Euro in two years’ time.  We’ll be able to dynamically adapt pricing and promotions in both currencies, meaning staff can focus on the delivery of customer service, rather than the administration associated with that change.”

In a bid to further improve the customer experience in-store, TECHNOPOLIS is also using the ESL solution to drive digital engagement at the shelf-edge, helping them to create more compelling in-aisle experiences for shoppers.  Using larger HD 200 ESL displays means that as well as pricing and promotions, the electrical retailer can provide on-demand, digital product information, helping shoppers evaluate the product further and self-serve information at the shelf-edge.

David Sebbag, Sales Executive, Eastern Europe, Russia & Middle East at Pricer, commented: “Electricals are often a considered purchase for shoppers – with so much technical spec, value and choice, it can become quite a complex buying decision for customers, who want to be supported in their path to purchase.  Our recent research of over 6,000 European electrical shoppers showed that 66% wanted access to product information as well as pricing available on-shelf.  By bringing the shelf-edge to life and using it as a source of information and inspiration for shoppers, TECHNOPOLIS is helping its customers find the right product, whilst giving them the confidence to convert.”

Maria Ivanova, CEO of SIS Technologies, commented: “Having partnered with TECHNOPOLIS since its launch, we know that it has always looked to be at the vanguard of digitalising its business offer, and this is another step towards digitally connecting and empowering the store networks, their store associates and their customers.”

Following the success of the pilot, TECHNOPOLIS has committed to rolling out a further 20 stores ahead of Black Friday 2022, with a further 13 stores expected to go live in 2023.

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