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What Is the Best Shelf Label Printer for Grocery Stores? 3 Top Options

Many grocery store owners share a similar dream: efficient inventory management

Part of efficient grocery inventory management is integrating your tools with your point of sale (POS) software. For example, shelf label printers keep your shelves organized; they also allow for real-time updates to product prices and quantities, ensuring accurate pricing and stock visibility.

But not all shelf label printers are built the same, and deciding which provider to go with can be challenging. From quick printing speeds and high resolution to ease of use and durability, it's not a straightforward choice.

This article will share our top three picks for grocery store shelf label printers, based on real-world performance. The criteria for evaluating printers include print speed, label quality, durability, and operating costs. Whether you're equipping a new store or upgrading printers in an existing location, we’ll help you decide.
Markt POS guide to grocery POS hardware

The Best Shelf Label Printer for Grocery Stores: How To Choose

In the bustling world of grocery stores, every second counts and the competition is fierce. Neatly labeled shelves are about more than aesthetics in this fast-paced environment; it’s about customer satisfaction. But it's not just the customers who benefit. Staff can also breathe a sigh of relief when the shelves are clearly marked. It simplifies restocking and reduces the chances of errors, ensuring items end up where they belong.

Related Read: How Do Grocery Stores Keep Track of Inventory? 5 Essential Tools

Now, let's dive into the nitty-gritty of selecting the best shelf label printer for your grocery store. There are several key factors to keep in mind:

  • Print Quality: The labels must be crisp and clear. Nobody wants smudged or illegible tags. Also, look for printers that can prevent ink bleeding, especially if your labels are exposed to moisture.
  • Print Speed: Time is money in retail. You need a printer that can keep up with the demands of a busy store. Consider printers with fast print speeds and batch printing capabilities.
  • Durability: Grocery stores can be rough environments. Your labels need to withstand drops, spills, and even freezer conditions. Look for printers that produce waterproof and chemical-resistant labels.
  • Label Design Software: Flexibility is key. Your printer should come with software that allows you to create customized labels with ease. It should support various templates, fonts, and barcode generation. Integration with your store systems is a big plus.
  • Connectivity: In the age of modern technology, connectivity matters. WiFi, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity options can make printing from multiple devices a breeze.
  • Ongoing Costs: Consider not just the upfront cost of the printer ,but also ongoing expenses like ink and label costs. Some printers are more cost-effective in the long run.
  • Choosing the Right Provider: Don't forget about the company behind the printer. Consider your budget, support needs, and whether they can meet your unique requirements.

With these factors in mind, you'll be well-equipped to choose the perfect shelf label printer for your grocery store. Let’s now take a look at some of the top options you might choose to implement in your store.  

The Top 3 Shelf Label Printers for Grocery Stores

1. Brother QL-1110NWB

Brother is a giant in the printer industry. This well-established brand offers printing options across the spectrum, and the QL-1110NWB is a fantastic option for a shelf label printer for your grocery store. 

This printer connects via wireless, Bluetooth, or ethernet connections. You can print up to four-inch-wide labels, making this label printer perfect for stores looking to print shipping and postage labels in addition to shelf labels. 

Print speed: Up to 69 standard address labels per minute

Print resolution: 300dpi

Price: $309.99

Related Read: 5 Best Barcode Systems for Retail Shops

2. Zebra Mobile Label Printer - ZQ32-A0W01R0-00

The Zebra Mobile Label Printer is a versatile and user-friendly device. One standout feature is its easy-to-use LCD screen, which simplifies the printing process. This intuitive interface allows you to easily navigate through settings and options with ease, making it accessible even for users with limited technical expertise. 

Another notable feature is its support for both horizontal and vertical printing. This flexibility lets you customize your labels to suit various applications and requirements. Whether you're labeling small items with barcode stickers or printing shipping labels that need to include detailed information, this printer's ability to switch between horizontal and vertical orientations ensures that your labels come out exactly as you need them. 

Print speed: Up to 5 inches per second

Print resolution: 203dpi

Price: $516.58

Related Read: Improve Grocery Store Operations: 10 Tips, Tools, and Tactics

3. DYMO LabelWriter 450

The DYMO LabelWriter 450 is an excellent choice for those seeking affordability in a shelf label printer. However, it's worth noting that this cost-effective advantage comes with a trade-off in print speed. While it may not be the fastest label printer available, it still gets the job done for everyday labeling needs.

The printer's easy-to-use design software is another noteworthy feature. DYMO provides user-friendly software that simplifies label creation and customization, even for individuals without extensive design experience. However, users should know that the DYMO LabelWriter 450 has a smaller maximum label width than other models, which might limit its suitability for applications requiring larger labels. 

Print speed: Up to 51 standard labels per minute

Print resolution: Not listed

Price: $121.99

Key Considerations for Implementation

Implementing a shelf label printer in your grocery store can greatly enhance efficiency, but it's essential to consider key factors to ensure a smooth integration.

Store Layout:

To maximize the benefits of your shelf label printer, strategically place them close to areas with frequent label needs. This strategic placement reduces employees' time walking back and forth to the printer. For instance, you may choose to place a printer near the deli section, bakery, or produce aisle, as these areas often require frequent label updates due to perishable items and pricing changes.

Volume Analysis:

Before selecting a shelf label printer, thoroughly analyze your store's daily label printing needs. Ensure that the printer you choose can handle the expected volume. Opting for a printer with batch printing capabilities can be especially beneficial during busy times, allowing you to print multiple labels at once. 

Staff Training:

Proper staff training is vital for successful implementation. Ensure that employees operate the printer proficiently, conduct routine maintenance, and use any associated label design software. This training reduces the likelihood of errors and empowers your team to make on-the-fly label adjustments, such as price updates or product descriptions.

Test Labels:

Conduct comprehensive testing before fully integrating the shelf label printer into your store's operations. This testing includes evaluating label adhesion and durability, especially for items stored in freezers or high-moisture environments. Confirm that printed barcodes are scannable to avoid checkout delays or inventory tracking issues.

The Best Shelf Label Printer for Your Grocery Store

When you implement the best shelf label printer for your store, you can improve price accuracy, optimize workflow, and trust the labels to withstand a high-use environment. Regardless of your budget and other needs, you can find a printer that works well for your store. 

For most stores, you won’t need the most top-of-the-line shelf label printer on the market. Instead, look for a solution that balances speed, print quality, and robust label options.

Last but not least, you need to ensure your labels integrate easily with your point of sale system. Without smooth, seamless POS integration, your labels will be just for show and will not aid in store efficiency or inventory optimization. But how can you ensure your point of sale solution integrates with your label printer of choice?

Markt POS to the rescue.

Our simple build and price tool allows you to craft your perfect point of sale hardware and software package, including label printer. When you build a solution using our tool, you know that every piece will integrate seamlessly, allowing you to run your store with ease.

To see what Markt POS is all about — and to determine if our solution is right for your store — check out our free software demo today. 

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