For the last year everyone in the tech world has been talking about 5G technology and its imminent arrival. However, most of the companies around the world still have not experienced it. The research sector has been doing a lot of work to build, trail and launch the 5G infrastructure. Every generation of mobile networks have brought us immense opportunities for the technology so we can expect the same from the 5G launch. The 5G technology is capable to revolutionise many industries like finance, construction, healthcare, automotive and retail etc. Today we will talk about How 5G will revolutionise the retail industry.
What is 5G?
In simple words, the 5th generation of mobile wireless communications is known as 5G. This upcoming 5G promises to deliver lower latency, greater stability, and faster speeds. It will also be capable to connect many more devices at once. These features will enable various kinds of businesses to supercharge their operations.
In other words, 5G technology denotes a new era in which connectivity will become increasingly flexible and fluid. All the 5G networks will adapt to applications and their performance will be tailored according to the user’s needs. It is expected, that by 2025 the 5G networks will cover one-third of the world’s population. This will impact the industries like mobile, retail, and finance etc. Moreover, the impact on all kinds of shoppers will be profound.
How 5G will revolutionise the retail industry
For the last few years, we saw how 4G played a major role in the retail industry. The arrival of 5G will take this industry further and the 5G digital connectivity will revolutionise this sector. By 2025, smart retail is expected to expand globally to over $58 billions.
Enhanced customer experience
The 5G networks will enable bricks and mortar stores to incorporate digital features, providing their customers a new immersive experience. The customers will be able to shop via their mobile phones instead of regular cashier shops. By using their smart phones, they will be able to navigate the aisles to specific products and virtually try on the clothes without removing them from the rail.
For example, a lipstick brand might create a mobile application where customers can use magic mirrors to try on their lips every shade of the lipstick virtually. This feature will enable them to understand which lipstick shade looks better on their lips. In this way the customer does not have to leave their homes or go to a regular retail shop to buy their choice of lipsticks. They will be able to explore, experiment, and select their favourite products via smart phones and 5G.
The Soho flower and garden offer their customers the chance to view flowers in an augmented reality environment before purchasing them. With augmented reality, it is possible for the shoppers to view, experience and compare various holiday destinations before selecting one of them to visit.
In 2020, more than 100 million shoppers had augmented reality shopping experience in store or online. By 2025, the market for augmented reality and virtual reality in retail industry is expected to reach $1.6 billion. So, you see, after 5G arrival, every aspect of our shopping experience is set to change.
Better personalised service
In any Kind of retail industry 5G will ensure better stock management, quick order deliveries and returns. The retailers will be able to employ user data and artificial intelligence to predict the products that their customers are more likely to want to purchase. The retailers will then suggest these products to their customers. This feature is known as personalised shopping experience. In other words, stores will be able to use shopper’s browsing history to guide them, show them targeted offers and ensure personalised customer service.
Many retailers like Amazon have already deployed this feature on their website. In 2019, Nike’s London store featured Internet of Things interactive digital touchpoint technology including LED screens, magic mirrors, and mood flooring to provide a fully interactive shopping experience to its customers without the need to physically touch their products.
Moreover, in the future ‘smart’ shelf displays will be adapted to shopper’s tastes. The retailers will be able to update Product’s prices and availability in real time. According to a study by Grandview research, the 5G powered Internet of Things hardware in retail industry is expected to grow to more than $94 billion by 2025. This involves personalised solutions, in-store product layouts and smart Shelves.
Safer and efficient shops
The low latency feature of 5G technology means there will be no buffering or waiting time. This will enable efficient automatic scans, checkout, and contactless payments. Amazon has already implemented this technology in Amazon Fresh stores in London. This feature is known as a “Just Walk Out” technology. This technology automatically detects when products are taken from the shelves or returned to them and keeps track of all the products in a virtual basket. When the customer is done with the shopping, they can just leave the store and later Amazon will charge the shoppers account and e-mail them receipt. That means there are no queues and no checkouts.
All in all, 5G will benefit our economy and society. It is capable of revolutionise any industry especially retail. It has the potential to change the ways in which retailers learn about their customers and communicate with them. It will also change how employees in the retail industry do their jobs via simultaneous and seamless connection of digital devices. More importantly it will change the way customers shop by giving them immersive experience via augmented reality or virtual reality. Finally, I suggest that every retail business should focus on how they can use 5G to provide their shoppers an unmatchable immersive experience.