The present era can be best described as the one witnessing the initial stages of the technological revolution. One of the proofs of the fact lies in the growth of ever-present wireless networks with the ability to merge data computation and collection with countless devices. 5G network is one of the best representations of such technological advancements that are changing the abilities and sights of what people do and how they do it. The networks like 5G are superior not just because they enable faster connections and better audio-video capabilities, but also for their improved latency. In the traditional networks, high amount of latency leads to a delay in the time taken for a device to actually receive the information that it had pinged for. 5G can be instrumental in solving this issue to a large extent which means faster and better connectivity.
Implications of 5G for retail
Some of the challenges faced by the retail world in the present times can be effectively solved by the advent of 5G technology. The following are some of the many avenues through which 5G is expected to help out the retailers.
- Increase in the customer anticipations leading to a personalized and unique shopping experience along with a range of customized offerings
- Rising costs of retail outlets driving the move away from the important in-store stocks to storage in the central warehouses
- Retailers are offering high levels of flexibility in facilitating more than one sales channel. The trend of moving towards multichannel retail is one of the major contributions of 5G
- The expansion of e-commerce has raised the demand of the customers to shop at ease from the comfort of their homes
Personalization is the latest buzzword in the business world, with people looking for that custom-made variety in everything from food, clothes to Watches, and more. Technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality have provided the necessary support to the trend, and 5G will be the thing that will provide the essential infrastructure.
The benefits are multifaceted when you get to enable high-speed in-store connectivity through 5G. The rich content transfer, low latency enabling mobile apps, and perennially reliable and secure connectivity for a smooth shopping experience: these are just a few of the advantages that 5G brings with itself for the retailers. The end result is seen in the significant increase of the revenue generated each year.
Implementing 5G in the retail arena
Retailers have more than one interesting options in using the emerging technology of 5G in taking their businesses to the next level. Here are some of the ideas that the retail sector has been implementing or considering in the recent times.
- Interactive trial rooms: The use of touch-screen interfaces allows buyers to ask for different clothing sizes or instant assistance in the place of existing mirrors makes life really easy for the customers. It adds to their shopping experiences.
- Sending messages to the client: Sending important messages to clients while they are present in the store is highly useful, especially in the scenario where are facing difficulties in navigating through sections or in looking for a particular kind of product.
- Interactive storefront displays: The storefront is the first thing that a customer notices, and that is what attracts them to explore the store even more. There are exciting communicative messages displayed on the touchscreens that are linked to the motion-sensors which invite the customers in the store.
- Handheld devices: The handheld devices with the store managers and executives enable them in turning into customer service experts while giving them the insights and information needed to better the customer experiences.
- Heat mapping technology: Analysis of security footage using AI algorithms in real-time helps retailers to understand how the customers move in the store and the steps that can be taken to better engage them.
The competition has always been present in the retail space and, with the rising influence of technology the competition is getting stiffer by the day. Thus, to stay relevant in the market, the retailers need to buckle up and cater to the needs of the mobile-focused, tech-savvy generation of modern clients.
The Issues Faced with 5G Implementation
5G is all ready to take the market by storm from the middle of 2019 to early 2020. So, the time for the retailers to get started is right now. Now the thing is that though the impact of 5G on retail is going to be undeniably huge, part of the reason why it is being late in its arrival is that there is a need for considerable infrastructure for the carriers. 5G needs shorter wavelengths which is much different from the typical networks that are present. The shorter wavelength means more towers and the rolling out of completely new technology.
5G signals find it difficult to penetrate the walls of the buildings and the work is still on at making sure that the signals can penetrate the stores. 5G offers the speed which enables the customers to bypass the retailer’s tracking, and almost the whole point of the 5G experience is enhancing customer experiences through tracking their preferences.
However, it is not like these are issues that cannot be tackled with further tweaks and changes to the technology. 5G is set to change the retail scenario once and forever given it is optimized to meet the requirements of the industry.