5G at the side of retailers to face business transformation

For retailers, improving the customer experience is a never-ending quest amplified by globalization and the development of e-commerce. These two are responsible for the ever-increasing competition, customer demands, and a growing need for immediacy. In this context, 5G is a real asset for businesses in distribution and retail. It is the key to infinite possibilities for enriching customer interactions through immersive experiences. It also helps improve productivity while reducing the drudgery of work, optimizes flow and inventory management while guaranteeing product traceability, and makes real-time interactions more reliable in increasingly rich ecosystems of machines and connected objects. 5G helps adjust to the new requirement of the changing delivery methods.

The performances of 5G (low latency, high speed, connection autonomy) allow the retail sector’s key players to meet their industry’s new challenges. Better still, they can make make a difference! They will proceed to do so with the help of:

  • The creation of innovative XR content (mixed reality, augmented reality, and virtual reality). These technologies require a lot of network resources, but they allow the creation of fully immersive virtual universes conducive to projection, choice, and purchase.
    The use of robots capable of welcoming and interacting with customers by adapting in real-time to each situation. High-performance instantaneous interactions and increasingly autonomous robots with intelligence that, thanks to the 5G network, no longer need to be embedded within the machine but accessible from the Cloud.
  • 3D and high-definition (HD) videos used as sales tools. Ultra-realistic 360° content allows visualizing products in very high quality (2 or 4K) and opening more to personalization. All this within a few seconds, thanks to 5G.
  • The use of digital objects to simplify certain operations. Like connected glasses that allow logistics operators to scan products simply by having them in their field of vision.
  • The augmentation of reality in a store, for example. This will guide a customer toward the department or product he is looking for, thanks to an arrow path displayed in real-time.
  • The collection and processing of data that allows retailers to feed real-time decision algorithms to manage the customer journey better and develop highly-personalized approaches. This is a significant edge for pushing the right ad, promotion, or flyer to the right customer, in the right place, at the right time!
  • Real-time analysis of image flows from retail video systems, known as « computer vision. » A technology that multiplies its advantages when used in 5G! It allows retailers to:
    • Better understand their consumers (journeys made in the aisles, moments when they choose their products, types of products consulted but not purchased);
    • Anticipate the wait at the checkout by communicating to customers the waiting time or the ideal time to get there;
    • Save time in the management of products by scanning shelves to check the presence of products, their presentation, or the stocks information;
    • To efficiently secure stores by anticipating aggressions, robberies, thefts, and building security-related issues.

Research has only begun, and other promising use cases will add to the list!

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