Shopping…shopping….shopping… the three heavy words astonish the world. I mean heavy for the pocket!

Who does not enjoy shopping? And when it comes with a twist, then it’s like a cherry on a cake. Yes, I am talking about “5G shopping.”

Isn’t that cool.

“The World Economic Forum says that we are on “the brink” of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

There will be human-like AI (artificial intelligence) bots in this magical world, and we will access technology that we once thought was not possible.

5G is about to boost innovation and advance the way you go about your everyday life. Simply put, your experiences with wireless technology will be more mobile, social, and immersive. For instance, the Ericsson report states that North American smartphone users expend about 7.2 gigabytes of data per month, and by 2023, usage is anticipated to increase by almost sevenfold.

5G networking

5G, the fifth generation of wireless technology, must adapt to the growing demand on our networks. This means searching for a more usable spectrum. More available spectrum for wireless data means more network capacity that could translate to faster data rates and enhance the user experience, such as augmented reality (AR) assisted clothing and furniture shopping.

5G in the retail industry – will change the shopping experience

Just imagine:

You are walking into a fancy electronics mall and excited to buy your next major purchase. One of the salespersons approaches you, but he is not sure what exactly is your dream product. You both together look for products and their information on the website. But the network connectivity is slow, and you don’t have time to enter your personal details to gain access to the store’s Wi-Fi. This sounds familiar, right? And this reason is what leaves you less satisfied with the retailer.

Now imagine this:

You go to the same fancy big-box store, but the salesperson knows all your needs even before you enter the store. This is because better network connectivity and timely analytics enabled by 5G allow the salesperson to gain correct information about you at the right time. He can now understand your purpose of visiting the store the moment your car arrives in the parking lot.

Microsoft’s research report states that consumers are ready to share their data with brands. About 63% of US consumers say they have shared data with a company that offers an enhanced experience. However, this means companies can personalize consumers’ journey when they arrive at their store.

It has also been said that about 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with retailers who recognize, remember, and offer great deals and recommendations. Consumers want their shopping experience tailored to their needs.

Retailers have to be at the forefront of technology to keep up with the shoppers’ demands. How can we forget that Walmart, Amazon, and Alibaba have shown us what “shopping” may look like in the future.

5G shopping is the next retail revolution

5G is more than a new mobile network technology. It offers a high-quality link between telecommunication and information technology. With technology such as internet-of-things (IoT) and mobile apps, innovative trends reshape what people expect when entering a store. To enhance the consumer experience, retailers are utilizing 5G with technologies such as:

  • Interactive mobile apps
  • Personalized digital signage
  • Video and pattern recognition of shoppers
  • Augmented reality (AR)
  • Virtual reality (VR)

How could 5G help retail industries?

1. Dressing rooms with 5G network to work magic mirrors

Future dressing rooms comprise a magic mirror that could recognize the product when someone tries it via an RFID tag. Mirror also shows personalized ads in real-time such as pairs of shoes, necklaces, handbags, and others that perfectly match a dress.

If a consumer needs another size in the same dress, they could simply press a button that alerts the salesclerk instead of awkwardly shouting requests. Another benefit of the technologically enhanced mirror is that, before buying a product, consumers might need a friend’s inputs, then they could post the image on social media or send a text using the 5G network.

2. More brands will use 5G AR and VR for retail transformation

Thanks to 5G, the global augmented reality and virtual reality industry is anticipated to account for about USD 80 billion by 2025. For instance, we have already seen how IKEA benefitted from its VR campaign back in April. But more recently, the renowned Swedish furniture store launched an online VR store in Australia that allows consumers to browse through furnishing products via mobile VR headsets.

With ultra-fast speeds of 5G, VR experiences will be smoother and buffering-free. Moreover, 5G will also enhance the quality of VR content. For instance, in the telecommunication industry in Japan, NTT DoCoMo successfully trialed live streaming of 8K video with a 5G Nokia device.

3. Enhanced AI learning facilities

AI tools such as virtual personal assistants and chatbots already enhance consumer service in the retail sector by answering frequently asked questions and offering recommendations. For instance, clothing retailer H and amp;M has a chatbot that delivers apparel suggestions based on the consumer’s preference.

With 5G, consumers could connect and download data from these AI assistants at lightning speed.

4. Fast and frictionless payments will be possible with 5G at retail stores

There is no need to wait in queue anymore because 5G connectivity will help buyers pay their bills using smartphones or Wi-Fi credit/debit cards.

Examples of how 5G could help the retail industry

One of the best examples is the textile industry. As we all know, the textile industry is developing rapidly each day to enhance the in-store experience for consumers. Application of the 5G network and augmented reality together enhances the future shopping experience.

Let’s see how! When you enter a high-tech clothing store, AR interconnected mirrors, cameras, and a 5G network enhance the future shopping experience. This gives an idea to a consumer that how a piece of clothing should be worn. The networked mirror shows consumers which color looks best on them with detailed product information. This is all possible with fast and stable connections. This is where 5G comes into a role, i.e., before and during the actual purchase.

5G takeaway

With 5G, retail companies could help power novel and innovative technologies with high speed and reliability, collect more data, and construct a long-lasting relationship with consumers. AR and 5G can change the in-store shopping experience altogether for consumers and make it more interesting.

Your life is about to change as 5G with machine learning and AI will undoubtedly change the face of retail in the coming years.

Looking at the above information, I can say 5G shopping is nothing but a match made in retail heaven for the retail industry!

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