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What Will 5G Mean for Retailers?

A new report from Forrester Research highlights potential 5G use cases in retail and provides advice on how retail CIOs can explore the potential of 5G

A car without tires is useless in the same way that Internet of things (IoT) systems have little value without proper connectivity. Extracting the data from IoT endpoints in an efficient and timely manner is where we really truly reap the value of what the sensors or cameras capture and how that data can transform businesses.

Savvy companies in retail, logistics, manufacturing and other sectors that have deployed IoT solutions know this, but have struggled with disparate connectivity solutions. Sometimes they’ve bolted onto legacy systems that use older communications protocols; sometimes they operate multiple systems, each with different protocols. WiFi, 4G cellular, Bluetooth, or 6LoWPAN, for instance. In other cases, companies have embraced older technologies that aren’t in a position to handle the terabytes of data that IoT systems might capture and transmit in the future. Think of real-time telematics systems in cars, for example. 

5G is transforming customer experience

5G changes this. 5G’s value isn’t just for smartphones. It changes the way we can think, implement and deploy IoT network. 

Consider retail: 5G networks will enable new ways for customers to use, for example, virtual and augmented reality to improve their shopping and buying experience. Combining physical in-store data from a variety of in-store IoT  devices, such as cameras, beacons, and sensors, with digital customer data to build 360-degree customer profiles helps retailers create more  personalized shopper experiences, engage their loyal shopper base and increase sales through timely and relevant promotions.

With those insights, marketers can provide tailored offers and use fresh, in-store path-to-purchase data to improve campaign ROI. Additionally, merchandizers can stock the shelves with the right goods, and store staff can provide the right service at the right time.

Nike’s ‘House of Innovation’ omnichannel platform offers convenient features like mobile-checkout and personalized lockers that can be operated via the customer’s smartphone, while Audi uses VR showrooms to create a personalized, immersive customer journey for car buyers. 

Forrester reports on the possibilities of 5G

Deployed in machine-to-machine environments, 5G will transform retail and logistics as we know it, improving efficiency and ROI for companies that embrace it.  

Forrester Research, in a new report, lays out the potential and what CIOs in the world of retail need to know about 5G in retail and its possibilities. The technology couldn’t come at a more appropriate time: Retail continues to adjust to the digitization of life and profit margins are continually squeezed.

The potential for 5G to boost internal productivity while transforming customer experiences (and drawing in new customers) is clear. Retailers are keenly interested in capturing more customer data in-store and ensuring that that data is matched quickly and appropriately with a given customer’s online profile to improve the shopping experience. 

Download Forrester Research’s report “The CIO’s Guide to 5G In The Retail Sector” to read more about the opportunities for 5G in retail.

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