Retailers are using digital technologies to improve the store experience, better understand, and predict customer behaviors as well as creating a more seamless experience for the customers moving between the channels in the store and online.
Smart Retail allows the personalization of customers’ experience in physical stores or in the online environment, depending on the analysis of their behaviors and preferences. The low latency and high bandwidth capabilities of 5G become critical as the volume of data increases.
Helping Customers Make the Best Purchase Decisions
Today, the level of targeting is quite generic, like a retailer offering a coupon to a customer who recently bought an item from the store or who browsed the retailer’s website. Retailers can send alerts to a certain application when a customer is near to the target location, thanks to Bluetooth beacons and Wi-Fi access points.
Soon, Experiential Retail will change much, and the data will allow the retailers to be more precise and sophisticated. For example, facial recognition technology could identify the customers when they enter the store or through facial recognition integrated into a retailer application to analyze information obtained from previous visits to the store within the chain and get it cross-referenced with online searches, demographic data, and other relevant data. That would manage the retailer to recommend specific products or offers to that customer. This level of customization would require extracting external data quickly from multiple sources.
Are We Capable To Get The Most Out Of This Technology Or Not Yet?
5G technology is also important to improve accuracy within locations. Instead of simply knowing that the customer spent time at the mall, for example, a retailer might know that the customer went through the location of a store and spent time looking at products shown in the window.
The current network is not strong enough to take full advantage of these opportunities. With current technology, the volume of data cannot be accessed and processed quickly enough to support this level of customization.
Some retailers are providing more interactive experiences by experimenting with augmented reality, a way of imposing a computer-generated image on a user’s real-world view.
A cosmetic brand, for example, has implemented “magic mirrors” that can scan the face of the buyer and virtually present multiple makeup options using the company’s products. Another retailer is experimenting with “virtual testers” as shop windows. Thanks to kinetic technology, they allow passersby to see themselves in the store’s featured items even before entering.
These interactive and integrated experiences depend on the ability to deliver information with low latencies. 5G will provide a significant boost to the evolution of augmented reality.
The Last Word
In the future, “Mixed Reality”, enabled by the 5G technology, will become commonplace. The customer could see what paint color would look like on the walls without opening a can of paint or could see if a new sofa would fit in the living room before making the purchase. With these immersive experiences, latency and bandwidth become even more critical.
From the factory to the product that reaches the customer’s hands, the data and the digital world are revolutionizing the retail experience. These advances will depend on a robust infrastructure, fast and agile networks, and secure systems, all enabled by 5G Technology.