Augmented reality marketing concept. Hand holding smart phone use AR application to check relevant information about the spac


Future of the Store: Experience-ready infrastructure

Creating an immersive and seamless shopping experience with 5G

In the third article of the series, we explore how 5G technology can be used to build an experience-ready infrastructure. We also discuss how 5G can enhance customer experiences through cashier-less checkout, personalized promotions and product recommendations, and real-time inventory and order tracking. Additionally, we examine how 5G can streamline operations and improve store associates' experiences using AI and machine learning (ML) technologies.

More and more of our daily routines are digitized. But while your customers can easily spend hours planning, scheduling, socializing, and (of course) shopping on their phones and computers, the in-store retail experience has yet to catch up. You can still find store associates taking inventory with pen and paper, shoppers reviewing physical price tags, and staff members rounding up stray carts from the parking lot, just as they have for decades.

But change is brewing. Extensive researchin the Deloitte US Future of Consumer report indicates there are six forces that are shaping the future of the consumer industry. These include recent innovations—many based on the internet of things (IoT) and delivered via 5G, edge computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and other  astevolving technologies—which are helping to modernize the in-store retail experience and driving big changes for in-person retail.

From one-off wins to a platform approach

Retailers have long made improvements to the in-store experience, though until now few have taken a comprehensive, techforward approach of using IoT to help cut costs, streamline processes, and deliver real-time experiences for customers, store staff, or both. Some have implemented self-checkout; others have eliminated the checkout line completely, relying instead on roving store associates equipped with handheld scanners and point of sale (POS) capabilities. Some have blended online and in-store shopping experiences to expedite pickups, deliveries, and returns.

These changes are a start, but to get the most from IoT, retailers may need to think bigger. Taking a platform approach to new technology can help create a solid technical foundation, minimize infrastructure redundancy, reduce cost—even let you roll out new use cases without significant incremental tech investment or steep learning curves. With an experiencebased (aka zero-based) infrastructure, you can simultaneously plan for IoT-based innovation; capture, store, and manage large volumes of data; and retire limiting legacy tech.

5G and the experience-ready infrastructure

To modernize the in-store experience, you may need a tech foundation capable of handling more devices, analyzing highbandwidth IoT data, delivering real-time insights, and scaling to help accommodate rising demands from both customers and employees. In short, you could need scalable connectivity—exactly what 5G and edge computing are designed for.

Consider, for example, how augmented reality (AR) might contribute to your retail Future of the Store Experience-ready infrastructure Future of the Store: Experience-ready infrastructure environment, or how you might translate an in-store experience to serve (and inspire) online shoppers. 5G broadband can make it possible, with an experienceready infrastructure that can handle the bandwidth while supporting today’s and tomorrow’s innovations

5G and the customer perspective

5G can support frictionless, personalized shopping experiences such as cashierless checkout, individualized promotions and product recommendations, and real-time inventory and order tracking. A modern tech platform can also remove barriers and inconvenience associated with instore shopping, such as finding products, confirming the presence of additional stock, price checks, and long checkout lines. Removing these frictions can free retailers to focus on the advantages of in-store shopping, including the ability to touch and feel the product, take home a purchase immediately, and blend shopping and socializing.

5G and your store labor

5G can also help improve store associates’ experience. Take task planning as an example: If you have three trucks to unload, AI or machine learning (ML) can combine intel from inside and beyond the store (e.g., trends for sales and planned promotions, plus weather and inbound truck location) to help forecast daily and hourly demand, then create detailed processes for breaking down deliveries, stocking shelves to prioritize high-demand items, and even
allocating resources as in-store traffic ebbs and flows. 5G and advancements such as digital twin technology can eliminate the need for employees to search for extra inventory, helping them quickly answer customer questions about available stock. Other retailers are combining computer vision-enabled monitoring of high-value merchandise with edge computing to reduce shrinkage.

Getting started with 5G

Before investing in foundational 5G and edge computing, retailers should clearly define their current brand proposition—and where that brand is headed in the future. With that vision in hand, you can lay down a 5G foundation with the flexibility and speed to help meet the needs of customers, staff, and management. In the end, it comes down to how well your infrastructure can support an experience-ready platform that can meet the needs of customers and store staff, now and into the future. 

Recommended reading

H. Moser & Cie.: The future of a timeless brand

Deloitte supported the Swiss luxury watch company to reimagine its customer experience by collaboratively exploring the added value of edge technologies.

The Genesis Project, a triptych of state-ofthe-art watches leveraging the power of web3 and the metaverse, points the way to the future of luxury goods. For owners, it’s a way to secure their watch’s authenticity, preserve its value and much more, all in one mobile app. For its part, Moser gains access to deeper user engagement and a new generation of customers.

>> Read more about H. Moser & Cie.

Learn more

Contact us to find out more about how 5G and edge computing can support your experience-ready retail infrastructure.

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