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Report: Evolving Retail Technology Trends Make LTE and 5G Networks Essential for Business

Robin Manke-Cassidy

Comprehensive retail solutions support in-store technology devices and applications

The global pandemic changed the in-store retail model as we knew it. With storefront closures and layoffs looming, adaptations such as contactless technologies and curbside pickup were a necessity, and now these changes are shaping the future.

Current retail technology trends require higher bandwidth and lower latency to improve the in-store customer experience. The RIS News 2021 Store Experience study predicts that 53% of top retailers plan to adopt 5G in the next two years. 5G and LTE cellular networks provide the support needed for advanced technology and applications in retail.

Improving the shopping experience

Whether a customer wants to shop in person or in the comfort of their own home, it is critical for businesses to create an experience that is customer focused. Personalized shopping and marketing automation are part of that process. By responding to previous purchasing patterns and behaviors, augmented reality (AR) applications can make recommendations toward tailored content in real time. According to Gartner, 100 million consumers will shop in AR online and in-store by 2020.

Grocery stores can track the previous purchasing patterns through reward programs to inform customers of deals while shopping. This scenario demands constant connectivity that can be achieved through a cellular networking solution. With improving the customer experience and revamping IoT technology in mind, 50% of food and grocery stores plan to leverage 5G in the next two years, according to the study.   

Retailers have been altering the shopping experience toward models that fit their customers needs through maximizing LTE and 5G. Whether it is a virtual styling service for clothes or an augmented reality to see if furniture fits within their living space. These new retail technology trends require higher bandwidth and lower latency, which can be achieved through wireless connectivity. 

Reaching customers beyond fixed locations

Enterprises had to pivot from the regular indoor model whether it was creating a buy online/pick up in store option or temporary pop-up stores. Both of these adjustments demand wireless access for IoT devices and cloud-based applications to keep business running smoothly.  

Pickup options have given customers the opportunity to shop online but without waiting for delivery. However, retailers that are located in large metropolitan areas have less space to create a designated pick-up location within range of the primary network. LTE and 5G give retailers the flexibility to continue business outside of the enterprise’s traditional physical location.  

Temporary and seasonal storefronts also are here to stay, due to the ability to meet customers where they’re shopping without a long-term investment in a fixed location that might carry high operational costs. LTE and 5G connectivity allow for an instant network without the need of an on-site IT team or costly truck roll.

Learn more about how wireless broadband is changing technology within retail from this webinar