5G Expo: 5 ways 5G will impact retail

By: James Bourne

28, January, 2020


IoT -

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The retail industry is undergoing a dramatic transformation. Many leading retailers are not just selling products, but rather delivering services and experiences through interactive and customer engagement programmes during before and after sales period. The power of the fifth generation of mobile network has the potential to support this transformation at various different levels, along with enhancing supply chain and back-office functioning.

5G, which is faster and more consistent than its predecessors, will act as a catalyst in transforming the retail sector by delivering technology building blocks for seamless end-to-end experience. This powerful network would allow the public to communicate, consume entertainment and do shopping at extraordinary speeds.

Let’s see exactly how 5G is going to impact retail sector in five ways.

Connected spaces

In today’s world of Internet of Things (IoT), devices continuously exchanging data require a fast and reliable network that doesn’t need much energy. The full-fledged arrival of 5G networks would drastically reduce power consumption by 90 per cent, guaranteeing up to nearly ten years of battery life for lower-powered IoT devices. This means that retailers will be able to access smart shelves similar to those in Amazon Go stores wherein several sensors offer real-time inventory visibility and update pricing as per demand.

Immersive experiences

AR and VR consume loads of processing power and cellular data. But retailers will be greatly benefitted with the increased capacity of 5G networks, as they will be able to create richer and more detailed experiences while fusing their physical and digital domains together. This will create technologies that are already being experimented with and soon become a reality with increased positive response from consumers. This would allow shoppers to check details of products like the materials used or ingredients used to make them with the help of their smartphones or smart glasses.

Moreover, those same applications would also guide customers to the products of their choice by projecting directions into their field of view in real-time as they navigate the store space.


Retailers would also be able to respond to their customers’ buying behaviours and patterns with the help of immersive, tailored content in real-time. Incorporating 5G inside the stores would allow a great level of interactions and data collections between sales associates and customers. This real-time data can be used to create personalised offerings or ads – based on individual customer.


Implementing 5G would also help the logistical side by improving the efficiency levels in fulfilment tasks and accelerating the pace of transportation. A greater connectivity and enhanced steadfastness would help communications between brands, couriers and the end consumers. Interestingly, 5G would enable deployment of automation in transport and warehouses owing to the humungous amount of data collected on a real-time basis.

Ecommerce on mobile

Businesses can attract online sales by making sure that ecommerce platforms are ready to handle 5G users. More and more consumers would be able to seamlessly shop on their phones the day high-quality cell data is accessible to them. Shoppers will be able to buy anything they want at a lightening speed without having to wait for better connectivity. Automated customer service agents and chat bots would be able to answer questions and direct requests without any lag.

Data streaming will be superfast and watching videos at that speed will be popular. This would be the opportunity for companies to cash in on by incorporating more videos and high-quality images into their marketing campaigns – be it online or at the point of sale.


At the 5G Expo we help attendees to move beyond the 5G hype and understand core foundations from market leading brands and 5G providers. We aim to share best practice on all things 5G. 

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