5G, new features fuel retail's upbeat outlook

5G, new features fuel retail's upbeat outlook

Shopping experience to be revolutionised

Availability of 5G, coupled with Internet of Things (IoT) and real-time data analytics, will revolutionise the customer shopping experience with mixed online-and-offline and personalised features, say tech and retail operators.

"The pandemic is changing user behaviours towards online shopping, which is affecting the retail landscape. It requires analytics of data drawn from people shopping at retail stores and those shopping online," said Reynazran Royono, founder and chief executive of Snapcart, which provides a real-time shopper engagement tool.

He was speaking at a virtual seminar on 5G and the retail industry organised by True Digital Group and Techsauce yesterday.

5G, IoT, artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) could help foster seamless shopping experiences through a blend of online and offline modes and they are expected to empower the retail industry in years to come, he said.

With the ongoing pandemic, people try to avoid touching items in stores and need contactless checkouts. AR technology can be used to show product or brand information in stores.

In terms of personalisation approaches, retailers can leverage AI and machine learning to offer personalised pricing and promotions.

"This could happen in the future," said Mr Royono, adding pricing could be personalised based on the number of trips consumers have made to the shop.

He said 5G retail use cases could also help boost retail operational effectiveness, including inventory management.

With IoT, intelligent cameras and sensors which monitor store operations, work efficiency at the stores will be improved. These technologies can help shed light on how products can be exhibited in a way that entices people's interest.

In the future, retailers can capitalise on data drawn from users and connected devices as well as provide it to others in different services. Data can provide leads for offers or promotions for shoppers.

Sulabh Dhanuka, International B2B Business head of True Digital Group, said customers are now familiar and comfortable with online shopping while people in Asia have a big preference for social media when it comes to shopping.

Technologies can also help boost retail effectiveness. For example, customers can go to a shop even if they know they may not get the items right away. They can be confident the items will be sent to their houses the day after placing an order.

Axel Winter, chief digital officer of Siam Piwat, a retail and development firm, said 5G is one piece of the puzzle as it needs great apps and features that support the shopping experience. Retailers can use data they have and seek more sources for analysis, he said.

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