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Future of the Store

How digital innovation and 5G are driving the in-person shopping experience

Every aspect of our daily lives is being affected by digitalization. While consumers can easily spend hours planning, scheduling, socializing, and ofcourse shopping on their phones and computers, the in-store retail experience has yet to catch up. But change is brewing. Recent digital innovations are modernizing the in-store retail experience, and driving big changes for in-person retail.

In this three-part article series, we explore the future of in-store experience and see how retailers can leverage emerging digital technologies to keep the show running.  Whatever tack they take, retailers need to ensure a fast, simple, and seamless digital experience. Are you ready to step into the future of stores?

Emerging digital technologies are driving expectations of convenient, customized digital experiences and lightning-fast, always-on connectivity. The latest generation of digital technology has expanded beyond online shopping to shape the in-person retail experience. Smart displays, interactive kiosks, smart signage, and even augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) product trials are being heavily invested in by retailers.

In this first article of the series, we look at how emerging technologies can improve the consumers’ and store employees’ experiences. Furthermore, we discuss how 5G has the potential to redefine and revolutionize the in-store experience. With the use of 5G technology, brick-and-mortar retailers can engage with their customers and provide them with seamless, personalized, and immersive shopping experiences.

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While e-commerce retailers have increased capability to track customer behavior and analyze data in real-time, brick-and-mortar retailers still face challenges in capturing and effectively using data. This second article in the Future of the Store series, discusses how 5G- and edge-computing-based technology can help with in-store data tracking and analysis, enhancing both the shopping experience and sales.

Besides the scale and speed benefits, combining 5G and edge helps stores inform immediate action, integrate external data, expand predictive analytics, support innovation, increase precision, and improve resiliency. To get started with 5G and edge computing, retailers need to understand how these technologies can support their stores’ long-term vision and improve customers' in-store experience.

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Although much of our daily lives have become digitized, the in-store retail experience has yet to catch up. Change is brewing: many retailers have made improvements in areas like checkout experience, and by blending the online and offline experience. Until now though, only few have taken a comprehensive, tech-forward approach of using IoT to help cut costs, streamline processes, and deliver real-time experiences for customers, store staff, or both. 

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. 

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