What does having a network that can offer high speed and low latency really mean for retailers, and how can they take advantage of it? Imagine a retail location where customers using an AR-powered mirror can see how clothing looks on them without ever entering a changing room. Or a customer receives immediate, personalized product promotions and recommendations the moment they walk in a store, creating a truly customized experience. These are just a few examples of what 5G can do for the retail customer experience.
With Verizon’s recent expansion of our 5G Ultra Wideband network, which now covers more than 100 million people, it’s easier than ever for small and mid-sized business retailers to access 5G and maximize their technology adoption in the same way that large enterprises do. In fact, a recent Verizon Business Small Business Recovery Survey found that 63% of small and mid-sized business owners have implemented new tools and technology to change their processes and the customer experience. Furthermore, 53% added or upgraded their internet connection with strong bandwidth in the past year to enable high-capacity activities such as cloud-based applications for reliable, always-on customer interactions.
5G can Drive Consumer Engagement
5G is expected to be a powerful catalyst to disrupt retail operations, from optimizing warehouses and supply chain management to transforming the in-store customer experience through personalization and product engagement. The high performance that 5G can provide is the thread that connects new and existing customers to technologies like the Internet of Things (IOT), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
Part of the reason we expect high retail adoption is that consumers are looking for a different and enhanced in-store experience. Our Verizon Look Forward study shows that more than one in five adults anticipate that they will be using self-checkout (23%), contactless credit cards (24%) and contactless mobile payments (22%) more a year from now than they are today. Many of these experiences are already coming to life at big box retailers, which are offering services like checkout-free contactless payment options, AR immersive experiences and self-checkouts.
For retailers, the possibilities are perhaps even more tantalizing, as the high speed that 5G can offer unlocks benefits ranging from operational efficiency improvements in the supply chain and labor productivity to business intelligence allowing near-real time analysis of customer traffic patterns for maximum impact.
Improved Customer Experience
5G technology promises to shake up the retail industry by enhancing overall customer satisfaction through advancements that make it easier to interact and purchase with their favorite products and services, via a more personalized customer journey from the digital space to in store. Verizon’s 5G Business Internet is an alternative to cable-based broadband internet and is a fixed wireless product that delivers a high speed connection powered by 5G Ultra Wideband. Available in select areas, and with a professional install option or a simple self-setup, 5G Business Internet provides a sleeker option for small and mid-sized business owners.
Ultimately, as more consumers return to in-store shopping, maximizing technology is key to creating the type of experience that will drive foot traffic and enhance in-store capabilities. Simultaneously, the explosion in digital commerce driven by the pandemic is here to stay, leaving businesses with a need for reliable connectivity across their operations. The opportunity to drive operational efficiency, while concurrently leveraging technological innovations that were invested in during the pandemic, has businesses poised to surprise and delight their customers, building for a future of success.
Mark Tina is VP of Sales for Verizon Business, Eastern Region. He is responsible for an organization of over 1k sales professionals and leaders, serving small and medium-size businesses with innovative managed solutions for total connectivity, communications and collaboration. His team is focused on helping accelerate the recovery of medium-sized businesses in the U.S. with the power of Verizon’s unmatched 5G, as well as security and connectivity solutions such as BlueJeans, One Talk and Verizon Connect.