Technology has been central to helping small business owners reach customers in new and different ways, from delivering contactless services to simply staying top of mind while people largely stay at home. Now, thanks to 5G, businesses have an opportunity to connect with customers on a whole new level.
You might be thinking, “5G? Look, I’m just trying to keep my store open. I’m not in a position to push the envelope with new technologies.”
But this is exactly the time to think of your future. A Verizon-IDG survey of 100 decision makers in U.S. businesses found that 72% are accelerating their digital transformation efforts, with nearly one-third saying they expect the pace to accelerate significantly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.¹
And 5G isn’t strictly used for massive innovation. In fact, many small business owners who have 5G in their city could start looking into its advantages now.
With 5G, small businesses can look into ways to connect their brand with the local community, remain flexible in mobile offices and reach their customers.
Let’s look at what you can do with 5G to thrive this year and beyond.
Keep your business mobile.
You can’t talk 5G without spotlighting mobility.
By 2024, mobile workers—those who have company-assigned mobile devices like smartphones and tablets—will increase to 93.5 million from 78.5 million in 2020.² With a mobile service that acts and feels like broadband internet, workers can engage on the go.
Professional services, such as architecture or construction, could use mobile 5G networks to improve how they do business. Architects could feel confident that when they send or download massive files showcasing their work, they will reach the right people in 5G quality. Engineers checking on a construction site using 5G mobile hotspots can stay in contact with a home office and upload or download videos to demonstrate progress.
Bring your products to your customers.
In a climate where traditional in-store shopping is largely on hold, mobile technology and 5G connectivity can help you stay top of mind with existing customers and attract new ones. For example, many retailers have turned to pop-up shops to deliver safe experiences to those eager to buy local. 5G networks could provide quick, easy, low-latency connectivity, which could mean fast checkouts and new pop-up spaces to explore. The technology could also improve inventory tracking, help you manage point-of-sale systems and make it easier to cut back on items that aren’t selling.
Small restaurants like breweries and food trucks could access what they need, from their point of sale to social media, while remaining connected to the people who mean the most to their business. Reliable contactless payment also offers another layer of security to customers who want to feel comfortable interacting with businesses in the postpandemic world.
Enliven a new reality.
Faster speeds and less lag time make it possible to use virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to reach customers. Real estate agents could offer immersive virtual tours and presentations to give people a 360-degree view of homes and neighborhoods, reaching a wide pool of homeowners and clients.
It could also open up new possibilities in retail, particularly to reach customers choosing to do most of their shopping online. Instead of limiting people to flat, two-dimensional experiences, clothing boutiques can use 5G to bring virtual dressing rooms to life. The advanced technology could enable customers to “try before they buy” using realistic avatars that show what outfits and accessories will look like when someone puts them on in real life. An AR experience can also give customers easy access to product reviews on their smartphones, so they can make faster purchase decisions.
What will you do with 5G?