The customers won't be the only ones that experience the benefits of 5G. In fact, it will reach every step in the supply chain by enabling real-time visibility when paired with the right Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Lower latency and faster download speeds will facilitate more reliable inventory tracking, whether it's a single item or an entire pallet. Soon, it will be possible to see goods leave the factory, get moved down a highway or even across an ocean to a distribution center, and finally to a retail shelf.
In distribution centers, 5G's low latency can pair with advanced video intelligence to enhance security and occupational safety. In a physical store, 5G enables the use of "smart shelves" with dozens of IoT sensors to provide real-time inventory visibility, so they can be quickly restocked while adhering to planograms. This avoids customer-frustrating product shortages without overstocking, as well as insight into what's selling and what isn't.
Mix in AI algorithms, and it becomes possible to leverage accurate real-time data to track shipments, optimize schedules at warehouse docks and use temperature sensors to monitor and safeguard perishable goods, such as food and pharmaceuticals. This can reduce waste and deliver significant financial benefits by reducing waste.
The impending 5G impact comes at a turbulent time for brick-and-mortar retailers. Many are still adjusting to digitization, but 5G should be a critical element of industry-transforming multi-access edge computing capabilities. The ability to empower a wide array of devices—some of which are only just emerging—to communicate in real-time will help retailers adapt and enhance the customer experience while maintaining profit margins.
Learn how Verizon's 5G network can help you prepare for the future of retail by solving your retail technology and IT dilemmas.