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Retail Fest Australia 2024: How 5G is enabling retail innovation

09 May 2024

MobileCorp and Cradlepoint, part of Ericsson, joined forces to showcase how 5G is enabling innovation across the retail industry at Retail Fest 2024. 

 

How is 5G empowering retail innovation?

The emergence of 5G has opened up new ways of delivering personalised customer experiences, data-driven edge computing, and agile retail networks. Key benefits of 5G include:

๐Ÿ“ฑ Mobile phone as the shopping companion

Mobile devices are no longer just communication tools; they've become essential shopping companions. Tech-savvy shoppers expect integrated mobile-friendly experiences that engage and deliver personalised benefits. Despite this known consumer behaviour, many Australian stores have patchy or unreliable mobile reception.  Retailers can take advantage of 5G-native routers and smart repeaters to bring 5G indoors and allow shoppers to more readily engage online instore.

๐ŸŒ Embracing 'online-real world' omnichannel shopping

Blurring the line between online and bricks and mortar shopping is as natural as breathing to Millennials, Gen Z and our newest Gen Alphas. These are the digital integrators, having embedded technology seamlessly and 24/7 into their lives. What's more, most prefer of these younger generations prefer to shop online. The emergence of 5G  allows retailers to offer omnichannel shopping experiences which embrace the seamless transition from online research to in-store action. Access to online review and comparisons, personalised instore offers, and exciting new technologies like augmented reality changing rooms, will encourage younger shoppers to venture instore. 

๐Ÿ›’ Enticing shoppers with store experiences

Physical stores can no longer be a place when shoppers come to buy stuff, they must become places where shoppers come to do stuff. Retailers need to embrace the sensory advantages of having enticed a shopper instore. 5G offers access to unique personalised experiences that go beyond transactional purchases - that reward shoppers for turning up. Think immersive displays, interactive elements - QR code entry to competitions is already commonplace -, and curated personalised offers via mobile apps that speak to the personal interests of individual shoppers.

๐Ÿ“Š Refining and Replenishing with data processing

5G enables the collection and processing of data at the edge. The possibilities for operational efficiencies and customer engagement arise from real time analysis of data from sensors, cameras, and customer interactions with kiosks. Stores can track foot traffic, dwell time, and product availability on shelf.  They can provide way-finding services on the customer's device, and 

 

5G for engaging shopper experience

We know that up to 80% of shoppers already use their mobile phones when shopping in the physical world.

They make pricing comparisons, check product reviews, search whether an item is in stock, or where to find it in store, send photos from dressing rooms to their friends, and pay with their digital wallet.

Younger shoppers are most likely to rely on their phone as a companion to their physical shopping experience. Gen Z, currently aged from around 11 to 26 is the largest generation ever, comprising around 20% of Australiaโ€™s population. Gen Z does much of its research and purchasing over the internet. In an Afterpay survey, 64% of Gen Zs and the Millennials that preceded them, said they preferred to shop online rather than in person. They like the convenience of being able to shop from anywhere 24/7, the ease of being able to compare multiple stores as they search for what they want, and the reassurance of reading reviews and ratings.

Brick and mortar retailers can entice younger shoppers instore by utilising 5G to bridge the gap between the physical and online worlds and provide the connectivity required for immersive experiences including:

  • Instore promotions and product information, way-finding
  • Geo-location SMS marketing
  • App-based Loyalty Programs
  • Augmented Reality changing room
  • Interactive & immersive experiences
  • Access for digital payments

 

  • 80 percent of shoppers use their mobile phone as a shopping companion.

two women on phone in mall with shopping bags

 

5G for Retail Networks

5G is at the forefront of enabling new technologies which will redefine our shopping behaviours and experiences.

The high bandwidth, low latency and faster speeds of 5G, combined with new 5G-embedded Cradlepoint routers and adapters, open up these new possibilities that less agile wired networks struggle to support.

๐Ÿ•ง Day 1 Availability 

Main Challenge: waiting for wired line installation
Ensuring day 1 connectivity at new locations with a cloud-managed high-performance Cradlepoint 5G router for a primary link.  Businesses can open new locations without hoping a wired connection will be ready in time. 

 

๐Ÿ“ถ Failover Wireless

Main Challenge: WAN link failure

Shoppers having to abandon full trolleys when the checkouts go offline or customers unable to use eftpos due to a network failure.  Both are surprisingly commonplace and a retailer's worst nightmare. 5G failover automatically send traffic across the wireless link as soon as the primary wired link degrades or fails. Once the wired link is restored, traffic flow returns to normal. 

๐Ÿ›๏ธ Pop-Up Stores

Main Challenge: unavailable or unreliable wired connectivity/span>

Set up retail services such as POS anywhere, anytime, and incredibly fast. All-in-one Cradlepoint 5G solutions for pop-up networks include a firewall, easy VPN setup, content filtering, and IPS/IDS โ€“ allowing organisations to keep all types of data secure from one site to the next. 

๐Ÿฌ Store Within a Store

Main Challenge: Quickly getting a physically separate network within a larger store.

5G allows companies to bring their own network. Even without any access to the main storeโ€™s network stack and security applications, the store-within-a-store 5G network can protect important customer and company data through an all-in-one branch router with a built-in firewall and support for cloud-based security services โ€” providing peace of mind for both the big-box store and the smaller enterprise. IT can remotely monitor WAN conditions and data usage at each location โ€” saving money and fixing issues much more quickly. 

๐Ÿ›ˆ Digital Kiosks

Main Challenge: Unavailable, inflexible or unaffordable wired connectivity

Kiosks are being utilised in new use cases as a means to optimise customer experience through speed and convenience. Many kiosks accept credit card payments, which is challenging for IT teams that need to move the kiosks intermittently, protect cardholder data, and remotely manage connectivity. Cradlepoint's IOT 5G routers with embedded cellular modem provide a private air-gapped network to protect customers' payment data, while cloud access allows remote troubleshooting and reduced truck rolls.

๐ŸšฅDigital Signage

Main Challenge: monitoring connectivity and remote management

Digital signage is becoming more prevalent across retail environments. Whether a giant screen or digital price tags, 'always on' connectivity is critical. 5G enables cloud management which in turn provides real time visibility of all signs including device ID, device location, and signal strength. It also allows out-of-band management of the devices for network troubleshooting. 

digital signage retail fruit

 

MobileCorp and Cradlepoint showcase 5G at Retail Fest 2024

MobileCorp is one of Australia's leading 5G network MSPs. We have deployed some of Australia's first 5G networks for retail. 

At Retail Fest Australia 2024, held in the Gold Coast from 16-18 April, MobileCorp discussed with delegates how 5G can power agile retail for stores, warehouses and supply chain.

Utilising Cradlepoint 5G-native hardware and the NetCloud management platform, 5G is a cost effective alternative to fixed infrastructure and WiFi. 

5G for Retail brochure cover + pages landscape

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Case Study: Iconic Australian department store deploys 5G for network resilience 

In 2023, MobileCorp in partnership with Cradlepoint and Telstra,  deployed a 5G failover network for one of Australia's iconic big box retailers.

The risk of network downtime is mitigated for its 300+ stores across Australia and New Zealand with dual SIMs in a cloud managed Cradlepoint W1855 router providing third and fourth level redundancy.

MobileCorp provided consultancy, network architecture, proof of concept support, device procurement and configuration, SIM card connectivity, and signal testing. We continue to provide a managed service including network monitoring, network alert and response, remote troubleshooting and a support desk. 

The project, along with our leadership in deploying 5G networks, earned MobileCorp the Telstra Mobility Partner of the Year 2023 award. Read more

Telstra Mobility Partner of the Year - Winner - sky80 - email-1 Premier Partner 2023


About MobileCorp

MobileCorp is an enterprise ICT solutions company with a mission to deliver our customers a communications technology edge. We provide Managed Mobility Services, Enterprise Mobility Management, Complex Data and IP Networks, and Unified Communication solutions. We have a proven track record providing managed services for Australian enterprise and business, and we are a Telstra Platinum Partner and a Cradlepoint Premier Partner. 

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