5G retail boost ‘hampered by home-shopping’
Written by Hannah McGrath
An anticipated boost to e-commerce from 5G networks is unlikely to materialise according to a new study, which found that 65 per cent of shoppers prefer to make online purchases at home after browsing on their smartphones.
A survey of 10,000 online shoppers by data analysis platform GlobalData found that shoppers prefer to hit the ‘buy’ button on purchases from a laptop or desktop at home rather than buy items on the move.
Online retailers had expected the roll out of high speed 5G networks to increase the reliability of connections and drive a rise in consumer spending over mobile, which is rapidly overtaking traditional methods of shopping.
However, James Yacoub, analyst at GlobalData said, “There is limited evidence to suggest that there is an appetite to shop on the go at this time.
He added: “Evidence from GlobalData's survey suggests that consumers have reservations about shopping when outside of homes or work, for reasons including security, storage issues and poor imagery.”
5G rollout is currently restricted to certain areas of the UK, with few consumers owning 5G-enabled devices. Analysts predict that it could be years before the technology to support high speed 5G connections enters the mainstream and is affordable to the majority of consumers.
Retailers are also expecting that lower latency speed of 5G can enable the implementation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as smart shelves that use sensors can keep a real-time track of stock, and can communicate to logistics when a product is low, simplifying the overall stock control process.
5G is also expected to provide a boost to customer engagement technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and gamification.
Yacoub added: “For data collection to be effective, fast and reliable, technology is essential, particularly when the data is being used for time-sensitive offerings such as smart-shelves, proximity marketing or instant personalisation experiences.”