Verizon Business, Deloitte bring 5G to retail, transforming customer experiences

Verizon Business and Deloitte today unveiled a 5G and mobile edge computing (MEC) retail industry digital platform that is designed to give retailers the ability to gain significant efficiencies in their retail operations and transform customer experiences. This innovative platform can unlock retail in-store data with near real-time analytics to improve customer engagement, inventory efficiency, and associate productivity. The in-store experience should be significantly enhanced by addressing challenges retailers typically face, such as out-of-stock items, plan-o-gram compliance, and frictionless/cashierless checkout.

Verizon’s 5G network and MEC, combined with advanced technologies such as video camera and sensor-based analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and augmented reality (AR), are the foundational elements of the retail platform. Together with Deloitte’s retail industry and solution engineering experience, the two organizations have developed a set of enterprise-wide use cases that can be enabled by the platform, a reference architecture that amplifies back-office application integration value, and a customizable approach to accelerate outcomes and ROI.

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Verizon Business and Deloitte are collaborating with SAP to integrate SAP’s innovative software suite, including SAP Customer Activity Repository and SAP S/4HANA® into the platform. Enablement of these technologies can offer retailers sustainable business performance and profitability acceleration across key levers, such as revenue, cost of goods sold, and operating margin.

“It’s an exciting moment to unveil this innovative retail collaboration with Deloitte and SAP,” said Tami Erwin, CEO, Verizon Business. “We are entering a new era of technology-led disruption at the exact same moment every retailer is looking to accelerate digital transformation, increase productivity and improve customer experiences. We’re ready to open the doors to Verizon’s transformative 5G and mobile edge compute platform and look forward to helping our customers reimagine everything from their employee experience and supply chain to end-customer use cases.”

Of the many use cases under co-development through this collaboration, one example is near real-time actionable intelligence to address out-of-stock shelf inventory management, where the platform generates automated replenishment notifications to in-store associates to refill shelves from the back of the house and alerts distribution centers to allocate additional inventory. This co-innovation aims to help retailers increase sales, improve margins, offer greater product availability, and give associates more time to engage with customers when they don’t have to spend as much time on activities like cycle counting.

“The opportunity for 5G and MEC to enable frictionless retail experiences and improve asset productivity should have a seismic impact on the retail industry,” said Anthony Stephan, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and US Consulting consumer industry lead. “Our collaboration with Verizon Business and SAP enables us to efficiently and effectively address the concerns of retailers today, providing a best-in-class digital transformation experience that can respond and deliver at the speed of 5G.”