5G has arrived – what will it mean for the retail market?


The so-called decline of the Great British high street has been widely discussed for a while now, with the retail sector suffering adversely as a result of Brexit uncertainty and the growing dominance of ecommerce channels. In fact, the former caused retail growth to drop by 0.5% in the year ending February 2019, with further losses expected between now and October.

Whilst the marketplace is unlikely to fully recover until retailers receive greater clarity concerning the UK’s future relationship with its trade partners in the U.S., the impending roll out of 5G connectivity could provide a significant shot in the arm for the industry. 

We’ll explore this further in the article below, whilst asking whether forex traders who are active in the retail trade sector can also prosper thanks to the introduction of 5G.

How will 5G impact on the retail sector and the economy as a whole?

According to initial estimates, 5G could well supercharge the economy by up to £15.7 billion per annum over the course of the next six years.

Even in the case of a slower-than-anticipated rollout and relatively restricted usage, the implementation of 5G networks could add around £8.3 billion to the UK economy during the same period and potentially help businesses to cope with the expected Brexit fallout.

Regardless of the rate at which 5G is adopted by brands, however, it’s expected that retailers will reap the biggest dividends of this technology. This is particularly true in the case of ecommerce brands, who will benefit from superior connectivity, faster download speeds and more efficient order fulfilment online.

It’s fair to see that there’s much more to 5G technology than meets the eye, however, with offline retailers also able to reap the benefits of improved connectivity. It certainly has the potential to deliver incremental improvements to the instore customer experience, whilst it can also transform warehouse management and efficiencies nationwide.

More specifically, advanced 5G networks can help retailers to realise the full potential of additional technologies such as artificial intelligence, robots and the Internet of Things, whilst creating a more connected environment in which businesses can improve efficiency and track shipments in real-time.

This is an important consideration for all businesses, especially with traditional retailers now increasingly likely to sell and ship their products online. With the implementation of 5G, they can effectively improve their supply chains whilst tracking items at every stage of the delivery cycle, which in turn translates into a superior experience for consumers.

When will 5G be officially rolled out?

There has been some initial controversy surrounding the 5G rollout in the UK, after the government collaborated with Chinese tech leaders Huawei to build the country’s network.

This has helped the UK to push ahead with its 5G plans, with initial pilots having already been commenced in a host of major cities including London, the Midlands, Edinburgh and Belfast.

Not only this, but market-leading mobile network EE also became the first service provider to roll out its 5G network on May 30th, with rivals Vodafone expected unveil their own offering in seven cities nationwide on July 3rd.

What about retail Forex traders?

If 5G does contribute to a growing retail sector and more prosperous economy in the UK, the this will also be reflected by a stronger pound. 

At the same time, the faster speeds available through 5G networks will enable high-frequency retail forex traders to complete a high volume of orders rapidly and in real-time, and this could translate into incremental benefits for investors.

Retail forex trading has becoming increasingly popular in the digital age, thanks to the advent of online platforms such as Oanda. After all, this has allowed FX traders to access a live global marketplace and speculate on fluctuating exchange rates between currencies, whilst potentially benefitting from huge margin-based returns.

Make no mistake; a strong pound helps investors to carve out lucrative positions in the market, whilst it’s also indicative of a thriving retail sector.