Endless aisle. Sounds like a shopper’s dream, right? In reality, it can be.

Thanks to some digital wizardry, brick-and-mortar retailers now can offer their shoppers an almost endless selection of merchandise. This helps them compete effectively with online retailers within the traditional retail setting.

Here’s how it works: Touchscreens are set up in stores, which allows shoppers to seamlessly move from the physical to the digital. Say a consumer finds a blouse she likes but the store doesn’t have the right size or color. The shopper simply scans the barcode on the digital sign, which displays all of the colors and sizes available to be shipped directly to the consumer’s home.

But possibilities from there really are almost endless. The digital signage can be programmed to suggest similar blouses and matching accessories. If the shopper provides her profile information, further recommendations can be made based on purchase history. And, via an opt-in facial recognition engine at the store, the shopper can pick-up a purchased item or return an item – no sales clerk needed.

It’s a win-win situation. Consumers get the products they’re looking for, regardless of whether they’re in stock at that particular store. And retailers can increase sales while increasing customer satisfaction.

This new, smart retail application was developed by Intel and AT&T at the AT&T Foundry in Atlanta. The self-service solution uses edge computing, Intel’s Xeon processors, the Intel® Distribution of OpenVINO™ toolkit - an AI-driven computer vision software that enables fast and accurate facial recognition - and ties it all together using AT&T’s network. By combining AI and edge computing capabilities, we can deliver personalized information to shoppers quickly and more securely.

Looking to the immediate future, opportunities to digitally transform the retail experience abound with technologies like 5G. Retailers will be able to set up pop-up stores quickly with just a 5G mobile hotspot, providing super-fast speeds and low latency. Think about opportunities of selling merchandise at fashion weeks, concerts and sporting events.

Want to see endless aisle in action? Come by the Intel booth at Mobile World Congress Barcelona, Hall 3, Booth 3E31 to see a demonstration.