Adopting 5G Device and Mobile Productivity in Style

An interview with Lee Wei Kang, Head of IT Asia, Cotton On

25 April 2022

“Cotton On was looking for new possibilities with 5G mobile solutions and iPhone 13 on StarHub’s Device Lifecycle Management Service with zero upfront CAPEX was our answer.” 

In a rapidly changing landscape, retail companies have to be agile and responsive by staying closely connected to their brick-and-mortar stores to be successful. Digital transformation is more necessary than ever before.

When it comes to the retail industry, digital adoption for internal workforce operations are slow. Factors such as the size of the company, pace of the work environment, and high cost of device ownership are just some of the many struggles faced by retail businesses looking to make the switch to go digital.

Cotton On Group is Australia’s largest global retailer, known for its fashion clothing and stationery brands. It has over 1,500 stores in 18 countries, and sources its materials worldwide.

Lee Wei Kang, Head of IT of Cotton On Asia, shares how leveraging new digital solutions like iPhone 13 on StarHub 5G with their subscription-based Device Lifecycle Management Service has truly transformed the way they work.

Zero Cost Upfront, Maximum Productivity

“StarHub Device Lifecycle Management saves us time and money when it comes to repairs. Courtesy loan sets are provided by StarHub, so there is no need to travel to services centres or to buy spare devices.”

Switching staff to a 5G-enabled smart device would have been a substantial upfront investment, but with StarHub, Cotton On can upgrade their employees’ devices to the latest iPhone 13 worry-free with no upfront cost on a subscription-based monthly model.

The benefits go beyond cost. Wei Kang and his team save time by omitting the need to travel down to Apple authorised service centres for device repairs as courtesy device loan sets, pick up and return of devices are provided and handled by StarHub. In addition, the team no longer has to keep spare devices on hand, saving them not only space, but money too.

He quips, “we don’t just enjoy worry-free support; we also get the latest device refresh with every contract renewal. We no longer need to constantly track for the latest deals!”

Fast Fashion Meets Fast 5G Connectivity 

“Our productivity levels are up thanks to the adoption of digital mobile solutions with blazing 5G connectivity. This has definitely helped us smoothen day-to-day operational issues so we can focus on what matters.”

Before the adoption of 5G, Cotton On visual merchandising employees were not able to instantaneously receive large files, such as floor layouts and large administrative documents, on their devices; instead, they had to access these files from their work desks away from the sales floor.

“Cotton On is fast paced and we wanted our staff to stay ahead with trends and changes in the retail industry.” Thanks to StarHub 5G, Cotton On Singapore staff and visual merchandisers can now easily receive and review large files on-the-go. This has resulted in less time spent planning sales floor layouts, allowing them to prep ahead of time. He adds, “Our visual merchandisers also find it easier to stay connected to HQ team members and sales floor employees from different outlets while working in-store.”

Wei Kang also shared that “StarHub 5G has enabled me to view HD videos and in-store cameras without interruptions. With the high-speed connectivity, the refresh rate is so much faster too, with more fluid motion on-screen, making our Cotton On intranet experience even better.” 

Taking our Digital Transformation Further

“On top of changing the way we communicate through lag-free video conferencing calls, gaining access to instant insights has been a gamechanger for our team.” 

Wei Kang and the Cotton On team have also derived greater efficiencies on the back-end, through the use of mobile apps such as FIIX and UKG Dimensions in the day-to-day running of the company’s stores in Singapore, from dealing with maintenance issues to staff rostering.

FIIX, a maintenance app, empowers office and sales floor employees to identify in-store faulty equipment, scan QR codes, check-out parts and even work offline. As such, defects can be addressed quickly, with little disruption to daily operations.

UKG Dimensions, on the other hand, enables HR and store managers to better plan employee schedules, swap shifts and apply for time off, without the need for multiple approvals and applications.

iPhone 13 on StarHub 5G has also enabled the team to make high quality video calls on Facetime, allowing visual merchandisers and store managers to share in-store videos and screen share documents seamlessly.

Playing Dress-Up: The Future of Retail with 5G

“5G has transformed the way we work; it has also bridged the gap between store employees and Cotton On’s Singapore office. We are excited to see what 5G holds for the future of retail businesses everywhere.”

The possibilities with 5G are endless. Here are some case studies that illustrate how 5G can be a game-changer in helping retail businesses stand out from the competition by enhancing customer experiences:

  • AR/VR changing rooms -> Shoppers can virtually try on clothing & beauty products without physically touching the item itself. Not only is this hygienic; it also provides convenience for customers and reduces the rate of product returns for the store.
  • Personalised experience -> Picture this: a customer is walking around a mall. Your store window display with a mannequin and large HD screen catches her eye. As she stops in front of the screen, she sees a life-size recreation of herself in the same clothes on display. These personalised experiences can help increase not just footfall, but also sales.
  • No more checkout lines -> Customers can simply scan labels directly and pay for items on their smartphone, saving stores manpower and reducing human error. 


Ready to future-proof your retail business with 5G? Make 5G mobile adoption easy with zero upfront payment via StarHub 5G Digital Workplace today. 

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