Chinese e-commerce service Alibaba, which has over 400 million users worldwide, is set to open up a research laboratory that aims to test 3D and virtual reality technologies as potential additions to the online shopping industry.
According to a report by Bloomberg, the company has already created workable 3D models for hundreds of products. However, very few additional details are known about these products, or the rest of Alibaba’s progress.
The potential integration of virtual reality and 3D imaging to e-commerce platforms would allow customers to develop a sufficient working knowledge of a product without ever having to hold it in their hands.
This, according to experts, could help boost sales of products worldwide, as well as change the face of online shopping forever.
The amount of bouncing between sites to compare descriptions and images of a product could drastically decrease for customers as a result of this technological breakthrough.
Many businesses offer incentives and discounts to shoppers who do their purchasing online and in bulk. The average online shopper spends about $78 per session, but that number could greatly change when virtual reality previews of products are available.
Incentives like these are responsible for broad, sweeping changes across several industries. Even the automobile industry has seen increased revenues by offering an inventory, and better deals, online — even if a virtual reality test drive isn’t possible just yet.
In fact, car manufacturers are reporting increased sales all across the board from their online-only listings, even with electric and other low-emissions cars.
People are understandably a little worried about how this technology might be implemented, and how we are being kept safe when making massive purchases online like a new automobile.
Yet fraud, identity theft, and other types of common Internet crimes have Americans on their toes already about giving over credit card information to retailers.
A startup company, Privacy.com, recently capitalized on these concerns and developed technology that allows users to have “virtual” credit cards tied to their bank accounts for use online, allowing them to make purchases online without submitting any actual banking information.
While it may not be the long-term answer we’re looking for, one thing is certain — the world of online shopping is about to undergo massive change. It could affect your life greatly.