The internet giant from Hangzhou in China, Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) is trying to change how people buy things online. But it will be not without a few challenges, says most experts. The business recently created the “Singles Day”, which was the biggest ever online shopping event in the world. It was a huge success.
On November 11 every year, millions of people across Asia, including China, go on a massive buying frenzy. Traditionally, people have been buying on mobile apps and websites. But this time, Alibaba introduced a number of new concepts, which the business hopes will change the way people will shop in the future.
Alibaba is introducing Buy+ virtual reality (VR). Buyers will either have to use a virtual reality headset or use a cardboard frame, which is much the same as Google’s Cardboard that will slot into their smartphones. They can then explore virtual replicas of stores. With the headset, buyers can walk around a shop, pick up things and examine them virtually. To buy instantly, they have to just stare at floating buttons.
The cardboard frame costs just 1 Yuan or $0.15.
But are we ready for such high-end tech yet? Observers are saying that virtual reality shopping is going to take off big time as buyers will have a more immersive experience. Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) is the first business that is doing this big time.
They are saying that Alibaba is creating their own virtual reality mall to have a head start over other businesses, which will surely come up with their own systems soon and begin to encroach on this Chinese player’s systems. However, the problem is, hardware is not yet affordable, and this might prevent many people from using the system. Yes, smartphones are used widely, but the virtual reality experience with them isn’t quite great as yet.
Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) has been holding giveaways and online contests in its lead-up to the big sale day. This year, they have also used augmented reality. It’s the same technology used in Pokemon Go, the popular game.
By using an app, shoppers can now capture Tmall’s cat mascot at restaurants and shops and win “red packets”. Shoppers have to keep visiting to win rewards. However, some analysts are saying that many shoppers are likely to become tired soon, as soon as the novelty factor begins to wane. For instance, the number of Pokemon Go players has gone down substantially since its launch.