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Alibaba launches full VR shopping experience with Buy+

/ 03:48 AM November 29, 2016
Alibaba Buy+ virtual shopping interface

Online shopping is taken up a notch higher, thanks to virtual reality technology.  Image Twitter/@AlibabaGroup

Virtual reality is the buzz everywhere. With multiple companies working to bring the technology to an affordable level, it becomes easier to integrate it into the modern lifestyle. Now it’s Alibaba’s turn to bring VR to consumers through its VR shopping experience.

Called Buy+, it does not require a big fancy HTC Vive or Oculus Rift—just a simple cardboard VR headset and smartphone combo will do, reports Forbes.

Buy+ allows customers to browse items in a virtual mall as if they were walking through the physical structure themselves. If anything, it’s like playing a video game. But unlike video games, customers can make real-time purchases, thanks to the system’s integration with Alipay. It’s as simple as navigating a virtual interface, so there is no need to remove the VR headset until the customer is done shopping.

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Apart from giving shoppers more options, it also allows brands that do not have physical shops in certain markets, such as China, to reach a wider audience.

Buy+ was launched during the annual Singles Day shopping festival held earlier in November. It is also part of Alibaba’s effort to blend entertainment with commerce to make shopping entertaining for customers and not just another chore.  Alfred Bayle

Watch the promotional video for Buy+ below:

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TAGS: Alibaba, Buy+, Ecommerce, online shopping, virtual reality, VR shopping
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