Dubai tech co plans ambitious immersive virtual mall, to debut in 2020
The company is targeting Millennial shoppers with the e-mall, many of them in the emerging markets that are where much of the fashions sector’s strongest growth is coming from.
With plans to go live in 2020, it wants to be a platform offering a “personalised experience to each user within a virtual world” and said it will use “innovative integrations and technologies to enhance the customer's experience.”
That means brand immersion, virtual reality, on-ground AR cues, micro-influencer reviews, artificial intelligence and machine learning, cross-platform loyalty and multi cryptocurrency acceptance.
Mall.Global can’t be accused of thinking small on this front and while there will undoubtedly be major challenges ahead, the company claims its platform will have over 2,500 brand stores and it will see sequential launches across the Gulf states, India, North Africa, Europe, CIS and China. It will undergo testing with live customer sets early next year.
The company said emerging markets are home to 90% of the world's Millennials, with an annual income expected to be more than $4 trillion by 2030. “Mall.Global's True Hybrid experience is designed to match the lifestyle of these digital natives,” it said in a news release on Monday.
It added that Mall.Global is "designed to be the true definition of a digital mall, where brands can do much more than just sell products and in fact recreate the retail experience to deliver the perfect bridge between on-ground and online.”
Mall.Global CEO, entrepreneur Sofya Shamuzova, said: "Some of the best innovations of our time have come as a result of need. The need, in this case, was to attain a higher level of value and convenience, maintain all aspects of online shopping that consumers are used to and retain the essence of brand personas as in traditional retail.
“The platform is designed to address the most common wishes of customers with features like 'Try & Buy' to ensure 100% satisfaction in every sense of the word. We often hear that e-commerce is the future of all retail; I say it is its present, at best. The future is a place where customers don't just browse and buy products but actually experience the brand before they do so, and Mall.Global will offer just that.”
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