Could this be the world’s first 3D shopping platform?

With Black Friday approaching, we look at how one company is working to shake up the retail industry.

The cross-platform experience permits online 3D shopping on personal computers, tablets, and smartphones. The cross-platform experience permits online 3D shopping on personal computers, tablets, and smartphones. Take a close look at this picture. It's not an actual store, but a 3D rendering of one. (Photo: TriDshops)

What if you could experience shopping in a brick-and-mortar store from home by strolling down virtual aisles, examining products closely, and even turning them 360 degrees to get more information? Thanks to Israel-based startup TriDshops, now you can. The company teamed up with OneCode, a software development shop located nearby just south of Tel Aviv, to take the 3D shopping experience to the next level. Together, they created a platform that enables retailers to quickly set up an easy-to-navigate online store that mimics the actual buying experience.

The benefit to the consumer is two-fold. The technology enables users to shop easily from anywhere, be it a personal computer, tablet or smartphone. But unlike traditional online stores, the TriDshops shopping experience is more robust and more closely resembles real life. It humanizes online shopping to a degree.

TriDshop's 3D shopping platform offers users additional information about the product – with video clips and rich media content – and makes it possible to closely examine goods. Need to speak with a store manager? No problem. Users can contact the sellers directly for support through a help screen. The system even integrates elements of social shopping, in which each user can invite friends through social media to join them in browsing the 3D virtual store to exchange opinions about the products.

"We are negotiating with a number of leading brands about the use of our platform, and we will soon launch the first pilot," said Dror Sorek, an entrepreneur from Israel who first came up with the idea for TriDshops in 2012.

The platform is designed to enhance shopping experiences for all types of retail businesses and industries, from fashion, footwear and children's toys, to electronics, jewelry and cars. Store owners simply choose the model, design and color of their virtual shops and then easily fill their shelves with products.

It could help these store owners gain virtual "foot traffic" at a time when consumers are electing to shop online more than ever.

Consumers’ retail trips in November and December, the two biggest shopping months of the year, dropped from 35 billion visits in 2010 to 17.6 billion visits in 2013, according to a report from Cushman & Wakefield. Retail traffic fell 11.4 percent year-over-year in November 2014 and another 7.1 percent in December, according to RetailNext, a firm which provides in-store analytics.

TriDshops' platform is also intriguing to younger shoppers who prefer interactive and individualistic experiences over retail stores, which can be monotonous, even boring. Retailers are increasingly catering to this audience, as research shows that they spend approximately $600 billion annually.

As consumers grow more dependent on digital devices to provide convenience to their everyday experiences, retailers will need to meet their customer’s needs to survive, let alone thrive. TriDshops' platform delivers consumers a new-age shopping experience that's tough to beat.

Lindsay E. Brown is the managing editor of Eco-Chick, the web’s first ethical fashion, beauty and travel site for women. She has written for Whole Living Magazine, Edible, and Cottages & Gardens. Lindsay has been featured as a fashion and beauty expert on the Veria Living Network. Lindsay holds a BS in Global Business Studies and Marketing from Manhattan College, and received the 2012 Honors Award at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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