Oct 15, 2020|

JD.com Makes Online Shopping Possible for The Visually Impaired


by Yuchuan Wang

Today is White Cane Safety Day, which recognizes the achievements of blind or visually impaired people. According to the China Disabled Persons’ Federation, there are over 17 million visually impaired people in China, many of which are now able to enjoy the conveniences of online shopping thanks to JD’s efforts.

For many visually impaired people, placing an order online in the past seemed as mission impossible. But since 2016, JD.com has continually upgraded its shopping app to enable easier shopping for disabled people, especially the visually impaired. JD’s app is now able to help the blind accurately search and buy products by utilizing their ears, with spoken notifications for functions from searching to screening to pay, and even letting consumers know the latest promotions and coupons.

Liquan Wu is a JD customer who lost his sight. In an appreciation letter to JD, he wrote, “Because of JD, I am able to shop freely in a way that people like me have always dreamed of; because of JD, people who can’t see can buy items for our parents, relatives and friends, which we could never do before. It feels so great that I never want to lose it.”

JD’s R&D team conducted in-depth research into the needs of visually impaired consumers, with some team members often visiting massage parlors staffed by blind masseuses, in order to get first-hand user feedback. JD also collaborated with the Information Accessibility Research Association based in Shenzhen, to accurately understand the user group’s needs based on scientific data and real experiences.

Leveraging technology, JD has built a communication bridge with the disabled. The company hopes to light a bigger world for the visually impaired through continuous innovation in technology.