Despite its dominance in China, Alibaba won’t be sweeping away US market share in the near future. Rather, it will take a major acquisition or a number of years for Alibaba to pull together a platform that could compete with major players like Amazon, Apple, eBay, and Facebook, according to new Forrester research.

But when it comes to Alibaba’s long-term strategy, anything is fair game. “Future investment possibilities include real estate, to bridge the gap between online and offline transactions, or possibly an alternative payment provider to help drive cross-border sales,” writes Forrester in the new research. “The specific strategy is unclear, but it’s likely that whatever Alibaba invests in will provide the one thing the company cares about the most: consumer data.”

While Alibaba’s end game does remain unclear, Forrester sees three main global investment strategies stemming from Alibaba’s shift to operate outside of China: 1) eCommerce investments to launch new platforms and drive sales; 2) logistics partnerships to move products faster, cheaper, and farther; and 3) mobile investments to acquire customer intelligence.

Learn more about Forrester’s take on Alibaba’s impending IPO here.