As COVID-19 takes over the world, businesses struggle to continue operating normally. Life seems to have come to a standstill. Brick and mortar businesses have no scope at a time when entire countries are under lockdown and people have quarantined themselves within homes.
Amidst this state of emergency while the pandemic rages on, businesses can’t pull down their shutters. As people practice social distancing, there only hope for survival is through the internet. They’re glued to their screens to stay in contact with friends and family, continue doing work projects online, and most of all shop around to kill time.
Google has reported that coronavirus has become the most frequented search phrase this year. Since COVID-19 updates are making millions of stories and posts on social media, businesses can harness this attention to keep their customers engaged. Here are some key suggestions.
Expressions of Support
The global population is mobilized by mass hysteria and panic. As of now, the death toll has reached over 21,000 across the world. Healthcare institutions and medical authorities know little more than the laymen about COVID-19. Lack of credible information has left people devoid of any certainty about their future. Not only do they lack social support, toilet paper and sanitizers, but also the emotional strength to deal with this situation.
Businesses must step up and take the lead in extending support to customers. This will not only help them engage with their customer base but also curb economic losses in times to come. The objective should be to spread awareness about the current situation from a sensitive standpoint.
Invest in Community Building
Communities of people—some of whom have been affected by the virus—are distraught. However, even during this global shutdown, the world of internet thrives. It has been reported that e-commerce trends such as investments, live streaming and gamification in China are accelerating. This is a lucrative opportunity for businesses to catch up with their customers and make their presence known.
It’s time to rethink the allotment of the annual budget for investments and put online marketing on the list of agendas. Big businesses, like Forest Cabin in China, are now using live streaming with its customers, even after shutting down 337 stores across the nation. It’s time that businesses work on building an online community of buyers and secure their niche in e-commerce.
AR To the Rescue
Even with increased online engagement, there are some hurdles that businesses are yet to face. Online buying is quintessentially a virtual experience of exploring options and making purchases. All decisions are based on pictures and videos of the product that customers are interested in. This can’t come close to the experience of going into a physical store and making purchases in real.
But businesses can use AR applications to make the virtual experience as realistic as possible. Allow your customers to bridge the gap of social isolation with your stores by using AR apps. A 3D visualization of your products will allow them to envision them better and shop with greater certainty.