As the world unites in a stand against the global pandemic, COVID-19, and more countries require their citizens to self-quarantine, I believe brands should consider swapping their selling endeavors to corporate social responsibility activities and find ways to add value to their stay-at-home consumers.

 

We have gotten so used to living fast-paced and dynamic lives, and it truly is challenging for global citizens to slow down and avoid such former must-haves as travel, nights-out, events, cinemas, shopping sprees, and more.

 

While this pandemic has put a lot of businesses at a standstill, for the time being, I believe brands must keep the conversation going with their potential and loyal customers, helping them to unwind and stay put. While this will help people who are stuck at home, it will also ensure a more certain return to the market for the business that’s been there throughout the crises once the situation stabilizes.

 

One of the avenues that brands can explore is augmented reality, which can help them to provide interactive experiences that educate, inspire, and, most of all, entertain people.

Augmented reality games

While there is no doubt that people will use this time to binge-watch Netflix and catch up on their reading list, augmented reality can mix up this routine. We actually now have the time to download and explore various apps and see what can keep us entertained. Admittedly, getting people to spend 30 seconds downloading an app was a challenge for brands up to this point. 

 

So, this is the best time in recent history for brands to offer games, quizzes, puzzles to entertain or educate their customers. Augmented reality would allow people to place your content in their own space, so your brand would enter people’s homes, although your physical product or service cannot. There are different types of games that you can create without spending too much resources, check out YouTube for some inspiration.

Bring your existing packaging to life

Although we may not go to physical stores, online-shopping and home delivery is still a thing. If you’re selling packaged goods, you can use augmented reality to communicate with your customers.  You do not need to change your packaging as such; you can either add a sticker to inform people of AR content or distribute information through e-mail marketing or social media.

 

Packaging can hold onto information such as easy recipes that use just a few products. It can also become something for kids to play with or encourage people to participate in campaigns that would let people win a year’s worth of supplies and home delivery. Especially great at this point in time.

 

If it is a beauty product or sports equipment, you can showcase tutorials or offer free augmented reality exercise routines. The options are limitless when it comes to reviving your packaging.

Augmented reality for social sharing

Snapchat filters have long proved that people love to interact with augmented reality features in their own environments and augment faces. This can, of course, be used as a direct selling tool for try-on your products or make-up, but it can also work as an entertaining thing for people to do and share on social media. 

 

A good example comes from the recent Coca-Cola Christmas campaign, where people were able to dance alongside their brand bear in augmented reality. We currently see how social media is drowning in people’s self-quarantine TikToks, photos, stories, video diaries, and advice to others. Your augmented reality content may offer an edge to someone’s story.

Create augmented reality portals to your events or exhibitions

As we’re looking forward to the events we hoped to attend this year, we are faced with uncertainty as to whether we’ll be relearning what makes us tick for just a month or if it will take us way into summer. Should the crises take longer, we can provide our customers with an opportunity to place augmented reality portals into their homes or gardens and check out your latest exhibitions, showcase theatre performances or concerts. 

 

You may not always need to create a portal, you can bring art to people’s homes in single exhibits. A recent example that is in outdoor settings but can be applied to indoors comes from KAWS. I’ve also noticed that some museums have already implemented 360-degree virtual reality tours. However, I think this would be much more accessible if the tours were integrated in augmented reality and people could retrieve this content using their phones or tablets. Because, how many of us actually have VR headsets at home? A cool interactive example below.

Boosting online shopping decision comfort via augmented reality

There has already been research showcasing that augmented reality can boost the decision-making process for those shopping for products online. Although this piece is not geared towards selling your products or services, I am not blind to the fact that online shopping may peak at this point, and people could use this time to redecorate, for example. 

 

This is where educational content can play a part in augmented reality. Add augmented reality features to your online store to show how your products look in their space, be it wallpaper, furniture, or a dining set. IKEA has been focusing on this approach for years. While their stores have long been known to replace “a day-out” for many families, the brand will lose this vital footfall. However, their online shopping offer, which is enabled with AR, will put them a step ahead of their competitors.

If you want to use augmented reality to educate, inspire, and entertain your customers, you can turn to us for support. Get in touch at hello@overlyapp.com.

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