AR and Social Media: How Can Retailers and Brands Boost Online Engagement during Covid-19?

At a time when the entire retail industry is facing several bottlenecks- starting with exclusion from essential service lists, closed outlets and disrupted supply chains- what can they do to continue reaching, engaging and even converting their audiences?

Instead of dropping the ball, are there any channels and strategies that brands and retailers can leverage to weather the storm?

Now if you’re reading this, you’re probably expecting a long drawn introduction around the crippling impact and havoc created by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. However, today we’re taking a different, more optimistic approach. After all, let’s face it: we’re all seeing the alarming notifications and in general surrounded by an air of fear and uncertainty.

So instead of focussing on the grim side of things, in this article we’re looking at the one channel that brands and retailers can leverage in these tough times (for good reason).

Social media is the new salesfloor

It’s official: Coronavirus induced lockdowns are making people and communities at large turn towards their smartphones. And when we say smartphones, we mean digital channels; notably social media. 

Between social distancing and work-from-home, it’s impossible to ignore the massive rise of digital consumption. In fact, as reported by Statista 62.3% of US respondents are looking to spend more time on Facebook during the lockdown. As expected, Youtube and Instagram are also on the top of that list. 

In line with this emerging trend, decision makers are naturally exploring engaging and meaningful ways to connect with their audiences on social media- without being insensitive to the crisis. 

So, if everyone is pivoting to push more on social, how can brands and retailers make sure that they stand out in front of their audiences?

AR-enabled content to create standout social media experiences

With more people spending more time on social media, brands need to navigate how to best present themselves in front of them and be relevant and meaningful. As a result, many brands are resorting to augmented reality. Why? Primarily, due to consumer’s viral acceptance of AR in social media. Coupled with the fact that AR-rich experiences have proven to boost engagement and conversion rates online.

Some of the top reasons why augmented reality is a major value add for social media, now more than ever:  

i) Interactive AR content trumps images and videos

One of the main reasons why augmented reality is a hit on social media has to do with immersion. The more immersive the content, the more likely audiences are to interact with it. 

Using AR rich content to create buzz and increase engagement around your brand is a perfect example of leveraging the technology for social media. See how JoiGifts does it with Designhubz: 

ii) AR is accessible to everyone on all devices, across all social platforms

From Facebook and Instagram to Youtube and SnapChat, all social media giants have come out in favour of augmented reality and integrated options for brands to easily share and promote AR-enabled content. For retailers and brands, bringing  AR out of standalone apps to not only websites but also social media, opens them up to increased online reach and visibility. Especially at a time when people are using social media more than ever. 

The best part? Creating AR content is no longer out of reach. With Designhubz for instance, brands and retailers can easily digitize their physical inventory into interactive 3D and AR product views. We make it dead simple for you to add and share these on your website, app or social media platforms. 

Most recently, we worked with big box retailer IKEA to convert their physical products into immersive AR. Here’s an AR-enabled view for one of IKEA’s products, go ahead place it in your room to see the magic 🔥

Wrapping up

Okay, so we have a thing for augmented reality on social media. But it’s easy to see why- AR content can make brands stand out when everyone else is posting static images and videos. So if you’re planning your social media campaigns at this time, you might want to consider AR to stay ahead of your competition. 

Want to deliver AR rich content and product views and stand out on social?

Schedule a quick demo and see how Designhubz can help you create immersive social media and website experiences.