4 ways to keep your users engaged during Covid-19

Matthew Christie
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June 4, 2020
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Read Time: 4min

“During this extremely difficult situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19), nothing is more important to [Company Name Here] than the health and safety of our customers…”

In the past few months, as Covid-19 and quarantine have stalled what we always considered our “normal” life, companies across the globe have also suffered as a result. Most retail stores, unless considered “essential” have had to close, with many also ceasing online operations. 

We’ve seen the above statement everywhere. From websites to mobile apps, emails to social media, as well as hand-written notes in shop windows. It’s become ingrained in our everyday lives.

While all industries are affected, some are harder hit than others. Take a look at our dedicated Covid-19 Impact Data Hub, where you’ll find a detailed overview on the impact of coronavirus on digital consumer behaviour, as well as a deep dive into industries and sub-sectors. 

Despite consumer confidence dropping, digital traffic and transactions overall have climbed significantly since the onset of the crisis. Parents can’t buy shoes, clothes or tablets for their children’s homeschooling anywhere but online right now, meaning shopping online is the only place to shop. Your priority needs to be ensuring continuity for your customers and adapting to their new circumstances and needs.If you can create a meaningful experience for your customers now, and provide the kind of value they’re looking for, you will be building loyalty and investing in long-lasting customer relationships

Discounts, free delivery, extended returns; these are all effective. But for those industries that are facing the most uncertainty, and in some cases, seeing their services completely disrupted you’ll need to keep customers engaged in other ways. So when that confidence returns, they’ll feel compelled to spend with you. 

Now more than ever we need to maintain brand awareness and keep users engaged. Below are four examples of brands leveraging technology to elevate the CX, from augmented (AR) to virtual (VR) reality to classic email and social media channels. 

1. Virtual Artist with Sephora

Sephora allows users to visualize a product with Virtual Artist

Prior to Covid-19, you could venture into one of the Sephora stores, pick up several different testers or maybe even have a makeover with one of their consultants. Today that’s not possible, but instead you can try on a range of different products; from lipsticks to mascaras to multiple shades of foundation, virtually. With tutorials also included, you can learn from a variety of styles, including how to apply the “No Makeup Look”, just in time for your first zoom call. 

Happy with your new look? You can save for later or buy now.

Although it’s not possible to visit physical stores right now, this is an innovative way to get new and existing customers involved with your brand. As well as gaining a real understanding of what a customer needs and expects when it comes to purchasing makeup, without being able to do it in store. This doesn’t have to apply just to beauty brands though, Ace and Tate / Warby Parker are using similar technology that allows users to try-on glasses. 

Both Web and App versions available.

2. Augmented Reality with IKEA Place

As we’ve all been stuck indoors the last few weeks, it’s become natural to dislike items in your home. From that living room rug, or that strange looking lampshade in your bedroom you’ve been meaning to change for years, it’s understandable that you fancy a change. 

We observed in our data a few weeks ago a wave of re-decoration happening across many homes, and not just because of that ugly lamp. Our homes have now become multi-purpose – they’re offices, schools, gyms or even small restaurants providing food for the vulnerable. We’ve had to adapt and rethink what makes a “home”.

Buying a new chair or desk however is not as easy as purchasing a smaller item, such as a vase or plant pot. There’s a certain degree of risk involved, that actually, it might not look right or even fit in your new office. The solution…go virtual.

Does that chaise longue look good in that empty corner of your living room? add to your wish-list for later or purchase through the online store.

We all love visiting an IKEA store – from jumping on the bed, to sitting at the kitchen counter or rolling around on that fluffy rug. With this app, you can get those items in your home…virtually (just please don’t try jumping on this bed, it’ll hurt).

Available on iOS and Android.

3. Social Media with Lush

Now back online, during quarantine Lush had to temporarily close their physical stores and pause all new online orders.

But, they added ways customers can still keep in touch and be engaged during this challenging period.

  • Live and interactive events taking place on Youtube Channel.
  • Experience the fun and frolics of the shop floor on Lush Tik Tok page.
  • Live updates on Instagram.

Utilizing your social media presence is more important now, than it’s ever been before. Stores are closed, online orders are paused for the foreseeable future. How are you navigating the crisis? Keeping your employees safe? What are your plans for reopening when safe to do so? Businesses, like us, have human concerns. Think of fun and informative ways to keep customers committed to your brand; Instagram stories, Tik Tok, prizes and giveaways, the list goes on. 

Times are tough, but going that extra mile for your customers now will help you significantly in the long run.

4. Airbnb’s Email Digest 

Airbnb have been keeping users up-to-date through weekly digests – a weekly email with advice, tips and updates on how they’re supporting the community.

As I write this, many brands are being proactive and delivering countless updates to their customers. Keep this up! 

As consumers we need reassurance, and a weekly update goes a long way. 

 

Although we’re living through unprecedented times, with stores closing and online operations halted, there’s still ways we can keep users engaged and informed. Let’s band together and be creative!

For examples on how websites are dealing with the current situation, subscribe below to access our lite version or contact us for examples dedicated specifically to your industry.

Author

Matthew Christie

Matthew is a UX/UI Designer at Contentsquare, based in London.With a background in graphic design and front-end development, his experience ranges from designing and shipping both web and mobile products, to improving the user experience of websites and apps, across different verticals.Before Contentsquare he travelled extensively throughout Europe and Asia, living in Berlin and Melbourne along the way, before finally moving to Hackney, London.