The COVID-19 social-distancing orders in the United States are leading to more and more consumers heading online to meet their needs. As schools, work offices, and the hospitality industries face a big shakeup, the coronavirus pandemic is having a big impact on how consumers shop. Many companies are offering innovative online tools to help customers transition from the physical to the digital world with ease or ramping up existing services they had in a pre-coronavirus world to support our new living situations.
Thanks to virtual try-on technologies, color matching, online delivery apps, and online reading services, shopping online is becoming easier than ever before. Read about four industries from the eyewear to book sectors that are scaling up their technologies to meet consumer demands.
1. Virtual Try-On Tool: Eyewear Industry
SmartBuyGlasses is offering the ultimate try-before-you-buy tool for customers wanting to buy glasses online. The virtual try-on (VTO) and frame recommendation technology offered at SmartBuyGlasses.com, allows customers to quickly and effortlessly see themselves wearing over many different glasses from a range of different brands. The possibility to try on glasses at home, before making an online purchase, addresses a common concern when it comes to shopping online. Using a glasses online try-on, you can see how frames look on your own face and be confident they suit you before purchasing. While SmartBuyGlasses offers a 100-day return policy, the virtual try-on gives you the possibility to order glasses online with the assurance that you will get the right look for you.
2. Foundation Finder: Beauty Industry
It’s no secret that the beauty industry has been quick to take-up online mirror technologies, since even before the coronavirus pandemic. There is a suite of cool try-on tools you can use to see how makeup looks on you before you buy from Maybelline, L’Oreal, and Sephora. Another innovative tool helping customers purchase complexion products online comes from Maybelline with their foundation finder tool. Users have the option to either answer a few questions or upload a selfie to find a product and shade that will suit their skin tone and skin concerns.
3. Online Food Delivery Services
The hospitality industry is another that has been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with many restaurants forced to close during lockdowns or with limits as to the number of people they can host. Food delivery services like Uber Eats were active well before the pandemic, but in light of the repercussions from COVID-19, more services are making a move to help consumers shop for restaurant food online. Companies like GrubHub now offer contact-free deliveries and make it easy for customers to find restaurants close-by by entering their location and preferred cuisine. Instacart is another service that literally does your grocery shopping for you from your preferred local shops. The service is especially ideal for people in quarantine with a leave-at-the-front-door option for delivery.
Another industry that is experiencing growth is the book industry! While sales for travel and foreign language books are on the down, it is an excellent time for cookbooks and other literature with more people spending time at home. Bookshop.org is one business that has blossomed during the pandemic and experienced a hike in sales as it connects consumers online with local, independent bookstores all in one destination. This tool is also a great educational tool to help students continue to learn at home in light of the early closure of schools.
Other companies like Audible and Scribd are offering new customers the chance to access their e-book and audiobook subscription services with a free monthly trial. While moving to virtual solutions can feel odd and even silly at first, the way we consume and conduct business has been changed by the pandemic for the foreseeable future. Virtual solutions to consumer needs are no longer a matter of convenience but of personal and public safety.