With the rise of Amazon and Ebay in the 90’s, shopping on the internet brought us unprecedented convenience, saving both time and money. For many traditional retailers, the threat of losing a significant portion of their revenues to comparable online retailers became very real, very fast. Even Walmart, the largest brick-and-mortar retailer in the US, had faltered at first but has recently doubled down on its online strategy, purchasing Jet.com this August. The retail behemoth is now reported to be the second-largest Internet retailer after Amazon, superseding Apple.
But household goods and clothing isn’t where online retail ends; it’s just the beginning. Consumers are now, more so than ever, in a position to demand convenience, affordability and quality from every industry. Enter online eyeglass retailers.
“Wait, buying corrective eyeglasses on the internet?? Don’t I need to go to my eye doctor for glasses? How can I be sure I’ll like them if I don’t try them on at my local Lenscrafters?”
Thankfully, the smart people behind the online eyewear revolution have made it super-simple. Anyone with a prescription in hand can purchase eyeglasses with recommendations of frames that best fit his or her face shape. In fact, eyeglass sites have made it easy for you to upload a picture and try on glasses virtually. Plus, online retailers have a far more expansive selection, usually at a fraction of the cost you’re accustomed to paying.
Moreover, online eyewear is now a growing trend in the vision market- albeit a small trend today, it’s got all the signs of an emerging market. According to Vision Monday and a Newswatch survey from 2013, 61 percent of American adults surveyed used the internet during their purchase decision, with 18.3 percent purchasing prescription eyeglasses directly from an online resource. While many used the internet to “window shop” according to that study, an increasing number of Americans are purchasing eyewear from an emerging set of online eyewear retailers.
If you happen to be amongst the trail blazers, the names Zenni Optical, Warby Parker, and EyeBuyDirect are in your browser history. You may have also been shocked at the price tag of online eyeglasses and the value of your purchase. The technology and globalization have allowed for an ultra-streamlined production platform, driving down overhead and prices, and creating incredible value for consumers. In most cases, the quality is indistinguishable from the other pair of glasses for which you paid $199 for the frames and another $240 for the lenses. And if you were at all unhappy with the fit, you probably experienced the award winning customer service, a staple of successful online retailers.
Just like Walmart is keeping up with trends, VSP rolled out with Eyeconic, their “in-network” online eyeglass retailer, in hopes of capturing the e-commerce market.
Change is inevitable and we certainly consider the emergence of online eyeglass retailers a change for the better in a far too technology-stagnant market. Now, if only there were a way to get up-to-date measurements of my vision to order these fashionable, affordable online glasses anytime I want…
Be among the first to try EyeQue and put those results to good use, expanding your eyeglass wardrobe.