As digital technologies continue to develop, consumers face new ways of engaging with businesses and organizations. The eyewear industry, of course, is no different. According to data from Market US, the global eyewear market is expected to be worth around $236 billion by 2032. This includes sunglasses, eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other eyewear products that provide sun protection for the eyes and manage other harmful factors and vision problems.
One of the factors significantly impacting the growth of the eyewear market is the rise of online retail and e-commerce for eyewear products. Today, people can quickly and conveniently choose, order, and purchase essential and fashionable eyewear through online stores and applications.
Over the years, brands have picked up practices like shopping cart optimization to increase revenue and growth and build better relationships with customers. With increasingly more eyewear brands and retailers hopping onto the e-commerce bandwagon, companies need to continue innovating by using the latest technologies and features to provide better experiences for people seeking eyewear. Below, we’ll look at four more ways eyewear companies are innovating e-commerce:
For the average consumer, buying glasses can be overwhelming due to the many choices of online products, brands, features, and designs. At the same time, consumers may have a hard time deciding on a product without being able to try them on before purchasing.
Fortunately, many online retailers today offer virtual try-on features for their glasses and other eyewear. Using this feature, consumers can virtually put on their preferred products and have a 3D, real-time view of what particular glasses and shades will look like before deciding on buying and spending. This is typically done by allowing camera access for real-time augmenting of a product on a customer’s face or by uploading a picture of your face.
AI for Customer Experience
Another innovation on the e-commerce front is the use of artificial intelligence and AI-powered algorithms to help consumers find and buy glasses online more quickly. Some companies have introduced an image search tool to help customers find similar glasses or designs online.
To use this feature, users can upload a photo of specific frames so that the algorithm can lead to the closest matching product available in the online store. This is especially useful for users who may not be familiar with certain brand names or signature styles. This is also good for people who don’t know the correct terms to use in text-based searches. Ultimately, this can also be good marketing for eyewear brands as people can choose their model based on eyewear worn by friends, celebrities, and other style icons.
Online Eye Exams
Another key digital innovation eyewear retailers use to expand their e-commerce reach is allowing consumers to undergo eye exams online using their smartphone, tablet, or computer. This makes essential eye care more accessible for those who can’t do in-person visits.
Online vision tests nowadays can check how sharp your vision is, if you have astigmatism, your light sensitivity, and whether or not you have color blindness. In 2022, the FDA approved the first-ever online visual acuity test from telehealth company Visibly. For many, online eye exams are a great way for people to access eye care remotely, and are looking to renew an expired prescription.
Finally, aside from the shift towards online retail and e-commerce, eyewear brands and companies have long announced commitments to go green. Over the years, eyewear brands have invested in more sustainability initiatives like eco-friendly materials in their products and packaging.
Some eyewear companies, for example, offer recycling programs that let consumers recycle eyewear products like contacts and their packaging. This is especially crucial because most contacts are made of plastic and are thus more environmentally harmful. Users can opt to collect these items in one location and drop them off at a local eye doctor’s office or ship them to the retailer via a website or application.