Country: United States
Glasses can define someone’s look and are often the first thing people notice, which is why shoppers want to see exactly how glasses look before making a purchase. However, while online shopping has become commonplace, online shopping for eyewear presents several challenges. For one thing, the basic e-commerce shopping experience hasn’t evolved much in decades. For another, existing technology doesn’t necessarily enable a true-to-life virtual try-on experience.
To create a real-world solution for consumers who wanted to buy online, Glasses.com built a virtual try-on app using innovative 3Dfit technology. This technology has transformed online purchases of eyeglasses and is helping to define the future of e-commerce and online shopping.
Glasses.com found that many consumers liken the experience of shopping for glasses to that of buying a bathing suit. The experience is uncomfortable and very personal. Glasses.com set out to develop a fun shopping solution that would help customers make a purchasing decision.
The brand’s overall objective was to overcome the barrier of purchasing eyewear online by building a virtual-try-on app unlike anything the industry had ever seen. From the start, this new proprietary 3Dfit technology was expected to have a great impact on the Glasses.com business and to possibly revolutionize the online shopping industry as a whole.
Target consumers for Glasses.com include Millennials and Generation X customers who are glasses wearers, and online shoppers in other categories who view glasses as an accessory they can change often to update their look.
The Glasses.com beta app was first introduced at the 2013 TED conference, demonstrating how the proprietary 3Dfit technology gives customers the ability to virtually try on hundreds of frames in less than a minute. Over 1,600 key influencers demoed the “wow factor” technology at TED.
Next, Glasses.com conducted a bi-coastal media tour, giving tech editors a hands-on preview and helping to build continued anticipation for the launch. Marketing efforts focused on reaching customers who had purchased products from Glasses.com or other eyewear sites. Media coverage in top-tier national technology and style outlets announced a new way to shop for eyewear for both glasses-wearers and non-glasses-wearers alike.
In addition to earned media coverage, the app was promoted in e-mails, a national TV ad campaign and targeted mobile ads. Ads ran both in-app and via websites. Two of the bigger campaign partners included Facebook and iAd. Both named it the most successful retail app download campaign they ever worked on.
The omni-channel marketing strategy was executed across all platforms. App downloads became the marketing focus, and it dominated the messaging put forth by Glasses.com from its PR efforts to digital campaigns, TV ads, social media and email marketing.
Glasses.com spent years optimizing the virtual try-on technology so that a photograph of a consumer wearing a pair of glasses is indistinguishable from the app-generated image proven by side-by-side tests. The app is continually updated with new inventory, and the user interface is tailored to various screens, allowing an optimal experience no matter the device. The app now spans most handheld technology.
The category itself is still young, and Glasses.com entered a space where no one else made a concerted effort to solve the challenges people face when shopping for eyewear online. Glasses.com was the first business to sustain a national campaign encouraging people to buy glasses online. The brand has continued to develop and refine the app, as well as looking for other ways to use mobile experiences.
The app and technology have been touted by consumers and the market, and the company’s advancements in virtual try-on technology have implications for the retail industry as a whole. Given across-the-board exceptional marketing and sales results, Glasses.com has succeeded in combining cool technology and carefully crafted design and user experience and has positioned itself as one of the foremost thought leaders in the industry.
Below are the results of the campaign: