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Warby Parker specializes in selling affordable glasses to break the monopoly, fusing technology to create a new year sales of 300 million
For many people, it may be difficult to buy eyeglasses online, but there is a group of people who saw the potential of online sales of eyeglasses, and through free trial and online simulation, coupled with the “ultra-affordable” positioning, broke the monopoly of industry giants and achieved a company valuation of US$1.75 billion (about 53.9 billion Taiwan dollars).
In 2010, Warby Parker’s four founders Jeffrey Raider, Andrew Hunt, Neil Blumenthal, and David Gilboa were all students at Wharton School of Business and were baffled by the expensive prescription glasses, many of which cost over $300 (about NT$9,239). Many of the glasses cost more than $300.
Nearly 200 million adults in the United States require eyeglasses or contact lenses, according to The Vision Council, with the average consumer paying $127 for their frames.
Warby Parker Glasses・What is Warby Parker?
Warby Parker is an online retailer that focuses on “affordable” eyewear. A pair of vintage-style eyewear, including prescription lenses, starts at just $95. Their products can be ordered online and tried on virtually, and they have 71 locations in 28 U.S. states where you can try on, measure or pick up your glasses.
Warby Parker Glasses・Warby Parker pros
All of Warby Parker’s eyewear is designed and made in-house, which helps keep the price down and maintain quality.
They have a home try-on option where you can choose five frames to try on at home for free.
They offer free shipping. After trying on the glasses, the user can keep only the ones they like and mail them all back, with no cost to the customer for the postage included.
WarbyParker has developed a kind of high-tech – virtual try-on. Customers can input their avatar through a computer camera and put the glasses on their own image to experience the wearing effect. They can also share their images through Facebook or other social media to solicit feedback from family and friends.
For every pair of glasses sold, Warby Parker partners with a nonprofit organization to provide a pair of glasses to someone in need.
Warby Parker Glasses・Warby Parker cons
Although Warby Parker does offer a virtual fitting tool, it does require you to download the Warby Parker app and is only available for iPhone X and higher.
Their most basic glasses setup starts at $95. This is cheaper than most optometrists, but it’s not the cheapest option found online.
They do not offer major brand names. (After all, if you want to qualify for affordable/quick availability you have to offer standard specs)
Those with strong prescriptions may find that Warby Parker’s high index lenses are not of sufficient quality to meet their needs. (As mentioned above, standard specs meet the needs of the general public)
Vision test app to measure vision at home
Warby Parker’s at-home optometry service, Virtual Vision Test, allows users to test their nearsightedness through a mobile app, and the results can be used to purchase glasses or contact lenses.
After downloading and installing the device, users answer a few questions, place the device about 10 feet (about 3 meters) away, and then take the vision test. A row of letters is displayed on the screen, and the user covers one eye and reads aloud the letters he or she sees.
The test results are then uploaded to Warby Parker’s server, where a doctor will review the results within two days and give the user recommendations for new glasses or another physical measurement.
There is a $15 fee for a single test, or no fee if the final result is a recommendation for physical testing or if the prescription remains unchanged.
Some optometrists are concerned that simply measuring vision through an app without regular checkups may lead to overconfidence.
For example, Jorge Cuadros, a clinical telemedicine fellow at the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry, says that the results of the app should not be analyzed and prescribed by any anonymous ophthalmologist behind the scenes, but rather by a local ophthalmologist who is accessible to consumers.
Dave Gilboa, co-founder and CEO of Warby Parker, believes that virtual vision testing is a complement to, not a replacement for, traditional eye exams, and that the goal is not to complete a comprehensive eye exam through the app, but to focus only on the vision component.
- Warby Parker offers the following types of Product/lenses:
- Contacts lens
- New collections (New metals for summer|Summer Sun|Matter Edition|Statement Metals)
- Scout by Warby Parker
- Gift cards
- polycarbonate lenses
- 1.67 high index lenses
- 1.74 high index lenses
- blue-light-blocking lenses
- light responsive lenses
Warby Parker offers sunglasses in a variety of styles, sizes and colors (including prescription sunglasses).
Warby Parker only offers progressive lenses, but they do not offer bifocal lenses.
Most of their frames are made of acetate, a lightweight plastic, with limited all-metal styles. (Recently more frames and designs in different materials have been introduced)
They also sell a variety of daily, monthly and bi-weekly contact lenses, including their own line of daily contact lenses called Scout. (Free samples are also available/Try Scout for free After they verify your contact lens prescription, they will send you a trial pack that includes six days’ worth of contacts.)
Warby Parker uses CentraForm technology to create disposable lenses with smooth edges and environmentally friendly packaging for shipping(The innovative, space-saving flat pack).
Warby Parker Glasses・How much do eyeglasses from Warby Parker cost?
Accept FSA and HSA
Don’t let your flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) dollars go to waste. Put ’em to good use on Warby Parker prescription glasses (including blue-light-filtering, anti-fatigue, light-responsive, and progressives lenses), prescription sunglasses, contact lenses, readers, and eye exams.
No FSA or HSA?
Don’t fret. Just apply for insurance reimbursement after purchasing. Apply for insurance reimbursement >
Starting at $95, including prescription lenses—plus we offer free shipping, free returns, and a six-month, no-scratch guarantee
Shop dozens of top brands (including Scout by Warby Parker) online and in stores. Whichever brand you wear, you’ll get 15% off your first order of contacts—even when paying with an FSA or HSA.
Start at $195 and come with polarized lenses at no added cost (or you can choose to get non-polarized lenses, if you prefer).
Many Warby Parker locations offer comprehensive eye exams (and prescriptions for glasses and contacts).
Warby Parker’s progressives start at $295 (i.e., way below the standard cost of progressives). These digital freeform lenses offer the widest possible field of vision compared to traditional progressives models.Our progressives start at $295 (i.e., way below the standard cost of progressives). These digital freeform lenses offer the widest possible field of vision compared to traditional progressives models.
Pixel-peeping causing eye fatigue? Our blue-light-filtering lenses may help. They filter more blue light than our standard lens options, and you can add them to any pair for $50.
Warby Parker’s combination of e-commerce, at-home optometry and AR fitting, using an innovative mix of technology to provide consumers with vision care, is still bringing changes to the eyewear industry, which is mainly a brick-and-mortar business. For the eyewear industry, physical sales are still necessary, but it remains to be seen whether e-commerce is a blue ocean market to be explored and whether consumers will buy into the new form of eyewear dispensing process.