Through the Looking Glass: How Eyewear Brands Are Reframing the Post-Pandemic Market
A once 'clear-sighted' industry has blurred lines, as the eyewear market adapts to shifting consumer preferences in the post-pandemic world. It's a spectacle worth observing.
The Great Shift
The eyewear industry, much like many other sectors, faced an unanticipated jolt with the onset of the global pandemic. The shift from in-person consultations to online shopping was inevitable and immediate. And with the surge in remote work, screen time skyrocketed, leading to a rise in demand for blue-light-blocking glasses. The industry found itself needing to pivot and fast.
Virtual Fitting Rooms
One of the biggest challenges online eyewear brands grappled with was the 'fitting' problem. Customers missed the in-store experience where they could try on multiple frames to see which suited them best. The solution? Augmented Reality (AR). Brands like Lenskart employed AR tech to create virtual fitting rooms, allowing customers to try on frames from the comfort of their homes. While this solution was initially met with scepticism, it quickly gained traction as the convenience outshone traditional in-store experiences.
With the rise of direct-to-consumer models, personalised eyewear became a trend. Brands started offering custom-made spectacles tailored to individual customers' style and vision needs. This move not only increased customer satisfaction but also provided a unique selling proposition to these brands, setting them apart in a crowded marketplace.
The pandemic also amplified the conversation around sustainability. Young Indian consumers started favouring eco-friendly brands, forcing eyewear companies to rethink their manufacturing and distribution processes. Brands like Titan Eyeplus responded by introducing frames made from bio-based materials and implementing sustainable packaging solutions.
The economic impact of the pandemic led to tightened purse strings. In response, brands started offering 'affordable luxury' options. They began to balance the scales of quality and price, ensuring that customers could still indulge in a bit of luxury without breaking the bank.
Realising the importance of both online and offline presence, brands started to adopt an omni-channel approach. While Lenskart expanded its offline stores, Titan Eyeplus enhanced its online experience. By integrating various shopping channels, brands ensured a seamless customer experience regardless of how or where a purchase was made.
In a surprising move, some eyewear companies introduced subscription models, taking a leaf out of the OTT platforms' playbook. With these subscriptions, customers could avail regular eye-checkups, discounts on purchases, and even 'frame-swapping' options, providing a continuous revenue stream for the brands amidst uncertain times.
In conclusion, the eyewear industry's adaptation to the post-pandemic world is a testament to the resilience and innovation inherent in the market. With a focus on customer needs and a willingness to reinvent, these brands have not only survived the pandemic but seem poised to thrive in the 'new normal'.
Now, it's your turn to share your views. Did you try the virtual fitting rooms yet? Are you considering a subscription? Let's get talking. And while you're at it, why not share this article with a friend who's looking to buy their next pair of glasses? Trust us; they'll thank you for it.