Over the past few years, the e-commerce landscape has been expanding beyond retail goods like clothing and household items. Today, consumers use the internet to purchase not only basic items, but also day-to-day necessities, such as eyewear products and contact lenses.
It is reported that the global eyewear market size was around $110,900 million USD in 2020. The market is projected to double by 2030, with a CAGR of 8.4%. While there are many factors behind this staggering growth, here are the biggest causes for this shift.
Convenience has always been a major pain point associated with traditional shopping, and eyewear is no exception. Retail stores may have set hours and inventory to improve the overall shopping experience, but online shopping gives consumers control over WHEN, WHERE, and HOW they can buy eyewear products. In fact, 43% of online buyers have made a purchase while in bed, 23% at the office, and 20% while in a car.
It’s true that consumers often hesitate when it comes to purchasing eyewear products, but online reviews can help them get rid of such worries. Modern consumers trust online reviews. In fact, these reviews influence the buying decisions of 93% of consumers, helping them compare product quality, price, and value to determine whether something is worth buying.
Consumers are acknowledging that buying eyeglasses online can be more cost-effective than shopping offline. Take this report for instance, according to which online buyers paid around $91 for eyeglasses, while in-store buyers paid $234. That’s a significant amount one can save on purchasing eyewear products online.
As technological advancements are booming far and wide, the online eyewear industry has been blessed with the boon of virtual try-ons that provide options to try eyeglasses online. Such technologies are shaking the eyewear landscape for good and bringing online shops to personal spaces. Customers can try hundreds of eyewear products from the comfort of their homes, without physically visiting the store. This also results in fewer product returns.
Till now, you may have got a clear idea about the rise of the online eyewear market. But before you embark on an e-commerce journey, it is better to be aware of the following challenges (and their possible solutions).
1. Picking a Technology Partner
Finding the best technology partner for your online optical store can be a daunting process, especially when you are a startup business. However, this can be handled by using an advanced e-commerce service that offers complete online solutions. For instance, we can help you sell contact lenses online by integrating your store with the WooCommerce prescription plugin.
2.Building Customer’s Trust
Customer’s trust matters when it comes to selling prescription eyeglasses online. You can do so by collaborating with the right partners, suppliers, and marketers that will help you build and maintain a brand from scratch. At SoftProdigy, we have already powered online stores for eyeglasses and can help you start your own.
3.Sourcing Eyewear Suppliers
Finding a reliable supplier for your eyewear business is another challenge on this list. Luckily, there are several portals like AliExpress where you can easily build a network of suppliers. In addition to that, you can also use directories like Sulekha and JustDial to connect with local suppliers and service providers who deal in the same niche.
To deliver eyewear products timely to your online customers at their doorsteps, you need to streamline your logistics right from the start. Optical businesses that fail to meet this requirement tend to have high refunds or returns. This is where platforms like StoreHippo can help you with pre-integrated and discounted logistics.
5.Competing on Prices
A fair price structure can make your target audience loyal to your brand. If the pricing of your competitors is better than the prices you offer, then you may struggle to generate quality leads and conversions. So, try to have the right supplying partners and smart marketing strategies in place to nail this challenge of selling prescription glasses online.
6.Providing Enough Payment Options
Many online sellers fail to provide enough payment channels. They fail to understand the amount of lost conversion opportunities just because of limited payment options. Therefore, focus on facilitating your buyers by offering them multiple payment options and COD to overcome this challenge.
7.Managing Returns and Refunds
The last challenge is to manage returns and refunds that can be significantly high for eyewear products. This may happen if attention to production details is missing. So, make sure you follow rigorous quality checks and maintain the best-quality catalog of frames, contact lenses, and eyeglasses to minimize the chances of returns and refunds.
With an overview of all the challenges in one place, it becomes easier to run a successful e-commerce store. Hereon, all that you need to plan and expand your optical business is a detailed strategy. Once that is in place, start putting together your marketing and advertising strategies. Wondering how to achieve this?
The brand-new Lens Prescription WordPress Plugin is the answer to all your queries. The plugin would help you sell contact lens-type products based on the power, cylinder, axis, base curve, and diameter of the customer, making it a complete solution for online eyewear websites.
Contact us to know more about the WooCommerce prescription plugin.