Eyewear brands that find ways to continually enhance their eCommerce website are best positioned for success in 2023. This year, the eyewear market is projected to reach $141.5 billion in revenue and $58.98 billion in sales for eyeglass lenses, which suggests that there’s never been a better time to create memorable online experiences that drive customer engagement, sales, and brand loyalty within this segment.
Here, we’ll explore some of the latest eCommerce trends that will not only bolster trust and credibility among customers, but also serve as a boon to business.
Create personalized experiences with chatbot technology
41% of consumers want to interact with a live chatbot while shopping online. This is because AI-powered chatbots can spark meaningful conversations that make shopping experiences simpler and more convenient.
Here are some examples relative to shopping online for eyewear.
Helping customers remove prescription uncertainty
When people shop online for glasses, they are likely to encounter friction trying to answer the following questions:
- Does my current prescription still work, or do I need to update it?
- What are my prescription details?
Many shoppers need to verify their prescription before spending money on a new pair of glasses. Retailers can now offer an online visual acuity check to inform customers if their prescription still works for them, or if they need to get it updated with their ECP before they shop.
But what if customers don’t know that this option exists as part of the experience? In this scenario, a live chatbot can intervene and help them take advantage of this and other features.
In another scenario, where a customer knows that their prescription is still valid but doesn’t have easy access to their prescription details, a chatbot can drive them to an offering that helps them extract this information, such as an online lens scanner or a pupillary distance tool.
Creating a great frame discovery experience
Once customers move past prescription uncertainty, they can get to the fun part of their journey: choosing the right frames.
But the “wall of glasses” and filters they might not understand can prevent them from knowing which ones will fit or flatter them. For these users, a chatbot can direct them to a fit insights tool to get personalized recommendations based on face shape, size, frame preferences, and more.
Boost brand trust and confidence with social commerce
User-generated content (UGC) is one of the most popular forms of social commerce. It’s also a great way to build relationships with customers.
Consider the following statistics:
- 79% of consumers say that UGC influences their purchasing decisions.
- 83% of consumers say they care about authentic shopping experiences.
- 92% of consumers trust their family members, friends, and peers over traditional advertising.
But what exactly is UGC, and what does it entail? Simply put, it’s real-life content that your customers create to share their experiences with your brand. These can be social media posts, ratings, testimonials, photos, blogs, videos, and more.
Although solid product pages with virtual try-on capabilities provide customers with plenty of information to make their decision, implementing a UGC strategy can help boost conversion, engagement, and brand loyalty.
For example, retailers can supplement website ratings and reviews with user-submitted pictures to drive engagement and add powerful social proof. To encourage more submissions, some brands incentivize customers by offering a discount on future purchases.
Thinking outside the box can not only allow you to showcase an impressive gallery of real-life content, but it would also give your customers the opportunity to look beyond the product pages and connect with your brand on a deeper level.
Craft a seamless customer experience with an omnichannel strategy
Across retail segments, customers are proving that they want the option to conduct their business both online and in person. A strong omnichannel strategy can provide them with more fluid shopping experiences, no matter where they are on their journey.
The benefit of adopting an omnichannel approach is the ability for brands to curate experiences that bolster loyalty.
But what does an omnichannel strategy look like in action?
Some ECPs and clinics offer an online acuity test alongside annual scheduling reminders. This empowers patients to test their vision online in order to determine the need to schedule an appointment to update their prescription.
If they need a new prescription (and have already booked an appointment for an exam), optical stores and ECPs can offer a virtual try-on tool so patients can shop around for the perfect frame and style. When they arrive for their appointment, they can easily access their saved frames or personalized recommendations, which brings a “wow” factor to their overall experience.
Create an immersive shopping experience with virtual commerce
The metaverse is a fast-growing technological innovation that’s ushering in a new era of eCommerce: virtual commerce, where virtual reality enables immersive online shopping experiences.
According to Gartner, 25% of people will spend at least one hour of their day in the metaverse by 2026. What’s more, this trend is expected to be worth ~$5 trillion by 2030.
This presents a huge opportunity to reshape how customers interact with brands, but how it translates into higher conversions remains to be seen.
While true virtual commerce may still be in its nascent stage, more and more brands are offering augmented reality experiences that allow users to virtually try on goods.
For eyewear, a virtual try-on option that helps users accurately understand how frames will look is becoming a must-have for eCommerce businesses. Our partners report as much as a 3x lift in conversion for customers who use virtual try-on when they shop online.
Take actionable steps toward success
Creating truly memorable experiences requires careful consideration of which of these eCommerce trends will make the biggest—and lasting—impact.
Perhaps it’s implementing a live chatbot to support customers through various points of friction on their shopping journey. Or maybe it’s applying UGC tactics to establish relationships and boost engagement. Regardless of the eCommerce trend, what matters most is that it resonates with customers throughout their journey.
Connect with the Luna experts
Our team of experts is available to discuss and demo Luna’s vision technologies referenced above:
Book a demo today to learn how Luna’s proprietary solutions can amplify your business.