It’s no secret that we’re living in an increasingly online world. Indeed, according to Statista, roughly 82 percent of UK households made an internet purchase in 2019, with clothing and sporting goods being particularly popular.
Where once our first port of call would have been to visit our local high street, we now turn to the world wide web when we’re in search of goods and services. We’re drawn, above all, by the vast array of online retailers, the breadth of products available, and the competitive prices on offer.
However, there are certain industries where online selling is made more complicated than others, and eyewear has long been considered to be one of them. This is, in part, because of the perceived need to visit an optician in person and try on the various styles on offer, but this traditional way of choosing glasses now seems to be experiencing something of an evolution.
A growing number of people are buying glasses online
In fact, for those who have tried shopping online for their glasses, the experience can often be eye-opening. That’s because those within the industry have listened to the long-standing concerns of consumers, and found a number of innovative and ingenious methods to circumvent these.
One problem, in particular, is that most glasses wearers like to try on their spectacles before they purchase. Given that they will likely wear these on their faces every day for at least a year, this reticence to buy unseen is understandable, but online retailers have developed some clever ways to address this.
Firstly, many online glasses sellers now offer the option for consumers to order a selection of frames to test, which can be sent out to their home addresses for experimenting with. These are loaned to them with a no-obligation policy, meaning that individuals can try on a number of styles and then send back those that don’t suit.
Alternatively, retailers such as GlassesUSA.com are increasingly providing access to innovative simulation technology, which allows glasses wearers to see how they will look in various frames before buying. This means purchasers can test-drive an essentially limitless number of options, with even more choice than they’re likely to find at their local opticians.
The advent of online eye tests
While these innovative methods circumvent one of the major obstacles to buying eyewear online, there are also murmurs of other developments in the works. It is suggested that these will allow internet retailers to not only sell a large range of spectacles but to provide additional and complementary services such as eye tests too.
According to an article from the Jewish Exponent, we can expect to see eye exams go digital in the near future. This means that as well as being able to possibly diagnose certain eye diseases, the roughly eight million people who buy their prescription glasses online will soon be able to do both online and in one place.
What this could mean for the online eyewear industry is unprecedented: that for the first time in its history, it will be able to deliver a complete and comprehensive service over the internet, and on a par with its more traditional competitors.
Would this be enough to encourage you to buy glasses online?
Interesting related article: “What is Online Shopping?“