In today’s busy world, especially now during the coronavirus pandemic, more and more people are trying to navigate the world in the most effective and streamlined way possible. Limiting unnecessary exposure and time in public is something we’re all trying to do these days. Businesses that are adapting to these needs are growing in popularity. Warby Parker CoVid proofed their business and here’s how you can too.
Everyone knows the story of Warby Parker; four Wharton School students at the University of Pennsylvania saw there was a need for people who needed prescription eyeglasses that wasn’t being met. Neil Blumenthal, Andrew Hunt, David Gilboa and Jeffrey Raider found an innovative, less impersonal and more convenient way to meet these needs. You’ve heard that necessity is the mother of invention and in Warby Parker’s case, that is definitely true.
Warby Parker CoVid proofed their business and here’s how you can too.
Traditionally, purchasing eyeglasses is not only a chore, it’s an inconvenience. First, you have to get dressed and schlep to the optometrist or ophthalmologist. Next, there’s the inevitable eye exam and to add insult to injury, you have to spend hours of your day trying on frames to find which one best aligns with your daily style. In the end, most of us leave the office feeling like we just spent a whole lot of money on something we didn’t even want to buy. And on top of that, we just spent hours in public during a pandemic. Not exactly anyone’s first choice for a day out.
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Warby Parker changed all of that before the pandemic by offering a new 21st-century, innovative strategy for getting eyeglasses to the people who need them most, currently, that’s everyone who wears glasses during a pandemic. This is how they do eyeglasses smarter than others:
- Their business model focuses on online distribution, rather than requiring customers to head in to visit a local showroom.
- Warby Parker designs their eyeglasses in house.
- They sell directly to customers which lowers overhead cost and that in turn lowers the cost of glasses to customers.
Even with the cost savings, some customers felt like they needed that more personal experience of going into the showroom and trying glasses on. Warby Parker sends each customer 5 pairs of eyeglass styles of their choice to try on in the comfort and safety of their own home. Some customers were still leery of such a new way of shopping, especially since it eliminated human contact which gave some the expectation of low quality and less trust. Warby Parker not only met the need they exceeded it.
But how did Warby Parker CoVid proof their business and how can you do the same?
Warby Parker harnessed the power of social media to put their customers at ease. This simple act allowed them to communicate easily with customers and get feedback, provide immediate customer service, change the narrative of how their customers related to them, reduce customer frustrations and build brand loyalty. Privacy is also becoming a huge issue for a lot of businesses (and especially those ran from home) but a great solution that we recently found is to use a virtual office. So with that you use the virtual address for your business and all post is forwarded to you so it works really well, and you can also choose the city so for example use this fantastic London virtual office and you get an awesome looking London postal address which is sure to impress.
Warby Parker’s business model is simple, give the customer what they want at an affordable price. Through the “Home Try-On Campaign” customers order 5 pairs of eyeglasses to their home, try them on and pick their favorite pair and return the rest, free of charge. All throughout the process, Warby Parker is communicating with the customer, responding to their questions and concerns, providing guidance and customer assistance all through social media. In return, customers are encouraged and regularly post photos of themselves wearing the glasses on their own social media accounts. This kind of word of mouth marketing among friends and family is priceless.
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Warby Parker also uses its social media platforms to provide customers with expert advice and information on eyeglasses. They even create helpful informational YouTube videos to help make the customer’s experience better. All of this back and forth communication between brand and customer, grows brand loyalty. Loyalty makes the whole eyeglass buying experience feel less impersonal and more like an exchange between friends.
Lastly, Warby Parker includes marketing for social good as part of their strategy. Who doesn’t want to help others while helping themselves, right? Through this initiative, they are able to provide a pair of eyeglasses to a person in need for every pair bought. Not sure about you but if I had the choice between spending my money on a pair of glasses one place and another place that gives a free pair to the needy, I want to be part of the solution not the problem and I know I’m not alone.
Warby Parker took something most of us need to do and made it convenient, more affordable and less cumbersome. Beyond exceeding customers’ expectations and meeting their needs, they utilized social media to bridge the gap. That gap between in real life and online business can feel vast. They make it feel personal.
How you can CoVid proof your business using social media
- Use social media to communicate with your customers.
- Respond in real-time.
- Provide the answer to frequent questions your customers might ask in the form of long-form videos.
- Host live Q & As on Instagram or Facebook live.
- Use an email subscriber list to provide ‘subscribed only’ promotions to customers.
- Build loyalty through consistency.
- Build trust through transparency.
Do you shop more virtually now than before the pandemic? Which brands do you feel are doing it right? Who is getting it wrong?
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