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Cover Story

               ONLINE OP T IC AL S ALE S

       “    Part of the company’s

              stated mission is ‘to
            do good in the world         One of the most popular and successful names in online optical sales is Warby
                                      “  do good in the world without charging a premium for it’. They achieve this by
               without charging a        Parker. One glance at their website signals that the company’s image is young,
                    premium for it’.     cool, creative and consumer-friendly. Part of the company’s stated mission is ‘to

                                         providing what they insist is higher-quality, better-looking prescription eyewear
                                         at a fraction of the going price. The cost saving derives from the fact that all
                                         Warby Parker frames are manufactured in-house. They are not, however, among
                                         the least expensive providers.

                                         It’s a widely-accepted tenet that one of the ‘musts’ of selling to today’s savvy
                                         consumer is a social mission, a purpose larger than the product itself. What
                                         was formerly thought of as primarily a millennial play appealing to young
                                         people’s sense of social entrepreneurship is now a given. If you want to sell the
                                         product, you have to sell the vision. Warby Parker’s Buy a Pair, Give a Pair
                                                             program was born out of the awareness that 2.5 billion
                                                             people globally need glasses but don’t have access to
                                                             them. The company works with partners around the
                                                             world  to  ensure  that  for  every  pair  of  Warby  Parker
                                                             glasses purchased, a pair of glasses is distributed to
                                         someone in need. The program is active in more than 50 countries and over eight
                                         million pairs of glasses have been distributed to date.
                                         Warby  Parker  has  developed a  slightly different business model  than  their
                                         competitors, with two try-before-you-buy options: at-home and virtual try-on.
                                         At-home try-on allows shoppers to select five frames for free delivery. The
                                         process involves answering a quiz regarding face width, shape, colour, material,
                                         and the date of the person’s last eye exam.

                                         With their virtual try-on app, frames are superimposed onto the face and move
                                         with the person to simulate real-life situations and lighting conditions as much
                                         as possible. One caveat: The app can be downloaded on the AppStore, but it’s
                                         available only on iPhone X.

                                         In the fall of 2019, Warby Parker launched Scout, their first-ever brand of daily

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