How Warby Parker Changed the Face of Retail – for the Better

In the Digital Age, the face of retail is constantly changing, and this subject was at the top of our agenda at our CX Summit last week in San Francisco. We were thrilled to have Mara Castro, the first employee at Warby Parker, join us for a fireside chat about how and why Warby Parker is redefining the way people buy prescription eyeglasses.

Founded a short seven years ago, Warby Parker now has a booming online business and 60+ brick and mortar retail locations. The secret to their success? Get the product right, give customers prompt delivery and understand the needs of customers. Traditional eyewear retailers charge exorbitant prices, make customers wait for their glasses and generally make the experience less than fun. Warby Parker has changed all that.

On top of providing convenient, cheaper eyewear options to customers, they are committed to social responsibility. Before joining Warby Parker, Mara came from a non-profit background; it was important to her to be part of a company that could do both well financially and also give back, something she felt even her non-profit was not doing fast enough. Today, for every pair of eyeglasses Warby Parker sells, a pair is donated to someone in need through their partnerships with VisionSpring and other non-profits.

Warby Parker has proudly been customer-centric from the start, because the co-founders had experienced poor customer service with traditional eyeglass stores firsthand. The company's model was initially focused on online ordering, giving customers the ability to try glasses on conveniently at home. For anyone who wears eyeglasses, this model is brilliant. How can you choose something you literally can't live without and that you have to wear every day in half an hour? You can't. And Warby Parker gets that.

Back in 2010, the company offered customer support through voice, email and social media channels. As their business has grown and customers have become increasingly tech-savvy, they have added chat support in 2015 and SMS support just last year. Having achieved success with their online-only business model, the company started opening brick and mortar locations in 2013, giving customers the option to walk in and pick out just the right glasses for them. If there is a way you want to purchase eyeglasses, Warby Parker offers it.

Warby Parker has completely disrupted the eyewear space and is a true innovator in the retail industry. Not only have they made eyeglasses affordable and available, they have also designed and built their own point-of-sale, customer relationship management and order management systems to ensure their customers have the best possible customer experience.

Speaking with Mara was one of the highlights of the CX Summit. Want to be sure you get to talk with CX experts like Mara? Attend our next CX Summit on April 12, 2018 in New York City.

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October 20, 2017