How Warby Parker Transformed the Eyewear Industry With A Purposeful Approach | World Brand Affairs

How Warby Parker Transformed the Eyewear Industry With A Purposeful Approach


4/12/20233 min read

Warby Parker is a popular American online eyewear company founded in 2010 by Neil Blumenthal, Andrew Hunt, David Gilboa, and Jeffrey Raider. The company designs and sells prescription eyeglasses, sunglasses, and accessories. Warby Parker disrupted the traditional eyewear industry by offering affordable, high-quality glasses and cutting out the middleman. They sell directly to customers through their website and physical retail locations, which allows them to offer lower prices compared to traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

Warby Parker has grown rapidly since its founding and has expanded its product offerings to include contact lenses, eye exams, and virtual try-on technology. The company is headquartered in New York City and has retail locations across the United States and Canada.

Purpose-driven Strategy

Warby Parker believes in the notion that brands have a responsibility to contribute to society positively. Hence, the company incorporated it’s Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program into its business model since its inception in 2010, in addition to a conventional referral program. Under the program, for every pair of glasses sold, the company donates a pair to one of the 2.5 billion individuals globally who lack access to adequate vision care. This initiative is similar to a Buy One, Get One deal, but with a social justice twist. In addition to this program, Warby Parker endeavors to maintain its carbon-neutral status. The company has also collaborated with public schools in Baltimore and New York City to provide complimentary vision screenings and eyewear to children. Furthermore, throughout the year, Warby Parker remains committed to supporting social justice causes, including advocating for legislative issues and providing fresh food to community fridges in major cities like the LES Community Fridge in New York City.

Constructive Email Marketing

Warby Parker provides a robust welcome email to anyone who subscribes to its email list, which serves to introduce them to the company. Their welcome email immediately offers readers the opportunity to begin shopping. It also provides readers with access to branded content that is not sales-focused, allowing them to get to know the company better. This approach helps potential customers understand that Warby Parker is a knowledgeable eyewear expert committed to assisting them in finding the perfect frames.

Award-Winning Applications For Improved Customer Experience 

Warby Parker is at the forefront of developing mobile-friendly shopping experiences for its customers. As 79% of consumers utilize their smartphones to shop online, the move towards mobile shopping from in-store or online shopping is a significant shift. The company has developed two apps that provide customers with a personalized shopping experience without the need to physically visit a store. These include the award-winning Virtual Try-On experience and the Virtual Vision Test.

Leveraging User-generated Content On Social Media

Warby Parker is strongly committed to utilizing social media as a means of communicating with its customers. What distinguishes the brand’s social media from others is that it encourages customers to share videos and photos of their eyewear journey on social media multiple times during the purchasing process. The company promotes user-generated content to the fullest extent possible because it understands that individuals who post on social media are 50% more likely to make a purchase. 

On Instagram or TikTok, there are tens of thousands of customers worldwide sharing their preferred frames with #WarByHomeTryOn. Such a significant amount of user-generated content does not occur by chance. Warby Parker reminds its customers to share videos documenting their home try-on experiences on social media. Its success with over 68,000 videos is a persuasive argument for any commerce brand hesitant about investing in a user-generated content strategy. Apart from encouraging user-generated content, the company has introduced its Wearing Warby series, which showcases the experiences of genuine customers on their eyewear journey. Warby Parker then shares this content on its social media platforms.

The Wearing Warby series aims to highlight the backgrounds and stories of regular customers, taking a different approach than popular promotions such as celebrity-backed campaigns and influencer marketing. By showcasing the experiences of real people, Warby Parker’s customers can connect with these stories and see themselves represented by the brand.

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