Shopping for new glasses is the absolute bane of my existence. Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but I’m sure anyone else who has a severe case of indecisiveness can relate. While many see the wall of frames at their local LensCrafters as endless possibilities—I get hives thinking about spending my entire afternoon searching for the perfect pair.
Enter Warby Parker. This online retailer has been commonly referred to as “the Netflix of eyewear.” Not only does Warby Parker offer stylish glasses and sunglasses, but it also offers a terrific at-home trial program that allows customers to choose and try five different frames for almost a week, at no cost. Customers get to live in the frames before ordering the prescription glasses online, which means no more making stressful, instantaneous decisions at the store. Even better? Warby Parker glasses sell for a reasonable price, and the company has a free return policy. For an indecisive girl like me, what’s not to love?
My recent interaction with Warby Parker got me thinking about brand experience in general. What makes companies like this stand out amongst a sea of competitors? Why do they have such a loyal fan base? Maybe it has to do with the fact that these days, time is money and convenience is gold. We crave instant gratification. Millennial shopping habits focus on ease and convenience, and in order to compete in their respective markets, brands need to deliver on satisfying these needs.
In order to make a lasting impression, today’s brands need to start thinking in terms of the overall experience, not just the product. What does this mean?
- Make it simple: Customers can be overwhelmed by options—not only do they cause undue stress for the indecisive type, but having too many also cuts into the ease and convenience they desire from their shopping experience. Cut through the clutter by getting personal with your customers. Know their preferences and narrow down options well-suited to meet their needs. I had a hard time finding more than three different frames to fit in my at-home trial kit, but was assured that a Warby Parker consultant would provide two additional options that would fit my face shape, based on the image I uploaded to the site. That’s good, personalized service.
- Make it engaging: Warby Parker encourages its customers to share pictures of themselves on Facebook, eliciting the opinions of their peers to help them home in on which pair of glasses to purchase. Additionally, the company’s insights team loves when their customers have their trial kits shipped to their offices, as it results in additional brand exposure. View every interaction, be it brand-customer or customer-customer, as an opportunity to increase word-of-mouth brand exposure.
- Make it stress-free: Provide your customers the no-pressure experience they crave. By nature, e-commerce alleviates some of the pressures associated with making purchases in-store, but sometimes it feels impersonal when customer service issues arise. Warby Parker humanizes the customer experience by providing online chat functionality, along with implementing a six-second phone pickup policy to ensure that customers are not left waiting. Take a page from this book. If you’re providing a product and experience that is intended to make your customer’s life easier, make sure you have the appropriate support in place to ensure that it is a stress-free experience from beginning to end.
As I anxiously await the arrival of my trial kit, I encourage you to think about your best brand experiences. What made them so great, and how could they be even better?