Warby Parker: A Company That is Doing Something Right
Pretty rarely do I come across a company that wows me with their customer service AND their website AND their clever/beautiful marketing. Well I’m here to tell you that Warby Parker did just that, and now I will share my story. I hope I inspire a few people to check this company out, because they are the real deal. Here goes.
I had heard of this company, Warby Parker, from a friend a few months ago, but had never checked them out myself. All I knew was that they sold glasses frames at a reasonable price, and that they had some cool try-on-at-home service. So a few weeks ago, when I started considering buying myself some new frames, their name popped into my head. I went online and found their website, www.warbyparker.com.
The website was beautiful–stunning photography, clean layout, easy to navigate–it fit all of my criteria, and I’m a pretty picky person when it comes to websites (you can read all about what I think constitutes a “good” website, all five articles, here). They had me at first glance. It’s crazy how a beautiful website can send so many positive messages about a company in a matter of seconds (and how a bad website can do the opposite, for that matter). But I digress.
I took a few minutes to just browse around, and then started actually looking at frames. Warby Parker has a great selection of unique, on-trend frames that look very expensive–but get this: they cost $95 WITH PRESCRIPTION LENSES INCLUDED! When I saw that price, and knowing that there were already a bunch of frames that I liked, I was hooked.
More Than Just a Business…
The next thing that I discovered pretty much sealed the deal. I learned about an amazing aspect of this company that I never expected by clicking on the “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” link on the homepage. Get this: for every pair of Warby Parker frames that are purchased, they give a pair of glasses to someone in need. They partner with non-profits that ensure that the glasses get to people who really need them. I was reading on their site about how there are approximately one billion people in the world who don’t have access to affordable glasses, and their company is doing something about it. That is seriously amazing. If you buy frames from Warby Parker, you get a really great-looking, great quality pair of glasses for an affordable price, AND in doing so, you help someone else get glasses that might not have otherwise been able to do so.
Trying Them On
In order to see how the frames might look on your face, there is actually a way to do what they call a “Virtual Try-On,” where you take a picture of yourself using your webcam and then “try on” the frames using your picture. Like the rest of the website, this is extremely user-friendly and easy to do.
After playing with the virtual try-on for a while, I decided to find out about the “Home Try-On” service (almost every pair of frames has two buttons on its description page: “Add to Cart” and “Add to Home Try-On,” so I went to the Help/FAQ page to find out the details about what that meant). Here’s how it works. You pick out up to five frames that you are interested in, and add them to your Home Try-On one by one as you’re browsing. When you have five picked out, you give them your address and your credit card number (they charge you $1 initially, just to verify your account). Then they send you a beautiful little black box (inside a cardboard one) with all five frames in it. Mine came 3 business days after I ordered it. You get 5 days to try on your frames, wear them around town, the whole nine yards, and then on the fifth day, you slap a pre-printed mailing label back onto the cardboard box, drop it off at UPS, and done. Guess how much the whole thing costs? Z-E-R-O. Nada. Zip. And guess how many times you can do this whole process? AS MANY AS YOU WANT! Unbelievable. I found a pair that I loved and wore them around, just like they said to do. It was actually really helpful to know what it would feel like after hours of wear, compared to trying on a pair of frames in a glasses store and only wearing them for a short time.
There was actually a nice little card inside the black box that said “Get Excited!” on it, and it explained the home try-on process, encouraging me to wear the frames around and try them out. Which, while I’m on the subject, let me just say that all of the marketing for this company was awesome. The look and feel of the packaging that the glasses came in; the design and physical quality of the print materials; the website; the personal, friendly-sounding tone behind all of the writing–it’s genius. All of their marketing materials went together from a design standpoint, and had a look that was classy, modern, and beautiful. It all sends so many positive, upbeat messages that get you excited about working with them, because they seem like a really with-it, young company that knows what they’re doing. This company has mastered the look and feel of their brand, down to the tiniest detail.
I have to say that the two times that I did call and speak to someone over the phone regarding questions that I had, I was impressed with the quality of the customer service that I received. Both of the people that I spoke to were perky and genuinely pleasant–which perfectly matched the gut feeling that I already had about the company from my experience up to that point (which was strictly via the internet). I also sent an e-mail at one point, and got a timely and personal response that sounded like it was from a friend just talking with me, rather than a business responding to one of their thousands of e-mails that they get in a day. That just goes to show that Warby Parker is doing something right. They clearly understand the importance of coming across as friendly and helpful, and they carry that through into every aspect of their business.
Needless to say, I ordered myself a pair of Warby Parker glasses.
Warby Parker actually has several physical locations (which they call “showrooms”) across the country where anyone can walk in and try on glasses. But for those of us who don’t have one nearby, they provide an easy, simple, and free way to get virtually the same experience as we would have if we were in a physical store, working face-to-face with real people. In other words, they make you forget that you’re on the internet. Genius. This is a company that’s definitely onto something, and we could all learn a thing or two from the way they’re doing things. Hats off to Warby Parker–keep up the good work!