TECHNOLOGY

Eyewear retailer offers ‘try before you buy’ – online

BY Dan Berthiaume

Zenni Optical is not letting lack of physical stores prevent customers from seeing how eyewear fits their face.

Created in partnership with technology company Ditto, the virtual try-on feature provides customers a realistic preview of Zenni glasses on their face using a facial analysis tool. It enables consumers to use their iOS or Android mobile device or computer camera to capture a five-second video that includes a 3D 180-degree scan of their face.

To ensure accurate sizing and virtual orientation of their glasses, users can hold up a plastic credit card to their forehead or enter their pupillary distance (PD), if available. Once a user’s face is mapped, they can visually experiment with the more than 2,500 frame options in Zenni’s catalog. Customers can virtually “try on” up to 50 different pairs that are displayed on one page for comparative review, and also see how frames look from multiple angles before finalizing their purchase.

“Our Virtual Try-On feature significantly enhances the digital shopping experience, building upon our goal to migrate more traditional retail customers to the online opportunity at Zenni.com,” said Bai Gan, chief product officer for Zenni. “We believe that the Virtual Try-On feature will drive even greater consumer confidence towards shopping for prescription glasses online.”

Since its launch in 2003, Zenni has offered a 2D frame fit feature where consumers upload a digital picture of themselves for a visual rendering of how the frames will look on their face.

Warby Parker also offers customers a virtual try-on tool. Inside the Warby Parker app on select iPhone devices, customers can put their smartphone camera into selfie mode to get a digital view of themselves. Shoppers can then select frames and use AR graphics to place them on the image of their face to see how they look.

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