Tips to Help You Successfully Buy Eyewear Online

Today, over two billion people have eye concerns, as per the World Health Organization (WHO). As more people look to vision correction and protection, the global eyewear market value is expected to rise by nearly 5% annually until 2028. Apart from this need for helpful eyewear, another reason why people are buying more eye-specific goods is because of accessibility. With e-commerce booming since 2020, it is easier than ever to find eyewear from the comfort of your own home.

That said, eyewear is a deeply personal item. From fit and function to fashion, it can be tricky to find the right pair, and much more so if you’re shopping remotely. So, if you’re a first-time online eyewear shopper who wants to make the most out of e-commerce’s ease without sacrificing your own optical style and comfort, here are some helpful tips.

Make use of virtual try-ons

A common struggle for eyewear shoppers is finding a pair that they not only like but also feel looks good on them. This can naturally feel harder to do when shopping online since you don’t have the eyewear on hand to try on. Fortunately, this is where virtual try-on comes in. This relatively recent feature uses virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. VR can overlay visual and auditory components onto a simulated environment, which can be viewed via a digital platform. Meanwhile, AR integrates digital aspects into the real world via a dedicated tool that can ensure the scale matches.

In online eyewear shopping, virtual tryons overlay your preferred make and model over your own face. To illustrate, sunglasses retailer Sunglass Hut allows customers to use their smartphones for virtual try-ons. After browsing through their selection of sunnies, ranging across brands like Ray-Ban and Versace, customers can use their device’s camera to scan their faces and see how their chosen pair will look on them. Since the technology tracks your face, you can even move your head to ensure you like the overall fit from different angles. Making use of this tech can eliminate the guesswork while you shop online and ensure you get an item you actually like.

Have your prescriptions ready

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to buy your eyewear from the same provider who may have given you your prescription. This is according to the FTC’s official guidelines on prescription eyewear. Furthermore, it is within your rights to request a copy of your prescription at no extra cost. This is important to note since it can be more economical to buy your prescription glasses or sunglasses online than at physical stores, where they are less likely to have exclusive deals and discounts.

Having said that, once your prescriptions are ready, you must know how to upload them for your chosen eyewear retailer. It’s crucial that you figure this out early on, as not every brand allows you to make last-minute prescription swaps. On some online platforms, including your prescriptions early allows their software to effectively filter out the styles that will not work for the lenses you need, thereby helping you make more informed decisions. Including prescriptions varies per retailer, but a good one will clearly share their processes. For instance, on EyeBuyDirect, customers are asked to input their prescription after choosing frames before tailoring the lenses. Using their guide to understanding prescriptions, consumers are taught which values to input before their glasses are created for accuracy and comfort.

Review the return and exchange policy

Even though most trustworthy online eyewear retailers have airtight processes that ensure your orders are executed perfectly, sometimes issues can occur at the fulfillment stage. This includes eyewear that is lost or damaged during shipping. In these cases, most retailers will be happy to replace your item, so it’s important to choose a platform with a suitable return and exchange policy.

The standard of a good return and exchange policy does not require you to shell out any extra money. Case in point, there is Oakley, which is known for its performance glasses. This brand has a diverse return and exchange policy offering multiple options. For instance, customers who may be on the road often can choose to drop off their erring items at Oakley stores or affiliate branches of Lens Crafters and Sunglass Hut. Alternatively, to facilitate online exchanges, there are dedicated agents who can help customers access the codes they can use for their replacement items. Wisely choosing a brand with a solid policy like this means you can be assured you get your money’s worth.

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