The global leader in luxury eyewear is taking personalization to the next level by integrating Web 3.0 technologies to create bespoke customer experiences that cater to an individual’s fashion sense and eye health.
“While 80% of brands think they’re delivering really good customer experiences, only 8% of customers agree,” says Jennifer Petrie, Industry Lead at Sitecore MEA. Speaking on Horizontal Digital’s CX4CA – a podcast that features conversations with CX leaders across emerging economies – she explains that the disconnect lies in a lack of personalization.
Consumers want to design products according to their own unique preferences, needs, and style, and nowhere is the need for personalization more acute than when it comes to choosing your eyewear.
“Customization and personalization is something that we’ve seen a lot in luxury and lifestyle brands in the region,” says Jessica Abouzeid, Head of Marketing (Middle East, Turkey & Africa) at EssilorLuxottica, who joined Petrie on the podcast for a wide-ranging discussion that included the company’s digital approach.
Virtual try-ons and smart glasses
As global leaders in the design, manufacture, and distribution of ophthalmic lenses, frames, and sunglasses, EssilorLuxottica is experimenting with several AR and VR offerings, including a virtual mirror already available in the region. The online tool allows customers to try on spectacles and sunglasses and customize them to their liking. While this is a huge drawcard for customers, it also benefits retailers, explains Abouzeid, as they won’t have to stock up on huge in-store inventories.
Another innovation that has not yet hit Middle Eastern shores is Ray-Ban Stories – a new collection of smart glasses, designed in collaboration with Meta. Ray-Ban Stories include a dual integrated 5MP camera to capture photo and video; discreet open-ear speakers to listen, and a three-microphone audio array to deliver rich voice and sound transmission for calls and videos. In addition to an iconic design built with innovative technology, Ray-Ban Stories launches in conjunction with a companion app, Facebook View (iOS & Android), creating an easy way to import, edit, and share content captured on the smart glasses with the ability to upload on any social app stored on all smartphones: Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, and more.
“It’s a nice way of mixing both worlds and still being present in the moment,” says Abouzeid.
Watch a video of this CX4CA conversation: Transcending the Vision Care Industry with Technology
Fashion and function
With the growing prevalence of vision disorders due to increased screen time, EssilorLuxottica, which through its lens business, has traditionally focused on the B2B market, is now targeting consumers by raising awareness of eye health and the technologies they offer to improve people’s vision.
To do so, they’re taking personalization a step further, by using AI to tailor lenses to a customer’s specific needs.
“Personalization of eyewear doesn’t only mean your name on the product,” says Abouzeid. “We are using AI behavioural models to customise lenses from a medical standpoint so that they best fit your lifestyle – from the way you sit to the way you move.”
A “phydigital” approach
EssilorLuxottica is also exploring the idea of bringing back physical events to engage with customers more directly, while embracing the “phydigital” trend. “Even though we are on a digital transformation path, we recognize that customers are craving connection and we are looking at how to seamlessly integrate our digital and physical worlds in an omnichannel approach,” says Abouzeid.
Another digital area where EssilorLuxottica is gaining traction is through Leonardo, a training platform for B2B customers and in-store staff that is redefining how the company and customers learn about eyewear and eye care.
The company’s website explains how the platform works: “Leonardo offers easy access to over 7,000 hours of quality education on eyewear collections, lens design and technologies, vision care, practice and people management, sales excellence, as well as clinical and scientific evidence-based knowledge.”
The podcast discussion also delves into Abouzeid’s personal career journey in marketing and examines the cultural, language and people challenges of merging two global brands: French lens maker Essilor and the Italian Luxottica.
Interested in CX? Listen to more CX4CA podcasts here or subscribe to the channel on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.