In Focus: How Warby Parker Redefines CX through Digital-Physical Integration


Allene Yue

Warby Parker is just one example of a digitally native brand that is absolutely demolishing the game, with revenues up over 12%, average revenue per customer up 9.3%, and their total customer base up over 2% in just 2023 alone.

But what’s shocking is that though Warby Parker has historically been an e-commerce brand, they do something a little different from the rest of the digitally native brands out there. Rather than focusing on e-commerce alone, Warby Parker opened over 230 stores used primarily as showrooms for their products. Using stores as showrooms rather than the primary point of sale also means they can open smaller (and therefore more inexpensive) stores in larger volume.

And for those who don’t live near their showrooms, customers have the option of a digital try-on experience using a “virtual mirror,” along with the option of receiving different frames for a few days to try on, free of charge.

This method of balancing e-commerce with physical retail has been more than successful for the brand. But this isn’t the only way they’ve been able to intertwine the digital customer experience with the physical customer experience.

Personalization Through AI

On top of using physical locations to support e-commerce sales, Warby Parker utilizes AI for the same purposes.

Warby Parker

AI has allowed Warby Parker to:

1. Offer customers quicker answers to their concerns and questions

Warby Parker is GREAT at allowing AI to complement the human touch, rather than take over. For example, Warby Parker implemented AI-driven tech that can answer customer questions both online and in-store when employees don’t have the answer right off the top of their heads.

2. Equip employees with a better understanding of the customers that walk through their doors

AI allows a company to better understand their customers on an individual level and create customized recommendations tailored to these individual customers. And when this information is handed to Warby Parker’s employees, they’ll be able to deliver customer experiences and recommend products they KNOW the customer will love, while still maintaining that human touchpoint.

3. Track their customers along the customer journey

Using AI algorithms, Warby Parker knows exactly where a customer is in their customer journey. So when a customer is browsing their website, they can figure out the exact products they’d need or want the most or even what additional accessories or upsell items might peak their interest. Another important application - Warby Parker use these technologies to figure out how to get the right marketing content out to the right customer — whether that’s a customized abandoned cart email, recommendation email, or unique promotion.

Data-Driven Culture

Warby Parker has also worked toward becoming a data-powered company in order to completely optimize operations and decision-making processes. Upon making the switch from using ERP to using an integrated data model, Warby Parker already began to see game-changing results:

  • Huge amounts of data could now be integrated using an automated process, saving them hours of manual labor
  • Data could much more easily be processed and understood by employees with any level of technical skill or expertise
  • Analysts could now spend most of their time understanding what the data means and implies, rather than cleaning up data sets
  • Decision-making processes have sped up dramatically because of easy data access for anyone in the company

Most importantly, this means data across the organization is MUCH more easily applied to different use cases. And this includes using data to improve customer experience and strengthen metrics ranging from AOV to retention.

Key Results

So then the question is, do all these efforts and investments in AI and data ACTUALLY pay off?

Well, just see for yourself:

Warby Parker
  • Warby Parker’s sales retention rate 48 months after acquisition is nearly 100%
Warby Parker

And these numbers are only growing from here. AI and data applications don’t JUST create more value for the customer — Warby Parker is living proof that they create just as much value for the company itself.

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