Eyecare Trends: Membership Subscription Shopping

For years consumers have gotten used to membership shopping: Credit Cards, Travel, Cost-Co and Amazon Prime. Consumers in the U.S. hold 3.3 billion memberships in customer loyalty programs. A 2015 survey by COLLOQUY says that specialty store loyalty memberships now total 434 million. (Eyecare could fall in this category)

Retailers such as REI membership had a 23% increase in digital sales driven by new member sign-ups and online sales, more than 1 million new members joined the co-op last year.

Costco’s U.S. same-store sales increased by 6% and international same-store sales increased by 8%. Increasing membership signups, rising membership fees and improving renewal rates

We know membership- subscription services are growing, we know that a few have tried optical but the after the last round of funding in which Shades Club received almost $700,000 to start their membership-subscription shades business.

As we looked into the subscription service closer, we discovered a contact lens subscription service called Sight Box. Overseen and advised by optometrists, this is a direct to door contact lens membership program that cost $39-$64 a month.

Sightbox

In the eyeglass arena, it looks like a few are still making it. Shades Club is the definite winner in the funding.

Shades Club– 2,958 backers pledged $321,908 to help bring this project to life. (Kickstarter) On Indiegogo $362,549 USD total funds raised 1610% funded on January 19, 2016. Not officially launched yet, but they raised alot of money. 

Shades-Club-Kickstarter

Ditto – Endless Eyewear– Ditto’s 3D rendering had already attracted VC capital. The Endless Eyewear launched in 2015 with a Any pair, anytime $24.00/month and RX $34.00/month program.

Shizzades Shades– $9.99/ month Another online subscription and one of those sites that drive me crazy. Where are they? Who are they? What are they all about? Any history? As a consumer I wouldn’t order from them.

That Daily Deal- Monthly Brand Name Sunglass Club $9.99. Another, where are they coming, just the daily deal.

Sol Theory Starting at $12.99/month- Their website is live, but again, Where are they located? Their About is short, which maybe isn’t a bad thing.

Stunner of the Month Club– might be out of business. Facebook has not been updated since October 2015. No website.

Mike and Martin Eyewear (Dallas, TX) cancelled their fundraising on Kickstarter. Their subscription model will start at $34.99 a month and that will get you two pair a year for less than what one pair would cost you at your local optical shop (That is what they say) They have an optical background and say these will be quality eyeglasses.

Via somewhere on the internet, we ran into this announcement that Warby Parker is adding a membership program called Warby Parker Prime, modeled after Amazon Prime: (Cannot find the source)

Online eyeglasses retailer Warby Parker announced the debut of Warby Parker Prime, an added-value membership service targeted to their most frequent online purchasers of eyewear.

Warby Parker Prime is modeled after Amazon Prime, said company CEO Neil Blumenthal. The $99 per year you’ll pay to be a Warby Parker Prime member brings, in addition to the free shipping provided to all customers, a bevy of benefits that rivals Amazon’s offerings. “We believe we’ve exceeded the level of value provided by Amazon,” said Blumenthal, “and far exceeded the perks provided by any online competitor in the eyeglasses business.”

Bottom line.. Is this possible for eyecare professionals?

 

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