Warby Parker is one of the most exciting eRetail stores to come along over the past couple of years. They sell glasses over the internet, and they do an excellent job selling something that isn’t easy to sell online—prescription glasses and sunglasses.
In this post, we’re first going to look Warby Parker’s website experience; then we’re going to look at how they create magical moments with their follow-up emails.
Website: First Impression
The first thing I noticed when landing on Warby’s site is how beautiful it is. They do a great job using white space and spacing in general. They also employ an easy-to-use, intuitive navigation and provide visual navigation between “optical” and “sunwear” with a picture of each option as a navigation link.
Their product photos also provided something worth admiring. They’re supersized and almost felt life-sized, as if you were looking at a full-size version of the glasses in front of you. They also provide photos from multiple angles to give you a better idea of what the glasses look like from every angle.
Overall, the first impression was impressive and caused me to look forward to experiencing more of their site.
Try before You Buy
The next aspect that stood out was the “try-before-you-buy” option. I was wondering what this process would be like and was looking forward to seeing how well Warby handled shipping glasses for home try-ons since you can’t buy glasses without trying them on. Not surprisingly, Warby exceeded my expectations here as well.
Not only do they offer home-try-on-packages, but they also offer a virtual try-on experience that’s amazing. You upload a picture of yourself, and their software figures out how to place the glasses on your face in an optimal way. Wow, impressive. I couldn’t believe the software detects your face shape and then places the frames on top of your face in an ideal way.
This feature also works in Warby’s favor. There were several pairs of glasses I may have ordered for a home try on if it wasn’t for the virtual-try-on option. After seeing them pictured on my face, it was easy to see they weren’t the right frames for me, which saved Warby the trouble of shipping glasses that weren’t going to look good anyway.
Virutal try on also saved my picture so I didn’t need to upload it more than once. This is one example of the many ways Warber Parker seemed to anticipate everything that would make their website experience even more pleasant.
Scheduling the In-Home Try On
Eventually I found some frames that looked great and decided to schedule an in-home try on. The experience, once again , was pain free.
I simply had to click “+ Home Try On” to get the frames sent to my door. After scheduling the first pair, I found out that the glasses ship as a five-pack, so I browsed around some more to find four more pairs to try out—three regular glasses and two sunglasses.
Home try on here we go!
Before jumping into the home-try-on and email experience, it’s worth noting that after finishing the sign-up process I was still impressed with how beautiful the site is. I couldn’t help but think, “Wow, this is a gorgeous site.”
I was also impressed with how easy it was to schedule the home-try-on experience. I simply had to enter my address and provide credit card info. It didn’t cost any money and would only take a few days for the glasses to arrive.
I also wasn’t initially shopping for sunglasses but decided to order a few pair since the box had room for a five total frames. I’d guess this is a great way to sell additional glasses and to get some people to buy both glasses and sunglasses since they get to order five different frames to try on at a time.
As a writer myself, I was really impressed with the website copy. Here’s an example: “Ryder is the one you bring home to meet the parents.” That’s just one example of the fun lines Warby uses that appeal to their younger, more hip audience.
They also offer a “buy one pair, give one pair” policy that’s really cool as well. I’m sure a lot of people like to know that not only are they going to get a great pair of glasses, but they’re also going to help out someone in need by purchasing from Warby Parker.
Overall website score = A+. Well done, Warby Parker!
Ok, now on to the emails…
Delivering Magical Moments via Email
As a company that helps eCommerce stores with automated emails, we were the most interested to learn what types of emails Warby sends, meaning what reasons they send them for, how frequently they send, and how many they send out during the home-try-on experience. Here’s what we found out…
From initial registration to the time after sending back the frames, they sent nine total emails. Here’s a break down about what the emails were for with the subject line as the heading for each section.
Email #1: We received your Home Try-On order no. 101767816
The first email was a confirmation to let me know that my home-try-on order had been received and was being processed. Here’s what it looked like:
The email is beautifully designed and does a great job getting it’s point across. They let you know what the email is about with three short sentences and then show off the glasses you’ll be receiving with large, beautiful photos.
The design and copy style of the emails is consistent across all nine emails that were sent. They use a combination of pictures and short pieces of copy to communicate what they have to say without requiring recipients to read a lot of text. It ends up being a very pleasant combination of text and images that make the emails a delight to read.
Email #2: Right on track
The next email arrived three days later to let me know my order had shipped. I was starting to wonder at this point when the glasses would ship so an update email was nice to receive. It also provided a USPS tracking number I could use to keep track of the package.
Email #3: 954 questions later
The next email was a little bit of a surprise. I wasn’t sure what they meant by “954 questions later” so I had to click through to see (although I think they could come up with a better subject line for this one).
Essentially, the email was a fun way to keep people engaged who were waiting for their glasses. It arrived seven days after the initial order and just before the glasses arrived.
The content of the email explained that the previous month 954 people asked what Warby’s favorite frames were, so they polled their different departments to find out. Then, the favorite glasses for each team were listed in order, starting with the tech team and ending with the social media team. It ended up being a fun way to connect with customers in a personal and fun way.
Email #4: Touchdown
The fourth email was sent to let me know my package had arrived. I wasn’t home at the time, so it was nice to get an email that let me know what to expect when I got home. It also provided a guide to help pick out frames that included these steps:
- Put ‘em on: And take photos to share and compare.
- Show ‘em off: And get opinions from family, friends and co-workers.
- Make ‘em yours: Head to Warby to purchase.
The email also mentioned that shipping and returns were free as well and provided links for purchasing each of the individual frames in case once a pair was selected.
Email #5: Signed, sealed, delivered
The next day I received another email and curiously opened to see what it was about.
Not surprisingly, it was a call-to-action type of email that was intended to help with choosing and ordering one of the pairs of glasses. It also included instructions at the bottom about how to get a prescription, which was great since that’s an important part of the process.
However, I wasn’t ready to make a decision yet, so I left the frames in the box and waited for the next email to arrive…
Email #6: First impressions and second opinions
Two days later (three days after the glasses arrived) I received another email. The purpose of this email was to help with picking out frames and provided instructions on how to get feedback from Warby Parker representatives via social media, which is really smart. Not only would I get feedback from staff in the same way you do in a brick-and-mortar store, but it would also generate free advertising for Warby Parker.
I’m sure the customer service aspect is the #1 reason for this email, but the extra exposure definitely can’t hurt. Unfortunately, I didn’t take advantage of this, so Warby didn’t get any extra promotion from my home-try-on experience (although I’m sure my friends would have loved to provide feedback via Instagram and Facebook).
Email #7: That was fast
Five days after the frames arrived, I received an email letting me know it was time to send them back, including instructions on how to do so. It took me a few more days to get them back into the box and to send them in, but it was helpful to get an email reminder letting me know my five day trial period was up. I have no idea how long it would have taken me to send them in without a helpful reminder.
Email #8: Help is on the way
On the eighth day after getting the frames, I received one final email letting me know that I could call or email if I had any questions, which I didn’t. However, if I had, it would have been nice to receive an email address and phone number letting me know how to get in touch, which is much better than hiding email addresses and phone numbers like most companies do these days…
Email #9: Nice job
The final email I received after sending the frames back was one to thank me for getting the frames back into the mail. However, instead of just thanking me, Warby used the opportunity to also ask which frames I’d like to buy. It’s a great email that makes me feel good about getting the frames into the mail, but it also serves the purpose of potentially closing the sale, which is really smart on Warby Parker’s side. Here’s what it looks like:
Overall Email Experience
Overall, the email experience was great. Each message was well thought out and perfectly timed to match what I was experiencing each step of the way. A reminder email was sent to make sure I wasn’t waiting impatiently, and update emails were sent to engage me and provide help along the way.
So what was so magical about the experience?
The magical part was feeling like Warby Parker was right there with me throughout the process. When you go into a store, it’s nice to get asked if you need help with frames and to get feedback on how they look. Warby Park very impressively recreated this experience all via email.
They used perfectly timed emails with content that matched the experience as a way to be there throughout the try-on process. Each email provided help or a reminder when needed, and saved me from feeling like I had to pick out the glasses all on my own. They didn’t just ship the glasses and then leave me to fend for myself. They shipped the frames and stayed in touch via email, almost like a real person standing by my side.
It really was a magical experience that felt like Warby Parker anticipated different outcomes throughout the process, which included the following:
- Practical information, such as letting me know when it was time to send the glasses back.
- Fun tips, like how to share pictures via social media to get feedback back from the Warby staff.
They essentially took a very complicated buying experience and made it really simple by using nine well-timed emails as ways to communicate with their customers during the buying process.
I’m thoroughly impressed with Warby’s attention to detail with all of the emails they sent and with the experience they created across their website. If you’re looking to improve the order process for your website and the post-purchase follow-up, there’s a lot you can learn from studying Warby Parker yourself. Oh, and don’t forget to pick up some new glasses while you’re at it!
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