Be­ing picky has never been so easy

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS FOCUS - By WUYIYAO

The na­tional “In­ter­net Plus” strat­egy is ush­er­ing in a new era in China’s eye­wear mar­ket.

The eye­wear sup­ply chain, in par­tic­u­lar, is de­vel­op­ing on­line-to-off­line or O2O chan­nels to bet­ter man­age huge and con­stantly grow­ing con­sumer-re­lated data.

From op­ti­cian’s checks, sight ex­am­i­na­tion re­sults and anal­y­sis, pro­cess­ing of lenses to final de­liv­ery, a lot of in­for­ma­tion emerges that needs to be prop­erly doc­u­mented and stored to be shared, re­trieved, reviewed or mod­i­fied later.

En­ter cloud com­put­ing. That is the magic so­lu­tion for all such needs, ac­cord­ing to Shang­hai-based wangcl.com, a plat­form that en­ables users to book op­ti­cian’s checks on­line, store sight in­for­ma­tion, and track pro­cess­ing and de­liv­ery in­for­ma­tion.

The en­tire process is trans­par­ent and track­able. If a cus­tomer needs more than one pair of glasses for var­i­ous pur­poses like bik­ing and run­ning, his or her sight in­for­ma­tion, pref­er­ence and de­tailed de­mands need to be sub­mit­ted only once.

This would save a lot of time and en­hances ef­fi­ciency, ac­cord­ing to Peng Yongze, founder and CEO of wangcl.com.

Users’ de­mands for eye­wear tend to be di­verse as they may en­joy dif­fer­ent sports, have a dis­tinct life­style and vary­ing read­ing pref­er­ences. So, niche seg­ments within the eye­wear mar­ket, seek­ing to ful­fil such spe­cific needs, are fore­see­able in the long run.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­search note by Euromon­i­tor In­ter­na­tional, many such seg­ments al­ready ex­ist, cater­ing to de­mands for spe­cific glasses for bas­ket­ball play­ers, swim­mers, cy­clists, marathon run­ners, crick­eters, long-dis­tance coach driv­ers and graphic de­sign­ers.

New tech­nolo­gies like aug­mented re­al­ity or AR help con­sumers to try on glasses vir­tu­ally first. This ben­e­fits sun­glass re­tail­ers as con­sumers make in­formed de­ci­sions af­ter check­ing how they look in such sun­glasses or frames, thus min­i­miz­ing ex­changes and re­funds.

Gilt.com, an on­line out­let for lux­ury and life­style prod­ucts, al­ready of­fers AR apps, which con­sumers use to take self­ies that show them as if they are wear­ing their cho­sen glasses and frames.

“This way, I can choose the ones that match my face shape in the con­text of the oc­ca­sion, be it smart ca­sual or for­mal busi­ness,” said Sun Yan­hong, 29, an ad­min­is­tra­tion man­ager in Shang­hai.

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