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Australian online eyewear retailer offers free home trials

04/07/2018By Matthew Woodley
Another Australian online eyewear company is attempting to disrupt the optical market by offering free home trials for up to four of its frames at a time.

Optically, which originated in Sydney around 18 months ago, launched the offer recently to follow in the footsteps of online competitors such as Oscar Wylee, Sneaking Duck and Frankie Dean. Founder and director Mr Anand Keswani said the main idea is to make the process of buying prescription glasses easy and simple.

“We’re looking at multiple touch points. Optically is not just about customers who want to buy glasses online. We have many customers who want to try them on physically,” he said.

“I snapped a pair of glasses when I was in the UK and I was frustrated that the prices of glasses at the high street stores were absolutely appalling.”
Anand Keswani, Optically

“We thought it would be great for customers to see our quality, touch and feel the frames, see what it looks like on their face and offer them that traditional experience that they’re used to when trying to buy their glasses.”

The business has more than 3,000 styles in its collection, with some frames, including prescription lenses, costing as little as $29. Keswani said Optically was able to offer lower prices than traditional optometry practices due to the comparatively lower overheads.

“It’s all about the numbers. We’ve cut down on the high cost of rentals on the massive overheads that a typical high street store is used to paying,” he said.

“Customers are not paying for our showroom rentals etc., they’re paying the cost of a product and a very thin, small margin that we need to keep to keep our business up and running.”

Keswani said the frames are mostly sourced from Italy, Korea and Taiwan, and that he decided to start the business after becoming disillusioned with the process of buying a new pair of spectacles.

“I snapped a pair of glasses when I was in the UK and I was frustrated that the prices of glasses at the high street stores were absolutely appalling,” he said.

“With the overheads that they have of course, you can’t really blame them – but the internet helps us to offer a better choice at a better value. At the end of the day it’s the same pair of glasses but at a better price.”

Aside from Australia, Optically has also established a presence in the UK, US, Canada and New Zealand. Keswani added that the next step for the company was to continue with expansion and to improve its virtual try on facility.

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