Asia Pacific Blog
Google and the Internet from .in to .au
Seeing smarter ways to sell opticals online
Friday, November 7, 2014
This post is part of our
regular series of interviews
with people across Asia-Pacific who’ve caught our eye, using the Internet to create, connect and grow.
Tony Zhuang of
How would you describe SmartBuyGlasses in one sentence?
SmartBuyGlasses is one of the world’s largest online eyewear stores offering customers a huge range of products, awesome prices, and superb expertise and service.
Why did you choose to go online?
Back in 2006, online shopping was just beginning to take off. More and more people started using eBay or Amazon to buy and sell, and the huge potential of the online marketplace intrigued me and my partners, Doron Kalinko and David Menning, so we decided to leap into e-commerce.
SmartBuyGlasses founders David Menning, Tony Zhuang and Doron Kalinko
Where did inspiration for your business come from?
We saw an opportunity around the difficulties people faced purchasing the perfect pair of glasses from their local optical store. Their choice seemed limited—either they couldn’t find the brand or the model they were looking for, or they could find the correct model but not the color they were after. Eight years ago, there weren’t many e-commerce companies specializing in eyewear and even fewer that offered a large range of glasses in terms of brand, design, color and size.
What has been your biggest challenge?
In a traditional shopping environment, retailers have the benefit of “facetime” to guide customers through the whole buying process, from answering questions, to letting them touch, feel and try the products. The big question for us was how could we replicate, or even beat, this experience on the web? With new technology and new ways of thinking, we believe that online stores can create a platform that enables customers to have the same or an even better shopping experience than offline.
Over the last 8 years, we’ve worked on many initiatives to give customers this better experience. We offer more than 180 brands and 80,000 SKUs—a range which no offline store can compete with. Just think of the storage space you need to house that many products! We continually optimize our websites with content, images, videos, improved product search functions,
capabilities and much more in order to create a more fulfilling retail experience. We’ve also built a strong customer service team providing expert service through phone, email and live chat that can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Again, this is something that few offline retailers can rival.
With tools like Google AdWords and Analytics, we were able to boost traffic, sales and brand awareness, and therefore reach new customers in over 30 countries in just a few clicks. This would not have been possible offline without a significant investment.
What does the future hold for SmartBuyGlasses?
Moving forward, mobile commerce and online-to-offline (O2O) will be the two main areas of focus for us in order to continue pushing innovation in the optical industry. With a rapid increase in the use of tablets and smartphones, more and more people are browsing and shopping from mobile devices. How to deliver a first class shopping experience on mobile is a new challenge and even greater opportunity ahead of us. O2O is another initiative that is a key part of our future business plan. We would like to connect the online and offline markets utilizing new technology and innovative ways of thinking.
Posted by Tony Zhuang, CIO & Co-founder of SmartBuyGlasses, China
1 comment :
Great and a very useful blog for me. Keep sharing.
June 9, 2015 at 5:59 PM
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