Author’s Blurb: I’m someone who never needed glasses thanks to my 20/20 vision. Some time in college I began experiencing dry eye syndrome because of the exessive amounts of time spent looking at screens for uni assignment. I eventually had to get blue light glasses to protect my eyes.
No longer is wearing glasses just meant for correcting your vision or protecting your eyes. It’s also considered a fashion trend.
Some who don’t need them would still buy a pair without prescriptions to wear as a trendy accessory.
Julien saw this as an opportunity to expand her business, Wondersmy, which started out selling beauty and personal care products online.
“Later on, my team and I decided to also put up contact lenses on our website because we wanted to enhance the beauty of a person even better,” she said.
Some time later, she met a couple who were experienced optometrists and lens manufacturers.
“I approached them to join me and informed them that this was the right time to explore online eyewear opportunities, especially when people have to stay home during this pandemic’s lockdown,” said Julien.
The 3 of them clicked from sharing the same belief: that choosing and getting the right pair of glasses would make a huge difference to a person’s physical appearance.
Together, they began WonderSpecs.
Customise Your Glasses
WonderSpecs works by getting customers to fill up a questionnaire on their site to choose their glasses.
Frames on their site start with a base price as low as RM38. Once you choose a pair, you will then follow each step to choose the type of lenses for your glasses.
Of course, the cost adds up depending on the type of lenses you choose, as some serve more complex purposes than others.
The last step is to fill in your prescription. If you’re unsure, you can always upload the prescription you got from an outsourced optometrist.
Julien said that getting customers to fill in their prescriptions was their biggest challenge.
“Most customers do not know their own prescription. So, I came up with the solution to pick up my customer’s existing frames for free,” she shared.
From inspecting the old lenses, the team can determine its prescription. The glasses will then be returned to the customer once it’s checked.
However, when asked about whether or not WonderSpecs plans to provide in-house optometry services, Julien shared that her customers have no issue with getting their prescriptions outsourced.
“Surprisingly for us, many customers are willing to overcome the trade-off by getting their prescription done from their local or nearest optical shops,” she explained.
And it makes sense, since going to the optometrist to get your eyes checked is free anyway.
She also shared that partnering with local optical shops was being considered in their future plans.
Perhaps they could even adopt the technology used by Pott Glasses in allowing customers to do an online vision test from home.
Seeing Clearly While Looking Good
Most people would like to have the option of testing out how a pair of frames look on their face before purchasing them.
Some companies like Pott Glasses and Focus Point already have a virtual try-on feature where you can choose a pair of frames and test out how it looks through your webcam.
Julien understands that this is an important aspect of online shopping. She expressed the interest to integrate this feature on the platform by the second quarter of next year.
She’s also one to embrace competition and sees almost every other business as one.
“My team and I always believe if we are the only one, then our company will fail to keep to improving because there is no competition at all,” she said.
Despite the growing scene of optical shops turning to e-commerce, where WonderSpecs stands out is in its prices.
They are able to sell their products at lower prices due to her business partners’ close connections to reputable lens and frame suppliers in Malaysia.
Julien also shared that the company outsources its lenses to a partner lens manufacturing lab to edge them with machines.
To further add value for their customers, WonderSpecs offers a simple checkout flow on their site which enables them to offer same-day deliveries.
Bottom Line: It would be great to see WonderSpecs include the virtual try-on feature and at-home eye tests. Of course, at-home tests can come with plenty of user errors, so it makes sense if the company is hesitant on providing such a service.
- You can find out more about WonderSpecs here.
- You can read more on other Malaysian startups we’ve written about here.
Featured Image Credit: Julien Lim, co-founder of WonderSpecs