An eyewear retailer is taking on the POS industry


If there's nothing in the market that suits your needs…take matters into you own hands! At least that's what US based eyewear retailer, Warby Parker, has chosen to do when it comes to their point-of-sale system.

Warby Parker is an eyewear company which has its roots in e-commerce. Although most people prefer trying on frames in-store before buying them, Warby Parker set up an at-home try-on service, allowing shoppers to sample five pairs of glasses for five days as well as a virtual try-on feature to give online customers a real-store experience online. Having disrupted the online retail market, Warby Parker's brand already has a large online following (which includes celebs like Ashton Kutcher and Ryan Gosling).

However, as the brand looked toward establishing a physical presence, it didn't like any of the existing point-of-sale solutions in the market. In an unprecedented move, Warby Parker has made the rare decision to create a custom POS system to suit their specific needs and vision of balancing payments and customer relationship management.

In particular, Warby Parker wanted the flexibility to charge customers only when a customer's purchase actually shipped. It also wanted the flexibility to enter in prescription information at the point-of-sale, to track and compile all of the company's interactions with a given customer (from items viewed by a customer online to email communications) in one place to integrate their online and offline purchases.

The increased costs associated with building a system versus licensing costs to multiple vendors are only short term concerns for Warby Parker as it expects costs to be recovered within a couple of years.

Given the many competitors in the point-of-sale space, the market is growing increasingly commoditized, with many vendors offering many of the same features as Square. As we move towards the prevalence of omni-channel retailing, POS players should take a cue from Warby Parker to provide more extensive CRM functionality and flexibility for retailers.


Image source: Warby Parker

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