How Warby Parker is Using AI and Augmented Reality to Change Retail


Since its launch in 2010, Warby Parker has always had lofty objectives. From offering designer eyewear at accessible prices to distributing a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair of glasses sold, the company has been a disruptor and is now valued at more than a billion dollars. To stay ahead of the competition, it uses the latest artificial intelligence and augmented reality technology to provide customers with an extraordinary experience.

From Home Try-On to High-Tech

One way that Warby Parker revolutionized the optical industry was through its Home Try-On Program where customers select several frames online to be shipped to them so they could try them on at home for five days. Their new solution for trying on frames leverages the camera capabilities of the iPhone X. Warby Parker introduced Virtual Try-On that allows you to try on virtual frames through augmented reality, a technology that overlays computer-generated images (frames) onto real-world images (your face). The app uses Apple’s Face ID that uses 30,000 invisible dots and an infrared image to create a map of a customer’s face. With the specific details of your face tracked, the tool can recommend frames best suited for your face. This enhances the experience of the previous digital try-on system because it gives a 3-D preview of your faces and uses augmented reality to place the frames.

Artificial Intelligence Supports Warby Parker’s Customer Journey

Another way Warby Parker utilizes artificial intelligence to exceed customer expectations is in the way they nurture client relationships and communicate with customers who visit their website. The company uses some of the latest marketing techniques to engage with customers who browsed their site and then left without purchasing. By using personalization to address communications that are specific to each customer’s interests and where they’re at in the customer journey, Warby Parker is making it easier for customers to find what they want.  With language that conveys the company’s personality, every communication is a chance for Warby Parker to further engage the customer. In order to achieve the level of personalization and scale required for Warby Parker’s business communications, AI algorithms are relied upon.

AI Helps Retailers Respond to Changing Customer Needs

Customers are demanding something different from retailers. Artificial intelligence can help deliver what they want. So, while there has been much discussion about the demise of retail and specifically brick-and-mortar stores, some particularly prescience companies such as Amazon and Warby Parker are opening brick-and-mortar locations to complement their online services and products. Rest assured that these two industry disruptors aren’t opening traditional storefronts, but have modernized the shopping experience with the help of artificial intelligence. As a complement to the store’s employees, artificial intelligence can provide answers to customer queries when the store’s employees don’t have the answer. This reduces any wait time for store personnel to connect to company headquarters and minimizes frustration by being told: “I don’t know.”

Read the source article in Forbes.