Ten years ago, Mister Spex disrupted the traditional optics industry by launching an online platform. Now, with over three million customers and, on average, 15,000 orders per day, the company has become the most successful online optician in Europe. Ecommerce News Europe interviewed Carsten Hennig, head of international at Mister Spex.
When Mister Spex launched its very first online store in 2008, suppliers responded with skepticism. But like in practically every industry, the optics industry also moved steadily towards ecommerce. And nowadays, suppliers are more than happy when Mister Spex wants to do business with them. “We’ve grown to become one of the biggest buyers of (sun) glasses and contacts lenses”, Hennig tells us.
15 to 20% growth per year
For years in a row, Mister Spex grows 15 to 20 percent per year. In terms of online orders, Germany is the company’s biggest market. Mister Spex focuses on the biggest ecommerce industries of Europe and is now active in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland and Sweden. “We do sell worldwide, but in these ten countries across Europe we still have lots to do and to achieve.”
The online platform was built on the software of Intershop. Hennig says this is a deliberate choice, as Mister Spex is more than just a B2C store and Intershop knows how to handle this kind of complexity. The online store has priority, but still, Mister Spex is also very busy with launching physical stores at prime locations, while expanding its network of partner opticians.
“We have ten of our own service and sales points, all of which are located in Germany. There we can easily test our latest ideas and the things we get enthusiastic about, we can roll out online and together with our partner opticians.”
Thousands of opticians connected
Furthermore, the plugins of partners through the commerce platform are very important for Mister Spex. Over the years, Mister Spex has connected thousands of opticians throughout Europe. At these opticians, customers can test their eyes, after which they can go to Mister Spex to buy glasses and/or contact lenses. “Our customers are simply looking for good products with a matching price-quality ratio and service in case there’s something wrong. With out concept, we try to meet these demands as much as possible.”
Currently, customers can use the Mister Spex website to find a partnering optician or to order a voucher for a eye test, but in the future the online retailers hopes to be able to offer an eye test online. Things like this aren’t easy to implement, but the German company doesn’t think it will be any problem for them.
The company keeps on optimizing and innovating, so they can keep responding to the customers’ demands. It’s especially technology which enables consumers to make better choices that gets the company’s most attention. This has already led to customers being able to virtually try on some glasses with 2D or 3D view. And existing customers can also make use of individual product recommendations, that are shown based on previous preferences.