It's been ten years since Mister Spex stirred up the traditional market of (sun-)glasses and contact lenses by launching an online platform. With over three million customers and an average of 15,000 orders per day, the German player can now call himself Europe's most successful online optician. Ecommerce News talked to Carsten Hennig, head of international marketing.
When Mister Spex launched its first web shop in early 2008, suppliers were quite sceptical. But like every industry, the optical market also moved towards online shopping. Nowadays, suppliers are only happy when Mister Spex wants to do business with them. "We have become one of the largest buyers of (sun) glasses and contact lenses.”
For years in a row, Mister Spex has grown by about fifteen to twenty percent per year. Germany accounts for the major part of the orders. But also the Netherlands, where the company has been active since 2015, is now an important market. "In some areas, the Dutch culture is comparable to the German culture. If the quality and service are good, the Dutch don't mind paying for it. With our own web shops in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Great Britain, Spain, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland and Sweden, the focus is on the major e-commerce countries of Europe. We do sell worldwide, but in the ten European countries where we are active, we still have enough to do.”
Mister Spex chose Intershop, because their business model is more than just a B2C web shop - and we know how to cope with this complexity. The company is busy launching brick and mortar stores, and expanding its network of partner opticians. "We now have ten own service and sales outlets, all in Germany. Here we can test new ideas more easily. Things we are excited about can then be rolled out online and together with our partner opticians.”
Over the years, Mister Spex has bound thousands of opticians throughout Europe. Customers can have their eyes measured with them, after which they can purchase their glasses and/or contact lenses from Mister Spex. "Our customers are simply looking for good products with a matching price-quality ratio, including service if needed. With our concept, we try to give the best possible interpretation to that.”
Currently, customers can find a partner optician or order a voucher for an eye examination via the website, but soon, Mister Spex hopes to be able to offer an online eye examination, too. Things like this are not easy to implement, but that is no problem for the German player.
“In order to continue to respond to customer needs, we continuously optimize and innovate. Technologies that make it easier for the consumer to make a choice are given extra attention. For example, customers can now virtually fit their glasses with 2D or 3D view. Existing customers can also refer to individual product recommendations, which are shown based on previous preferences.”
If you want to know more about how Intershop enables Mister Spex to strive in online business, read our case study.