GKB Opticals Group, who launched their online retail arm GKBoptical.com last January, have soft launched a web application on their website called the Virtual Try-On. The company claims that visitors to the web application (with a claim of over 1500 daily hits since its launch last month) can try on over 4,000 sunglasses and eye wear with a few clicks.
The Experience: The website is quite an information overload, though content display is pretty fast. For example, if the user hovers over over the Help/Locations menu button, he would encounter nearly 37 clickable items ranging from Advice, Benefits, Sunglasses, Prescription, Eyeglasses, Lenses to GKB outlets. Similarly, every menu item in the main navigation bar, has over 30 clickable items. The front page of the website, is not a fit to screen, rather it is a long scroll to the bottom.Once the user selects a pair of eyewear, there is a mouseover zoom which does not work for the right hand leg of the product.
The Virtual Try-On web application: The first thing which is conspicuous by its absence, is the segmentation of range into male and female, which is manageable in the eyewear section, but not in the sunglasses section.
The second thing is that rather than let users modify their pictures to fit a frame, the website has a zoom in or out function which makes you wonder if the company actually provides different sizes. The app also offers a Rotate left/right function, which is good if the user wants to view how the glasses would look when in a stupor.
In the sunglasses section, there is translucency in the lens view, which results in not giving the effect of actually wearing sunglasses to the picture, defeating the whole exercise. The quality of the photographs of the products are actually quite bad, and in some cases blurred.
The biggest challenge in building an interactive tool of this nature, is actually making the user look good enough to actually use it. For the user looking to buy a pair of eyewear (but not sunglasses), there is actual utility in using the Virtual Try-On web application.
Payment Options: Upon reaching the payment mode, the user is offered the following kinds of payment options:
- Debit Card
- Credit Card
- Net Banking
- Gift Voucher
Note that while the user may buy using the gift voucher, there is no option for actually buying the gift voucher. Also note that Cash on Delivery (COD) is only offered for purchase of sunglasses.
Locally, Lenskart a retail eyewear brand is also providing a Virtual Try-On, which uses pupil placement for fitting the eyewear to the face. While Titan Eye Plus has just launched an online eye test. Globally, Firmoo, claimed to be the world’s most popular online eyeglass store, have a web application called the Firmoo Virtual Try-On which is similar to the Lenskart application, although their range is limited to eyewear.