Should we be wary of buying glasses online?
We can’t deny it. Online stores offer new opportunities that seem to compete with conventional shops.
Consumers save a considerable amount of time. No more waiting at the optician. No need to make an appointment. Your glasses are delivered effortlessly, directly to your home. The glasses are not what you expected? No problem, almost every online store has a free refund policy.
In addition to this easy access, the purchase of online glasses offers a much more varied selection. You’ll find so many choices just by browsing through eyewear websites. You can shop for glasses from a wide range of choices that is far superior to real eyewear stores. There is a pair for every taste.
That isn’t all. Using e-commerce to sell products means lower production costs.This is why online shops offer, at first sight, much cheaper rates than real shops. But does this hide something that the consumer would be better off to mistrust?
The virtual try-on for purchasing online
How to choose your pair of glasses without even having tried them on? Well, it’s now possible, thanks to virtual fitting. This new technology allows you to try on your glasses as if you were in the store. Using the camera on your computer as a mirror, the modelled glasses magically appear on your nose. You can test the various frames on the site by viewing a visual rendition that closely resembles reality.
Apart from being an amusing experience, the virtual try-on (VTO) allows the eyeglasses or sunglasses to be calibrated according to your physical structure. But beware, this adaptation is only virtual: the frames you get with the online purchase will not be suitable for the prescription from your ophthalmologist or obtained as a result of the eye exam performed by an optometrist. The virtual adjustment is made by your webcam. This will take into account the different characteristics of your face, such as the distance between the eyes, in order to produce the most precise settings possible.
In summary, buying online seems easy, fast, and most often the frames are cheaper than in stores.
Unfortunately, it gets complicated. Many health professionals are critical of purchasing glasses online: opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists agree on the same point: e-commerce for eyeglasses or sunglasses is not suitable.
Eye exams and measurements are necessary
We must be aware that ordering online means depriving ourselves of all the advice provided by specialized opticians. The virtual try-on (VTO) will guide you in terms of the style, shape and colour of the frame.
A simple computer cannot be as accurate as the expertise of optical professionals. Take the case of inter-pupillary measurement, which is fundamental to the adjustment of your glasses. During your eye exam, it is measured with specialized devices. On the web, measurements are taken via a simple photo or by the user himself. Needless to say, the accuracy of such diagnoses needs to be reviewed.
The physical structure analysis is also insufficient, because too few criteria are taken into consideration. The light or your position relative to the camera may distort the results of the virtual fitting.
In addition, some experts have played the game of examining several eyeglasses from e-commerce sites. The results are disappointing, to say the least. The poorly mounted glasses are usually low quality. The power of the lenses and their positioning do not always match the patient’s physical structure and the prescription.
Traditional e-commerce, discomfort and risks to eye health
It is fundamental that you get a true idea of how comfortable your glasses will be. While you may have access to the best virtual try-on technology possible, you cannot perceive the comfort of the frames without actually trying them on. Many online buyers end up disappointed when the order arrives. The eyeglasses turn out to be uncomfortable and poorly adjusted.
Also, there are certain risks associated with the health of your eyes. First of all, the discomfort of your online glasses stops you from wanting to wear them, which is obviously a danger for you. Symptoms of tiredness, headaches or migraines begin to appear, caused by poor analysis and inadequate adjustment of the glasses.
Make the distinction between virtual try-on (VTO) and online shopping
Ultimately, the purchase of glasses online can cause serious damage to your eyes, especially for patients who require a complex prescription. Technology and online shopping cannot replace the professional services and advice provided by eyewear stores.
This is why the virtual try-on must remain a fun experience, and must be accompanied by a visit to the optometrist.
VU, optometrist and eyewear specialist in Montreal, revolutionize the online purchase of eyeglasses and sunglasses, by offering the virtual try-on its site vu.ca, as well as in its shop rue Jean-Talon Est. Because VU is of the opinion that the view is unique and precious, the playful experience of virtual try-on (VTO) should be limited to this aspect.
Thus, the VTO made available to customers can guide them in their choice of frame, being able to try dozens of glasses and sunglasses in minutes. When the choice is made, it is possible for the consumer to add to his tray his favorite eyeglasses or sunglasses to try them later in the store.
VU optometrists offer their advice and adapt each glasses to each visitor. Because face and sight are unique to everyone, do not be tempted to buy online. Try the virtual try-on with a shop reservation!