The Internet has dramatically impacted many industries. The most obvious examples are of course the music and book publishing industries. But another field that doesn’t get as much attention is the world of eyewear. Retailers, eye doctors, consumers, and eyewear designers have all benefited from improvements brought on by the use of the web.

Before the Internet, consumers used to use the Yellow Pages to find doctors and book their eye appointments on the phone. Now they can book appointments directly through a retailer’s website. Stanton Optical is one company that does exactly that, and the process saves time and encourages customers to visit more frequently than they otherwise would.

The use of QR codes is being implemented in eyewear retail stores as well. QR codes are like barcodes that can be scanned with a mobile device, such as a cell phone or tablet.

The QR code will then lead to content or a website that displays more information about the product connected to the code. Store managers can attach a little tag with a QR code on each pair of glasses or on the display for each designer, and attach a code that leads to more information on the glasses or brand. This takes the place of having a lot of sales copy around the products, and it also allows customers to get answers themselves, rather than waiting for an available salesperson.

The Internet is also changing the way eyewear companies communicate with consumers. Many companies have found a lot of success with viral marketing, sometimes even by accident. Companies will create a commercial and the Internet will reward creativity in ways television never could. For example, Stanton Optical’s commercials typically feature their glasses as animated characters, jumping or talking on screen. This creative feature is especially appealing to young children. This YouTube video shows a young toddler gleefully interacting with the commercial, providing free viral marketing for the company.

The web has also opened up many new opportunities for consumers to search online and find the best deals on designer frames. Many websites offer rebates, sales, coupons, or specials on a variety of products, including eyewear. Ebates for example is an online store similar to Amazon, and it offers rebates and cash back rewards as you spend more on the site. Other sites like Groupon and FatWallet offer daily coupons and deals.

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