How to Sell Prescription Glasses, Sunglasses or Contact Lenses Online
Updated: Jun 21, 2021
With 50% of the entire human population projected to be myopic (in need of prescription eyewear) by 2050, offering prescription lenses with your eyewear frames gives your customers what they need and can multiply your average revenue per order.
For example, if you charge $100 for frames and $100 for prescription lenses, your revenue increases 100% from $100 to $200!
Furthermore, as e-commerce continues to grow, generous return policies are making it easier for people to buy prescription eyewear online.
If you're interested in selling prescription glasses or sunglasses online, this guide is for you!
1. Set up your online store.
You need to create an online store to display all the eyewear products you plan to sell. There are many ways to create an online store these days, but we recommend Shopify because it's easy to use, and their customer service is responsive.
Plus, LensAdvizor, our app that helps you sell prescription lenses, is currently only available on Shopify.
2. Find an optical lab near you.
Next, you'll have to find an optical lab that can fit prescription (also called Rx in the optical industry) lenses into your frames. Partnering with an optical lab is essential to offering prescription lenses because only they have the certified expertise, equipment and technology to edge lenses.
When you meet an optical lab, be sure to inspect their facilities to get a sense of the quality of their work and request the price list. Once you know your costs, you can determine the retail price you will charge your customers and your margins.
Finding an optical lab isn't the easiest task—there's no Yelp for optical labs, but if you're in the U.S., you can refer to this list we compiled. If you're outside the U.S., you can search for "optical lab" followed by your city. There's a high chance that a suitable lab will appear in your Google Search results.
3. Install LensAdvizor on your store.
Once you've found a lab to work with you, it's time to offer prescription lenses on your online store.
Enter LensAdvizor: we make it easy to sell prescription lenses with your eyewear products.
Shopify does not come with the functionality that allows you to receive customer prescriptions or offer lens variants for sale, and because online prescription eyewear is a still a relatively young industry, there were no Shopify apps focused on prescription lenses until LensAdvizor. Of course, you could always coordinate custom prescription orders over email and bank transfer, but the process can be time-consuming and error-prone.
4. Send your prescription order to the optical lab.
Once you receive a prescription order from a customer, you send the chosen frames and the customer's prescription to the optical lab.
Next, the optical lab will fit your requested prescription lenses into your frames and send the finished product back to you.
5. Ship the finished prescription eyewear product to your customer.
After you've inspected the finished order, you can send it to your customer.
Most labs take about 3 to 5 business days to process prescription orders, so you need to let your customers know about the extended turnaround time.