Mister Spex – the online shop, that set off to revolutionize the optical market.
More than 6 in 10 people need a visual aid. Today, many people are quite happy with their glasses. But for years, spectacles were regarded as a necessary evil rather than a fashion accessory. The reason for the displeasure of customers was partially due to the high and extremely untransparent prices of frames and lenses, and a shopping experience that offered no emotional highlights. In times of the increasing digitalization at the beginning of the new millennium, the question of the young business administration graduate Dirk Graber was whether and if so, how customers in the optics market could benefit from the internet. His vision: bringing the advantages of e-commerce – a bigger, immediately available fashionable assortment and transparent price models – into optometry and thus establishing a new way of buying eyewear.
A founder and his vision
Together with the Spreadshirt founder and business angel Lukasz Gadowski, Dirk Graber concretised the business model of an online optician and named it Mister Spex, which was based on a structured market analysis. One thing was already clear: So far, the e-commerce development had left the optical industry in Germany completely untouched.
Part of the Mister Spex founding team were: Björn Sykora, a friend from Graber’s student days and the two IT experts Philipp Frenkel and Thilo Hardt. Finally, in December 2007 Mister Spex was officially founded. The first online shop went live in Germany in April of the following year.
Information, counselling and service – a brand establishes itself
The biggest challenge for Mister Spex has always been explaining glasses wearers that buying glasses online is less complex than it at first appears. To order prescription glasses via the internet was initially difficult to imagine for many consumers. Therefore, Mister Spex has been advertising the process and benefits of buying glasses online with their own TV spots since the early years.
The aim: Customers should not only have fun while purchasing glasses online, but also notice how convenient and safe it is to select new glasses online. Smart search and filter functions in combination with extensive product information were developed. The innovative virtual fitting tool in 2D and 3D, with which customers can digitally try on their favourite model, also revolutionised eyewear online shopping.
Vom From an e-commerce to a multi-channel player
Since 2011, Mister Spex also offers eye tests and individual adjustments of spectacles by leveraging partnerships with local opticians in order to respond appropriately to evolving customer needs. Today, the online optician successfully cooperates with 550 partners in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands. In the beginning of 2016, Mister Spex opened its first offline store, to consistently expand its own multichannel concept and to prepare for the next steps of the partnership program..
The new way to buy eyewear
Today, Mister Spex operates in eleven countries. Well known investors entered in the company such as Goldman Sachs in 2014. Over 2 million satisfied customers rely on the comprehensive services and the high quality of Mister Spex. The company employs over 400 employees and is since 2015 is also a training organisation. With the opening of the first Mister Spex offline store, its own multi-channel concept is substantially expanding in order to consistently convince customers throughout Europe of the new, smart way to buy glasses..