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EyeBuyDirect Builds Sales with Share-to-Social, Analytics

EyeBuyDirect.com, a site that sells prescription eyeglasses, has been using a mix of strategies to convert causal browsers to sales. These strategies range from virtual imaging tools for the frames, to simple online surveys, to feedback analytics - to a twist on the push to social buttons that are becoming prevalent on email marketing messages.

The multi-tiered approach has been a winning one, according to Roy Hessel, CEO of EyeBuyDirect.com: the site has a conversion rate of at least 30% now.
Moving to Kampyle

When EyeBuyDirect launched two years ago it was using freeware such as Google analytics, Hessel says. The challenge of using such tools was that they  aggregate traffic but are unable to segment or track individual customers' behavior. EyeBuyDirect moved to Kampyle, a feedback form analytics application and was able to aggregate customer feedback in an organized fashion - a step that would prove key to its ultimate success, he says.

The company also augmented the feedback Kampyle delivered with tools it created in house, namely a survey asking visitors where they heard of EyeBuyDirect. "It's a simple tool that very few retailers used, but it gives us invaluable information as to where to place ads," Hessel says. EyeBuyDirect has used its customer feedback in multiple ways, Hessel adds. Its recommendation feature, for instance, helps the company to decide which frames to continue to carry and which to jettison.

EyeBuyDirect also launched a feature called EyeTry - a virtual imaging tool that lets customers "try on" glasses by downloading a photo of themselves. The site also has an interactive feature called Wall Frame where users can share their pictures to the EyeBuyDirect community.

Share-to-Social

Another EyeTry option - widgets that allow customers to share their photos outside of the Wall Frame, with friends on their social networks - is a twist on a growing email marketing practice called share or push-to-social. Essentially share-to-social is the next generation of the 'forward-to-a-friend' forms found on many websites and email campaigns. Using it, a recipient to share an item with an entire social network.

According to a study by Silverpop, the average social sharing rate is 0.5% - compared with the less than 0.1% rate realized by earlier-generation forward-to-a-friend campaigns.

While it can't make a direct correlation to such metrics, EyeBuyDirect's experiences illustrate the power of getting a customer's social network involved in the purchasing decision.

Shortly after it launched EyeTry it realized customers were three times more likely to complete their purchase if they tried their glasses on virtually - and customers that upload their photos on Wall Frame are 38% more likely to complete their purchase.

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