Lens.ae sees the bigger ecommerce picture

I love it when online stores go over and beyond with customer service and make every effort to reduce cognitive dissonance.

And I’ve got a funny story about my latest online shopping experience in Dubai.

I needed to buy my wife some contact lenses and there I was, about to buy them from my usual place when I heard a radio ad for lens.ae – yes, radio ad. And it was very effective.

So being the internet nerd I am, I had to check out the website straight away. I liked what I saw. Not just because the lenses I wanted were slightly cheaper than my usual store but because it had a clean and fresh look and offered free next day delivery whereas my usual place takes a good few days.

I couldn’t believe the timing because I was reminded for the 5th time by my wife to buy her lenses and was putting it off til later when I heard the ad and acted on impulse.

Anyway I went ahead and made my purchase but forgot to take screen shots as I was in a hurry and wasn’t thinking about writing a blog post then. The process was smooth and trouble free. They also had guest checkout which I love. Following on from my review of jumbo.ae, I’ll be sure to take photos of the process next time.

So I was generally pleased with the purchase process overall. Quick, easy, distraction free etc etc. I placed my order and left it at that. Got the confirmation emails and all that. Stock standard stuff.

Then I received a phone call from lens.ae to confirm my order and then advise me to have cash on hand, ideally the exact amount. I was also told I’d get some discount vouchers for myself and some friends as a thank you for buying from lens.ae

The person on the other end was polite and professional and it was a welcome surprise to receive that call. I’m not sure if they do this for all customers or only new ones but it’s a nice idea. It may not be possible to do this for everyone once you become very popular which I can understand so I guess I’m enjoying it while it lasts I suppose!

Today I received my order and I was surprised that the parcel was so big because the actual box of lenses is small.

So I thought I’d document the grand opening of my order to see what was up.

First up is a big white box with clear branding. Nice!



Apart from a box of lenses with plenty of padding, inside the box was a welcome card in English and Arabic which also graciously asked for feedback:



They even have a sense of humour and encourage you to have fun with them:



Here’s those discount cards they promised:



And the piece de resistance – the one small thing that truly caps everything off –  a reminder envelope where you stash some emergency lenses which then serves as a reminder to re order your lenses:


So from this experience we can learn a few things :

– branding matters! these guys make sure their brand is everywhere!
– customer service is important and people appreciate the little things like confirmation phone calls.
– inject some personality into your brand and don’t be afraid to have fun – googly eyes!
– look at creative ways to encourage repeat business by being practical – emergency stash!

Regarding the last point, I read an article earlier today by Daylan Pearce who talked about how the brothers who started Michelin tyres encouraged repeat business by publishing a guide on hotels and restaurants around France which then encouraged people to drive more and see new places which then led to them needing new tyres more quickly.

The concept was genius, really. And it was from over 100 years ago. His article goes into more detail and it’s an excellent read (as is his blog in general).

Lens.ae is on the money with their approach because they understand their customer. They know how often people forget to reorder their lenses and to thwart that, they encourage you to put some away in a reserve envelope which then serves as a reminder to reorder (and the envelope has their contact details handy!). That’s brilliantly simple. I know my wife has had a few moments where she forgot to reorder in time and had to wear her glasses instead for a few days (partly her fault! but partly because my old supplier took days to deliver).

I will definitely buy from lens.ae again and will tell everyone else about them. It’s this sort of effort that really impresses me in a land where a lot of people simply don’t care about the small stuff.

Another e-commerce success story from Dubai! Look out for an upcoming post where I go through the purchase process on lens.ae – if you know me, I’m all about conversions, not just rankings. It’s no good ranking #1 if your conversion process is flawed!