Warby Parker is a highly successful online retailer that sells eyeglasses. Consistent with the trend toward integrating ecommerce with bricks and mortar, Warby Parker has been opening physical stores. But, adding physical locations is not the only way Warby Parker has been integrating the new with the old.
Warby Parker has also been sending out paper direct mail pieces to promote its business. As a recipient of one of Warby Parker’s mailers not long ago, I see that Warby Parker is enhancing its strong online business by using techniques that have been around for years, but are still highly beneficial. These paper-based techniques are still quite valuable even though they have often been called dying or have been considered obsolete.
Of course, it’s been said that the world is going paperless, and in many areas paperless is here. But, it is not everywhere. Paper direct mailing is still in use even by an online mega success like Warby Parker because paper mailers can be very effective. Paper mailers encourage prospects to go online and shop. Even with the growing appeal of ecommerce, it is still important to build awareness and have a presence that helps keep a brand on consumers’ minds. Both bricks and mortar locations and paper mailings accomplish this, and thus drive people to shop online. That’s why Kohl’s has not been closing stores, like many other retailers have. And, that’s why Penney’s brought back a mini version of its paper catalog, which had been shuttered years before.
The relatively recent mailing from Warby Parker helps increase awareness of its online business. The mailer explained how Warby Parker’s online business works and touted benefits of shopping there. The mailer also described Warby Parker’s bricks and mortar stores and provided the location of one nearby. Thus, Warby Parker’s paper mailing is a good example of integrating traditional techniques with online retailing.
So, in conclusion, paper direct mailing pieces can play a valuable role for successful online retailers. And, the lesson here is that even companies that are thriving with the latest technology can reap benefits from enhancing that technology with more traditional techniques.