At Mido, Luxottica showcased a range of digital options for consumers and ECPs to use to explore enhanced selection, customized product and try-on tools, specially designed for optical shops.

MILAN—Luxottica Group S.p.A. (MTA: LUX) announced late last week that it has “put a stake in the ground” with the unveiling of its digital vision for optical practices and retail stores around the world. The new “digital vision” encompasses a series of innovations, from digital windows, interactive stores and endless digital collections to augmented reality features. Luxottica, which unveiled the initiative here at the global eyewear and eyecare show Mido, said the objective of the digital solutions is “to accelerate the digital transformation of the eyewear industry.”

"Digital is the future for Luxottica and for the entire industry,” Luxottica executive chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio said in the announcement. “Today, we must face new challenges to keep up with the times and satisfy the changing behaviors of consumers who are influenced by new technologies. In this transformation, we want to be even closer to our optical clients and continue to invest to bring them all the benefits that only digital innovation can guarantee. The watchword is ‘customization’ of products and services, and today we are showcasing the tools to make this a reality," he added.

Luxottica noted that over the past four years it has invested heavily in its own digital transformation and has evolved the way it operates in the market, developing digital platforms that connect the company’s operations to its customers and consumers. It has also acquired the digital talent and skills internally that are unique in the eyewear industry. Today, this radical technological change inside Luxottica allows the Group to propose digital opportunities and services for the benefit of the entire optical sector, paving the way for a process of innovation that will benefit all industry stakeholders, according to the announcement.

At Mido 2019, which runs from Feb. 23 through Feb. 25, Luxottica previewed an innovative concept that allows eyewear consumers to interact digitally with Luxottica’s entire catalogue of products inside the practice of any optometrist or optician. “At the heart of this new in-store experience is a smart shopper where users can explore, with the help of the associate, Luxottica’s collections and brands in an intuitive way, through easily navigable categories,” the announcement noted. “The virtual interface, fully integrated with Luxottica's digital infrastructure, is tailor-made for each customer as it can be personalized in terms of graphics and logo and linked ‘intelligently’ to the collections in-store.”

Moreover, consumers can virtually wear any model appearing in the catalogue in every variant of color, even if not available in the store, thanks to augmented reality and advanced proprietary virtual mirroring technologies, Luxottica said.

For the first time in an optical store context, consumers will be able to customize their Ray-Ban and Oakley models through an interactive screen, choosing color, frames, lenses, temples, tips and cases or requesting engravings and decorations to make the eyewear selection a very personal experience, according to the announcement.

The new virtual store can be adapted to the specific needs of each customer, available in a Ray-Ban, Oakley or multi-branded build-out, and will be proposed to Luxottica’s best customers.

The new digital assortment completes the process of digitizing the in-store communication, an effort launched by Luxottica in recent years. In 2018, digitalization enhancements were extended to the company’s customers, according to the announcement.

In addition, Luxottica said it was the first company to implement large-scale digital window technology to the eyewear industry, making the consumer experience engaging and rich in content. “In a short time, the Group has become one of the largest private digital broadcasters globally, with about 20,000 digital windows installed in its own stores and in customers’ optical practices all over the world,” the announcement stated. “The management of real-time visual communication is centralized in the internal digital factory in Milan in order to guarantee flexibility and speed of execution, distribution of contents by location, country and timing and proximity to the needs of customers and consumers.”

Following the introduction of the MyLuxottica portal, which gave customers a seamless, direct and 24/7 digital connection to the company’s supply chain, Luxottica said it is now innovating the way new collections are presented to customers in its showrooms around the world and in stores, combining traditional physical samples with a larger and endless digital collection.

At Mido, Luxottica also introduced the new "digital showroom" concept. Recently launched in Luxottica’s new Fifth Avenue headquarters in New York, and soon to be available in the avant-garde exhibition space in via Tortona in Milan, the digital showroom model presents an interactive and immersive experience for discovering Luxottica products through high-definition screens, multimedia content inspired by brand campaigns and storytelling, and virtual simulations of the spaces in store, according to the announcement. The collections are organized into "digital couvettes" to facilitate the interaction with every single model and finalize the purchasing processes. Each frame appears on screen as if it were real thanks to the use of high-definition real-time rendering and navigable 360-degree technology that can be enlarged to magnify every detail, according to the announcement.