Because Zenni manufactures its own glasses, it goes without saying: you can’t buy designer. Though the high-end customer is not the demographic Zenni seeks, it would be considered a weakness by some consumers. Additionally, any customer who wants new glasses ASAP, Zenni would not fit the bill. If a child comes home from school with broken glasses or an athlete needs sports glasses for the big game this week-end, Zenni is not the solution. If you live in the U.S., Zenni promises your glasses will arrive in 2-3 weeks via standard shipping, or a week and a half via express. International shipping is available.
Because Zenni operates online only, it lends itself to having any disgruntled customers post negative online feedback. While trolls can be potential trouble for any business, an online-only business is a particularly vulnerable target for dissatisfied customers. Buying the right glasses can be more of an art than a science; it is not uncommon for customers to be angry at the vendor when the glasses don’t meet their expectations. A worthwhile cause/charity championed by an e-commerce site goes a long way in developing good will with customers, but Zenni comes up short in this category. While it does work with Lions Club to donate money and eyeglasses for worldwide distribution, a donation of $30,000 a year doesn’t seem quite significant (“Zennis gift of vision”, n.d.).
Figure 3. Measuring Your PD
Pupillary distance measuring is also a problem for online optical retailers. Pupillary distance (PD) is the measurement in millimeters from the center of one pupil to the other. Getting this measurement right is paramount for ordering well-fitting glasses. While web-based tools to measure this accurately for customers (PD measurement derived from photo capturing) is emerging, Zenni currently instructs customers to print out a ruler from its site and measure their PD using their bathroom mirror. Some customers find they would rather just have an optician do the measuring and order from a store.