I was recently surfing YouTube (who doesn't these days?) and noticed this video of Sophie Boulanger, the co-founder of Bonlook, giving a talk. Sophie was speaking at the Boston Venture and Angel Forums about Bonlook.
Some key takeways from the talk on Bonlook's business strategy;
- They target women 18 to women under 40
- Personalize styled guidance
- Targeting international markets, French speaking Canada for instance.
At the time this talk was givn Sophie Boulanger gave it she said 50% of Bonlook's traffic came from 7-8 individual fashion bloggers. Seriously doubt that is still the case but those bloggers must have some seriously impressive traffic to be throwing that much referral traffic to Bonlook's way. Can OpticalOwl get this type of traffic Google? 🙂
Some interesting tidbits I took from the talk was;
“We don't sell anything else but our own brand on our website. We offer a great value and a package price of $99 dollars that includes the frames, the prescription lenses, and the shipping.”
“We have a curated selection of frames and we do frequent launches that ties our customers that are women to come back on the website and purchase. We sell eyeglasses and sunglasses and the fulfillment is pretty fast.”
The same quality you would find at a traditional opticians in the $300-$350 dollar range.
“We offer only the highest quality lenses from Essilor.”
The idea behind Bonlook's product line-up is to offer a high quality glasses and a curated selection. Not bog down the user with lots of glasses frame options. This is quite unlike competitors such as EyeBuyDirect, Coastal, ZenniOptical, and of course Warby Parker.
“We offer an assisted shopping experience which is differentiates us from our competitors.” is something Sophie Boulanger mentioned.
This talk is not current but there was still a lot of interesting information in it. Bonlook is a major player in the online glasses market. However, with Warby Parker expanding retail stores and the EssilorLuxottica merger it will be interesting to see what they do in the next few years. It is important to note Bonlook uses Essilor polycarbonate lenses, as do many other optical stores and online glasses shops.
Apparently Sophie Boulanger has an MBA (Masters in Business Administration) from a school in Milan and has worked as a fashion buyer both in Europe and Canada. This makes sense as Bonlook has a very fashion focused and feminine touch to it's marketing.
Felix-Boulanger, her brother and co-founder, was an electrical engineer and was the CEO. Unsure who the current CEO is. I assume this is why the Bonlook virtual try-on is so much more advanced than anything I've seen available currently. Felix must have had something to do with developing this or finding people that knew how.
Melanie Daigle was the other co-founder who was in charge of the marketing operations. She is no longer with Bonlook. It also looks like Andre Boulanger, perhaps Felix and Sophie's father or uncle?, was an investor in Bonlook. Hitting up family to get a business started is always a good way to do it.
During a Q&A after she talked, the first question from the audience was, “Besides from being sexy, how are you going to beat Warby Parker?” I thought that was a funny question and is probably something I would have asked too. She replied that Bonlook is targeting a more specific demographic, women. “Warby has been taking a more masculine approach we are focusing on more international markets. Assisted style guidance is a big differentiation.” she commented. “Our client is more that considers eyewear a fashion accessory more than a medical necessity.”
Watch the talk below. What do you think of Bonlook and what Sophie said during this talk?
Sophie Boulanger – Bonlook Co-Founder