Rivet & Sway has actually made me want to wear glasses again. The Seattle-based online eyewear retailer has a simple philosophy: impeccable customer service, a wide variety of high-quality frames, and nearly unbelievable convenience.
They have done a great job focusing on their market, and I fit right in with it: I’ve had a glasses prescription since I was 12, but I stopped wearing glasses daily only a few years later. I have tried metal frames, plastic frames, black frames, colored frames, expensive and cheap—everything—and I still always look dowdy in my glasses. My brother, on the other hand, looks insightful and brilliant in all of his. Enter the onslaught of ads from Rivet & Sway (Thank you Facebook Ad Exchange). I read some of their style guides and blog posts, sorted frames based on face shape, drooled over some adorable frames that I just knew wouldn’t look right on me, and contacted Ritzy, their terrific personal stylist for some advice. She suggested three frames, which were mailed to me to try on (for free!), and now, I’ve actually found two frames that are both fantastic.
The frames at Rivet & Sway are just for women, but not just any women: they’ve focused on busy, stylish women who are willing to pay a premium for a high quality product, and don’t want to deal with the nonsense of wasting an afternoon to wade through dozens of unattractive frames and then realize that (surprise!) the lightweight anti-glare lenses are also an extra hundred dollars.
The higher price ($199) than some of their competitors (<$100) likely scares away some of the younger or hipster market, but it’s also a sign to their target customers that the frames at Rivet & Sway are higher quality. The price is also positioned in a sweet spot that isn’t too high to discourage women from buying more than one frame (and The Perch, Rivet & Sway’s blog, definitely has been encouraging the idea of different frames for different styles). Their initial target market of web-savvy, fashionable 30-somethings are becoming serious brand evangelists, from mommy blogs to fashion blogs, to women telling their friends in person. The few thousand current Rivet & Sway fans will help expand their market to the millions of women that could potentially be targeted. There are about 150 women in the US, with 40 million of them between ages 25–45. About half of them need eye correction, and the high-end nature of Rivet & Sway’s frames will probably only appeal to the top 25% of income levels, which leaves roughly 5 million possible customers as they expand. Overall, Rivet & Sway has a smart strategy of targeting a specific customer segment, and have correctly identified the exact pain points that women experience when buying glasses.
All of that being said—Rivet & Sway if you guys are reading this: please figure out a way to help me measure my pupillary distance! I don’t have it on my prescription and the prospect of having to go to a glasses store to get it measured is the least convenient part of this process, and is standing between me and my next pair of glasses.