Eyewear Retailer Zenni Optical Bolsters Search With AI and Machine Learning

Liz Dominguez
Managing Editor
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Eyewear retailer Zenni Optical is enhancing its e-commerce search capability by introducing a new Image Search Tool, as well providing a new prescription reader tool, Prescription Scan

With the new upgraded image search, Zenni consumers can upload a photo of frames they like from online, print, or real life and quickly identify a similar version on the Zenni website. 

“The retail industry is in the midst of an AI revolution with new innovations and applications coming out daily and Zenni is on the forefront of investing in new tools to ensure the most optimal shopping experience for our customers,” said David Ting, Zenni’s chief technology officer, in a statement. 

How It Works

Shoppers can upload their inspiration photo via the new capability to then virtually try on similar frames before purchasing. An “Image Search” icon on the website navigation bar loads the new service. Zenni is also providing several stock photos from which shoppers can choose from to find their desired aesthetic. 

Zenni’s second new tool allows consumers to take a photo of their prescription and upload it to the site, eliminating the need for manual input. The prescription is then saved to their account for up to two years. 

These two capabilities are leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve customer discovery and elevate the overall experience. 

“We continue to streamline the discovery and purchase process to make it easier than ever for our customers to find and buy the perfect pair of stylish and affordable Zenni frames for any occasion,” said Julia Zhen, CEO at Zenni, in a statement. “Our new Image Search and Prescription Scan tools help customers have an even faster and smooth shopping experience, enhancing the overall customer experience.”

“Image Search helps address a real need, as we know visual search is increasingly important to today’s customer, especially Gen Z, and Prescription Scan helps our customers move through the purchase process even faster and without any friction,” added Ting.

Several retailers are making significant updates to their virtual try-on capabilities. 

Last year, for example, Walmart zoned in on personalization with Be Your Own Model, allowing consumers to select from 50 models between 5’2” – 6’0” in height and sizes XS – XXXL to best represent their height, body shape, and skin tone, and display how an item will look on them. And Levi Strauss & Co is now leveraging artificial intelligence to create virtual body-inclusive avatars that will supplement the company’s human models to increase diversity and elevate the consumer experience. 

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