Eyemazing - 5 weeks from idea to launching an eyewear marketplace with a competitive supply model

The challenge


The founder approached d.labs with an idea to build an eyewear marketplace based on an innovative business model in eyewear retail. By leveraging years of industry expertise and insights from his professional network, the founder identified an opportunity to create an e-commerce website with a unique value proposition. Eyemazing would offer the largest selection of bestseller eyeglasses online for fair prices, by using a competitive supply model that provides opticians with an alternative sales channel that isn’t bound by default market prices. 


The founder joined forces with d.labs' Discovery team to help him bulletproof the business model hypothesis and build an initial MVP to get some early traction on the market. The main challenge was to build just enough to validate if the product is able to deliver value for both sides of the marketplace, before making a substantial investment in a fully-fledged product. 



The Product

We used d.labs Product Sprint, a rapid prototyping process, where a facade of a product experience is created by building an MVP that is just enough to collect the data and gather customer feedback needed to validate the solution. We also used the Minimum Viable Brand framework to develop an initial Brand identity with a unique positioning on the market. 


The process


To better understand the problems and underlying needs of both opticians and consumers, we conducted a number of customer interviews. Interviews are an essential first step in our discovery process, as they allow us to map out valuable insights, better articulate our value proposition and more importantly, to truly understand and empathise with the people who will use our product.


The next step was running a Product definition workshop with the client where we mapped out the customer journey and created a blueprint for our MVP.  For this specific business case we decided that a Wizard of Oz type of MVP will be the fastest and most effective way of testing if the proposed solution will create value for both consumers and opticians. With some of the supply chain operations  ‘behind the curtain’ performed manually in this first stage, we’ll be able to quickly modify the MVP and discover how to best automate processes to scale the product in future iterations.  


Eyemazing’s Wizard of Oz MVP included two parts: 

  1. An online marketplace with an appealing brand, providing consumers with a seamless eyewear shopping experience (Shopify), and 
  2. A sleek bidding platform for opticians, where they can complement existing sales by bidding on orders from the Eyemazing marketplace (proprietary application).


The value and usability of the solution was diligently tested with customers, which gave us some insights on the high-value improvements to the final market-ready MVP. 



Deliverables: 

  • B2B Problem Interviews
  • B2C Problem interviews
  • UX Research
  • Empathy Map
  • Value Proposition Design
  • Customer Journey Mapping
  • Minimum Viable Brand and Brand Style guide
  • Solution Interviews
  • Usability testing
  • B2B One-pager documentation
  • E-commerce store MVP
  • Optician app MVP


The outcome


In 5 weeks, we helped the founder translate his business idea into a fully-functional product that he can use to attract early adopters and validate key hypotheses. After the initial 3-5 week testing period of marketing experiments, analysing the product metrics and collecting further feedback from customers and opticians, we will have a validation checkpoint to evaluate the outcomes and plan the next steps for the Eyemazing venture.


User insights


  • “Having an online store would be difficult for us because we are a small optic and the investment is too big.”
  • I don’t like shopping in physical optics. I don’t like to choose and try on glasses. I don’t like it when the salesman is standing next to me, it makes me feel obligated to buy something.
  • Salespeople in optics always try to sell me the most expensive glasses. In physical optics, I don’t feel as in control as when I am shopping online. I prefer to shop online where you can easily see the whole selection [of glasses] available.