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How ophthalmic lens manufacturer Essilor cultivates a good digital experience using personalisation

By Su Kent | Director of Content and Communications



Opinion article

August 20, 2021 | 6 min read

Engaging consumers and opticians

Ophthalmic lens manufacturer Essilor wanted to improve people’s perception and innovate its brand experience. Typically, consumers don’t think much beyond considering that lenses are functional when it comes to choosing a pair of glasses – for them, fashion matters, yet ultimately, lenses help them to see.

The manufacturer has a long tradition of innovation, pushing the frontiers of good vision and leads the market in innovating ophthalmic lenses whether that's a single vision lens, progressive lens or a sun tint.

As a global leader, Essilor wanted to reinvent its strategy, supporting its partners – opticians and ophthalmic practices – to bring new footfall to their premises and also have a direct dialogue with consumers, educating them more about eye care and lenses and let them know what choices are available to them.

Ibexa uses Essilor as an example of a B2B company excelling online.

Ibexa uses Essilor as an example of a B2B company excelling online.

So how did Essilor embark on bringing a brand experience around education? How could it support the recommendation of a particular lens over another?

From the outset most consumers don’t possess even minimum knowledge about lenses, or even realize that there’s a choice they can make over the type of lens in their glasses. Essilor’s digital team wanted to provide a personalized and recommended solution to consumers.

Another crucial element in the company’s digital strategy was to take into consideration how lenses are bought. Consumers go to opticians and ophthalmic practices to have their eyesight assessed. Essilor created a store locator of its partnered opticians to enable consumers to find the nearest one to them and be able to request a consultation with one directly on its site.

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A website factory to address an international audience

In Europe the company operates in 23 countries which collectively had 75 websites. So, to bring this strategy alive, it had to consolidate its operation and make a website ‘factory’, where each time a new part of the website is developed, it can be replicated, localized and made live across all its markets.

Working closely with its development partner Kaliop, Essilor consolidated everything on an AWS infrastructure, used the Ibexa Platform as the parent to build out its country (child) sites, so that every time it released a new content type or feature it could easily be rolled out across all the different language sites. Initially the project started with five countries, today it’s up to 18 sites with the aim of having all 23 sites live by the end of this year.

Adam Healey, digital manager at Essilor says: “There was a very strong reason why we deployed Ibexa’s DXP. We have leveraged it to build static templates for the core user journeys that we wanted to create, as well as being able to give our markets the freedom to still work on the content they wanted by utilizing the landing page editor. It gives us a very agile and flexible way in which to work.”

“Further we’ve been able to integrate Ibexa DXP with Salesforce (our CRM) using APIs, which has meant that we could build out our B2B infrastructure and use it for marketing automation.”

Removing friction in the buying journey

Lots of consumers come to the site – over 125k unique visitors a month – to better understand their choices. The store locator means users can not only find local opticians (typically within a 3-mile radius) – they can refine the search and find which ones, for example, are experts in Essilor lenses or find those promoting special offers.

The latest project Essilor has embarked on is to build out a configurator that enables consumers to build a lens around their specific eye care needs and even interact with that lens as they will be sent a trial pair of lenses for free which they can take with them to their next appointment.

Consumers are digitally savvy; they know all the possibilities of what they can do online and have come to expect rich experiences whether it’s from a retailer or a manufacturer.

B2B companies such as Essilor are redefining their businesses through a greater understanding of the customer journey, giving the right information, personalizing the online experience while simultaneously improving the relationship with their partners – a perfect example of B2C2B digital marketing.

The key emotions that a B2B brand must communicate are trust, expertise, and reputation. Businesses are increasingly having to differentiate themselves not only on price but on delivering experience. Hear from our partners and customers on how B2B manufacturers have elevated the perceptions of their brands. Learn more today with the team at Essilor and how they elevate digital brand and experience.

Su Kent, director of content and communications at Ibexa.

Digital Advertising Agency

Content by The Drum Network member:

Ibexa helps B2B companies to stay relevant and succeed by transforming traditional sales strategies into frictionless buying experiences

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