NOVA VISION: Digital Transformation of Service Retailing Industry

Weiru Chen, Liman Zhao

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This case traces the digital transformation exploration of NOVA VISION (also called "Baodao Glasses"), as the leading Chinese service-oriented eyewear retailer sought continuous improvement. The company developed informatization construction in its early stage. In the internet era, it started an online business and tried the O2O (online to offline) model in 2013. In 2019, it launched a methodology for private domain traffic operations and implemented drastic organizational changes. They followed its strategic positioning of "professionalism + digitalization" and operational goal for transforming the traditional "store operation-centered" sales model into "member operations as the core" service-oriented retail model. However, NOVA VISION's digital initiatives were not recognized by peers for many years, nor have they solved the industry's essential pain points, such as the high proportional personnel costs and the steadily rising store rents. NOVA VISION still faces internal and external challenges. The extremal challenges include threats from upstream players in the industry chain of lens and glass frame brand giants as well as competition from eye hospitals that enter the optician industry. Internal challenges come from its employees, who may be full of confusion and uncertainty about the future. It is crucial that NOVA VISION better implements the "professionalism + digitalization" strategy and ensures organizational changes bring effective outcomes. Wang Zhimin, chairman of the board of directors, still has a strong idea for exporting the company's own experience and upgrading the industry through platformization, which is full of unknowns. Will future generations still need glasses? What kind of glasses will they need? The future of eyewear service retail is blurry... NOVA VISION's related exploration reflects several important issues in the development of China's optical retail industry, such as "healthcare vs. fashion" needs, "online vs. offline" scenarios, "public domain traffic vs. private domain traffic" synergy, "selling glasses to meet consumers' needs for better glasses vs. providing optical service to allow consumers to eliminate the need for glasses" value positioning, and "store operation vs. member operation" capabilities. This case also represents the strategic positioning puzzles and organizational changes in the online transformation of many traditional enterprises in China. It leads to a broader exploration of future digital intelligence in the service retailing industry.
已出版 - 31 5月 2022






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