20 Nov Alejandro Betancourt launches Hawkers contact lens subscription
The recent announcement of the brand’s dive into contact lens offerings has further secured the Hawkers as an economical solution for top-quality eyewear.
Hawkers is already well known for its wide range of sunglasses that are similar to big brands, without the hefty price tag. Billed as a subscription service for convenient daily lenses, Hawkers newest move into prescription lenses is stirring things up once again in the eyewear industry.
What started as a micro startup in Spain has ballooned into a multi-million dollar business. Over 4.5 million sunglasses have been sold across 50 countries, largely through online eCommerce alone. The startup that cost Alex Moreno and Caleb Garrett $300 to start in 2013 has spiked to be worth over $100 million USD.
When Hawkers hit a demand issue, the founders brought in Alejandro Betancourt Lopez to help the company flourish. The wildly popular sunglasses company had gained steam online for a grassroots-style emergence as a big player on the field. The idea was simple: make affordable sunglasses at a fraction of the big designer brands.
Attaching the Hawkers name and brand to the sunglasses provided a “generic” option that wasn’t a true generic. People took pride in the non-assuming brand that was down-to-earth.
Alejandro Betancourt Lopez capitalized on that aspect of the brand and has played up the connection Hawkers has with its social audience. One social stunt included entertaining a pair of followers with a professional violinist and masseuse while they were stuck in line waiting for the latest iPhone (and, of course, recording it for Instagram).
The company has now added a new focus with the launch of subscription contact lenses.
Alejandro Betancourt Lopez understands that companies have an unprecedented opportunity to grow with the tools and platforms available online. While a company was once largely limited by geographical location and a local market, the reach is almost endless with online marketing.
Alejandro Betancourt Lopez says, “The Internet and new technologies give us opportunities to share information about projects and developments in a wide range of industries.”
With his vision for adaptation and business, Alejandro Betancourt Lopez saw how quality-made contact lens products could offer a new branch for Hawkers and its loyal fans. Turning that endeavour into a subscription service only furthered the mission of the brand: to provide affordable and convenient eyewear to millions of people. “Your bank account should not determine the health of your eyes,” says the Hawkers website.
With a firm footing on the eyewear industry, the recent acquisition of Loopas has launched Hawkers into the midst of the contact lens market. Hawkers chose Loopas because of the focus on quality products. The lenses are made in Europe through a partner with over 40 years of experience and the highest standards for manufacturing.
Hawkers Director of Communications Alberto Chávez said, “The acquisition of Loopas assets allows us to grow in the optical sector by increasing our product offering—in this case daily contact lenses—for our current customers, allowing us to incorporate new consumers who will benefit from our traditional offer of sun and optics.”
The new option for contact subscription includes a 10-day trial. For just the low price of shipping (starting at $3.99), subscribers can test out the quality of the lenses. The contact subscription price includes a daily pair of contact lenses for under $1 per month. This low price is far cheaper than similar products on the market. Much of the savings of Hawkers comes from their low overhead expense and more direct sales approach (reducing intermediary companies and selling their own product straight to the consumer)
Hawkers contacts can be ordered for both nearsighted and farsighted vision issues for the subscription. The lenses are made from high-performance silicone hydrogel that is breathable (reducing hypoxia) and retains moisture for longer wear. Each box of 30 is sent on a monthly basis, or as set by the subscriber.
This opens up a whole new opportunity for brand fans to get convenient and affordable eyecare.
With a Netflix-style approach to subscription services, the brand team is excited about the launch of Hawkers Daily Lenses subscription. “Reduce the price, not the quality” is Hawkers tagline for the prescription contact products they now offer. Subscribers are not locked into any plans—they can cancel whenever they wish. If a subscriber chooses to cancel before the 10-day trial is up, they won’t pay for the service at all.
Hawkers currently offers shipping to Peninsular Spain, as well as international shipping to Portugal, Italy, France and Germany. They are working to expand services to more countries as demand increases.
The three fundamental pillars for the brand have always been: quality, price and convenience.
Alejandro Betancourt Lopez’s experience comes from many businesses, including those within the energy, travel and financial industries. He founded Auro Travel in 2017 and BDK Bank of Dakar in 2013. He earned degrees in both economics and business administration from Massachusetts’s Suffolk University.
It is his experience as a knowledgeable businessman that has helped open the doors for Hawkers to continue building its optical empire.