Sunglass Wars – 1 Year of Tracking


I have officially tracked Shady Rays vs. Blenders Eyewear for 1 year. What is amazing is how similar these businesses are. Over this 1 year period, Blenders Eyewear received 1,114,443 orders and Shady Rays received 965,577 orders. 

Blenders Eyewear’s average order value is slightly higher than Shady Rays. Blenders’ revenue over this year is estimated to be slightly over $60M, while Shady Rays’ revenue is estimated to be slightly over $50m.

After 1 year of tracking, it appears the Blenders is winning the sunglass war, but Shady Rays is in a close 2nd place.

Look How Similar These Charts Are

Website Traffic, Revenue, Monthly Searches, and Instagram Follower Growth all show almost the same exact ebbs and flows. When monthly searches go up, website traffic goes up, sales go up. Maybe not in that exact order, but these data points are good indicators to see if a company’s sales are going up or down.


This a graph of the monthly searches for “Sunglasses” since July 2018. As you can see searches start to increase in March/April, peak in June/July, start to decrease in August/September, and bottom out in December/January. Obviously, this makes sense in the United States. As the weather starts to get nice, people start to go outside again, people start to look for Sunglasses to buy.

As pointed out before, if web searches are up, website traffic is up, and sales are up. Here is a chart of monthly searches for Shady Rays vs Blenders since July 2018:

Both of these brands follow the expected seasonality even though both brands try to sell complementary items to offset seasonality (Snowboarding/Skiing Goggles, Blue Light filtering glasses, etc).

Also interesting to note that Shady Rays has consistently seen more searches than Blenders during the summer months and this has led to slightly higher sales for Shady Rays during those months. But this interest fades for Shady Rays in nonpeak months.

Does a Brand’s Instagram Account Drive Sales?

Blenders (596K Instagram followers) has 4x more followers than Shady Rays (136K Instagram followers) but yet their sales are only 1.15X greater than Shady Rays. The larger social media following is not translating to more sales. 

So to answer the question, it appears that a brand’s Instagram account has minimal impact on its total sales. Why is that? Because brand pages on Instagram get relatively low engagement.

Shady Rays has an engagement rate (average likes on their posts) of 0.1%, and Blenders Eyewear has an engagement rate of 0.2%. As a baseline, an effective Instagram influencer should have 3% engagement rate. If a person is not getting at least 3% engagement rate, then they are not very good at influencing their audience to take an action. 

This low engagement rate is not exclusive to Shady Rays or Blenders Eyewear. Here are some engagement rates for other top brands:

Apple (27.8M followers) – .38%

BMW (33.5M followers) – .18%

Nike (229M followers) – .08%

Hermès (11.9M followers) – .08%

Rolex (13M followers) – .84%

Are brands just not creating the content their audience wants to engage with? And that is why they have low engagement scores?

Quite possibly. Chubbies (588K followers) has a 2.5% engagement rate. Still not above the 3% target I would like to see but much higher than most brands on Instagram. Chubbies is clearly creating content their audience wants to engage with and I would bet they do see a lift in sales for their Instagram presence. 

WMP (Wear Me Pro) Eyewear

Over the past year I also have been tracking another sunglass brand: WMP (Wear Me Pro) Eyewear. I was just curious to see how another brand that I came across on TikTok compared to the “big boys” (Shady Rays and Blenders Eyewear).

In the past year, WMP has received about 58,000 orders (Shady Rays and Blenders received around 1M orders each). WMP has an average order value estimated at $45. This means WMP generated about $2.6M in sales in the past year.

From what I can tell, WMP is in its 6th year selling Sunglasses online. And looking at their historical search data, it does not appear they really started to get traction until 2020.

Note their search data for the past few months, something is going right for them.

Other WMP Eyewear data points:
Instagram Followers – 50.8K
Engagement Rate – .04%
Website Visitors – ~100K/month



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