Sunglass Wars: 7 Months In – Who is Winning?

Date

I have been tracking Shady Rays and Blenders Eyewear for the past 226 days. During that time period, Blenders has processed 602,195 orders (an average of 2,664 orders per day). Shady Rays has processed 583,911 (an average of 2,583 orders per day). 

It is incredible how similar the performance has been for both of these brands.

Revenue

Over the past couple of months, both brands have increased their prices (inflation is real). Over the summer, Blenders’ and Shady Rays’ most popular products were selling for just under $50. Now, both have raised prices north of $50.

My original estimate for average order value for both brands was $45. However, it appears their average order value has increased to $55 – $60. 

Shady Rays’ Replacement and Limited Lifetime Warranty

I ordered my first pair of Shady Rays back in June. Shortly after that, my dogs chewed up my sunglasses. I went through their replacement and warranty system and got my sunglasses replaced (I just had to pay a $7 processing fee).

As you go through the replacement process, Shady Rays presents you with multiple offers. They offered me a hard case for $8, then offered me an upgrade from the current model of sunglasses I have for $12 (regular price $66), and then they offered me their best sellers at 40% off. It would be very easy for someone who started out with an $8 replacement order to end up with a $30 – $40 cart value at the end of this process.

However, because of Shady Rays generous replacement program, I would estimate that their average order value is slightly lower than Blenders Eyewear.

Website Traffic

Both brands have extremely similar website traffic trends. This makes sense since they both sell the same products and experience the same seasonality. Similar Web estimates that Blenders receives slightly more traffic than Shady Rays does.

Brand Name Search Volume

Over the past two years, Shady Rays’ brand name has been searched more frequently than Blenders. Summer 2020, Shady Rays had a dramatic increase in the number of times their brand name was searched, we see a spike again in summer 2021 but not nearly to the same level. Blenders has a similar trend to Shady Rays, except they did not see the dramatic spike of searches in summer 2020, and their summer 2021 searches were slightly lower than Shady Rays’.

Facebook Ads

Note: Shady Rays’ Facebook ads are graphed on the right axis.

Both brands are down from their peak number of ads in June. However, Blenders has reduced their total number of ads by a far greater percentage than Shady Rays. My curiosity has been are brands reducing the number of Facebook ads because of seasonality or because the updates to Apple reducing the effectiveness of Facebook Ads.

This is a clip from an article that was sent to me about Blenders:

The drastic drop in the number of Facebook ads from Blenders could very well be attributed to their effort to stop becoming so reliant on Facebook advertising.

Instagram Growth

Blenders by far has the larger Instagram presence with over 550,000 followers. Shady Rays 126,000 Instagram followers.

Note: Shady Rays’ Instagram followers are graphed on the right axis.

In the past 12 months, Shady Rays’ Instagram account has grown 20%. During that same time period, Blenders’ Instagram account has grown 14%.

The War

I thought for sure I would find a clear winner between these two brands over the past 6 plus months of tracking. However, I have found that they are extremely similar. Blenders appears to have the slightly larger business but it is a small margin. It will be interesting to see how these brands sales turn with the weather, as in theory, we should be at the low point of their seasonality right now.

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