LensOnline employee getting their eye scanned


LensOnline, an international omnichannel retailer of contactlenses and eye care solutions, partnered with us to kick off their data transformation process.  

LensOnline kicks off their data transformation process with the implementation of a Customer Data Platform

LensOnline is an international omnichannel retailer of contactlenses and eye care solutions with over 250 stores in the Benelux and Italy.

LensOnline stands for better vision. For supporting contactlens wearers in their daily endeavours, together with our eye care specialists. LensOnline breaks down the personal barriers of visual challenges by providing our customer with the best quality products and service; adapted to their lifestyle. 

Results of this partnership

Reduction in marketing spend

Global growth in 2023


Reduction in marketing spend


Global growth in 2023

Goals of this partnership

Make data accessible for multiple stakeholders

in a safe and secure way.

Increase the ROI of the marketing campaigns

by combining more data.

Increase the service level towards clients

by being more relevant and personal. 


Make data accessible for multiple stakeholders

in a safe and secure way.


Increase the ROI of the marketing campaigns

by combining more data.


Increase the service level towards clients

by being more relevant and personal. 

The Challenge

Two people walking past a LensOnline store

LensOnline was founded in 2004 and has been growing fast ever since. In order to keep up with the business LensOnline decided to renew its Enterprise Architecture. Key constraints in the definition of the architecture were:

  1. Minimal internal IT requirements
  2. Hub-and-spoke connections between applications
  3. Versatile but easy data warehouse
  4. Boost customer-first vision
  5. Enable data-driven marketing

LensOnline partnered with The Reference, to validate its choices and the preferred implementation partner. Once aligned on the best fit, Twilio Segment - the leading Customer Data Platform (CDP), was chosen as the right platform to collect, unify, and activate data across their disparate data sources with Google BigQuery as underlying data warehouse. 

Furthermore, as LensOnline was also planning to adopt a new Marketing Automation solution within their infrastructure, it was crucial to establish efficient and reliable data pipelines in oder to make this migration feasible. 

The solution

We developed a composable data eco-system that is highly flexible and scalable. To achieve this, we combined the power and capabilities of Segment as Customer Data Platform, BigQuery as data warehouse, and PowerBI as data intelligence solution.

Thanks to Segment, we seamlessly orchestrated the data pipelines in a low-code environment via their ETL and rETL solution (rETL enables you to activate warehouse data in downstream tools). The flexibility of this approach unlocked a series of new use cases that were previously not feasible to accomplish. 

Visualization of the data technology of LensOnline

Data aggregation and visualization 

ERP data, ecommerce data and marketing analytics were aggregated into one data warehouse via a low coding approach and the ETL capabilities within Segment Connections. Within PowerBI, we created a set of reports that are accessible, and consumed by multiple stakeholders on a daily basis. Because the most complex and heavy data transformations are processed in the data warehouse, a business analyst can easily build reports without needing coding skills.

Connecting online & offline data to deliver an omnichannel experience

From the datawarehouse, computed insights are injected back into the commerce platforms.

To connect this, we leveraged Segment’s rETL, and Identity Resolution, which allowed LensOnline to understand a user’s interaction across the web and the physical stores. This consolidated information was then used to build audiences based on both offline and online behavior. Further downstream in the data pipe, these audiences helped us generate more relevant and personalized campaigns.

E.g., we added information such as opening hours, and location of the preferred local shop to the email campaigns generated by Ortto. We can then use Twilio Segment to check the last appointment date and based on the time of a customer’s last visit to their optician, we can remind them to get a check-up or purchase another pack of contact lenses.  

Designing the perfect architectural picture to support your business' needs is the easy part. Selecting the best solutions and implementing them is the difficult part. You need a skilled partner that understands your business and has a great team of experts. That's what we found at The Reference. That they are fun to work with is just a bonus.

Pascal Sabbe, Marketing, Digital & BI at LensOnline

RFM analysis and segmentation based on both online & offline shopping behavior

RFM segmentation is a powerful customer segmentation approach that leverages three key factors: Recency, Frequency, and Monetary value. With this technique, marketers can get a better understanding of their customers and it allows them to communicate with customers in a more effective manner. Thanks to Segment, LensOnline can build audiences based on different pieces of information including lifecycle stage (e.g., new, loyal, risk, ...), previous campaign interactions, online behavior, product preferences, etc.  

What's next

After the launch of the MVP, the goal is to connect more sources and destinations and do continuous optimization of the infrastructure. Once this is done, LensOnline wants to start focussing on journeys and scenarios that can be supported with all the data stored, and modules offered by Segment. 

How we made this work

  1. Define needs: We started with a data audit of all their data sources and Azure environment. We mapped the as-is situation and the corresponding pitfalls. 
  2. Specify capabilities: We proposed a roadmap to achieve the desired future state, taking into account LensOnline’s objectives, and the existing setup. In order to define this state, we conducted a ‘priority workshop’ where we established use case definitions and defined the technical requirements.
  3. Solution architecture: The insights from step 1 and 2 allowed us to select a solution. For this project with LensOnline , Segment was selected as the right tool for the job.  
  4. Implementation roadmap: After the selection of Segment, we designed a roadmap where we would work towards an MVP. In this MVP we focussed on the setup of the infrastructure, best practices, and user access.
  5. Execute: We worked with multiple environments (testing and production). ETL-engineering and pre-processing was done via an agile methodology.

Our goal was to use data from various sources to create a fully integrated and actionable data ecosystem. This could be done thanks to the selection of the right tools and great collaboration of people from our team and LensOnline.

Rafal Przepiora, Data Consultant at The Reference

The services that made this happen

Build out a digital story together?

Looking for a partner for your next digital project? Feel free to get in touch. We would love to hear how we can support you! 


Take a look at some of our best work

DPG Media employees together with the team from The Reference on the balcony at the Ghent office

DPG Media

DPG Media was looking for a partner to create a new central website that prioritizes user experience, brand awareness, and employer branding. 

Ship of Port of Antwerp-Bruges

Port of Antwerp-Bruges

With our sustainable approach & smart integrations, we were able to revamp the digital presence of Europe's second largest port. 

Mennens employees together with the team from The Reference on the balcony at the Ghent office


Mennens, a company that specializes in steel wire rope, lifting and hoisting equipment, and fall protection, partnered with us to further develop their brand and online presence. 

Share your thoughts