Warby Parker, Birchbox co-founders share plans for mobile apps

As two startups leading the way in e-commerce, it’s a little surprising that Birchbox and Warby Parker haven’t yet released mobile apps for consumers. But at GigaOM’s RoadMap conference Monday, Birchbox co-founder Katia Beauchamp and Warby Parker co-founder Dave Gilboa each promised that their companies have mobile apps on their way.

Both co-founders said that much like other e-commerce companies, they’re seeing a significant amount of traffic — 20 to 25 percent — come from mobile sites. But they said they hadn’t yet released mobile apps because they wanted to provide something more than just a desktop experience on a smaller screen.

“We’re thinking a lot about what consumers want when they come to Birchbox and it’s a little bit about what happened in their box, but it’s a lot about content. And what that looks like on mobile, I think, will be fun and exciting to see,” said Beauchamp, adding that the company is focused on launching a mobile app early next year.

Warby Parker co-founder and co-CEO Dave Gilboa

Gilboa similarly said that Warby Parker wanted to be thoughtful about its mobile app and not “have a mobile app just to have a mobile app.” To that end, it’s working on an app that uses a smartphone camera to determine a consumer’s pupillary distance, which is the distance between a person’s pupils and is used to determine where the lenses should be placed.

Check out a video recording of Beauchamp and Gilboa talking about their approaches to mobile apps below, and the rest of our RoadMap 2012 coverage here.