DRAPER, Utah and OAKLAND, Calif.—1-800 Contacts formally announced that it has acquired Ditto, a leader in virtual try-on and frame recommendation technologies for eyewear brands and retailers. The closing date of the acquisition was August 27, 2021, according to a company spokesperson. Terms of the deal—first reported by VMAIL on Sept. 24—have not been disclosed. With the move, 1-800 Contacts' executives say they intend to bring Ditto into a new business-to-business unit which will create integrated turnkey solutions for e-commerce and omnichannel partners.

In its official announcement, 1-800 Contacts said that more than 60 million people per year have benefited from Ditto's state-of-the-art technology, which allows shoppers to realistically try-on eyewear and receive insightful frame recommendations, both in person and online. Many top e-commerce brands, frame manufacturers, retailers and other eyecare professionals have integrated Ditto's innovative technology to personalize and streamline the frame discovery experience since the tech company's founding in 2011.

A company spokesperson told VMAIL, "At 1-800 Contacts, we have a singular focus: make vision care simple and affordable. Several years ago, we started partnering with corporate clients to offer sourcing, fulfillment, e-commerce and telemedicine services under an affiliate business called Premium Vision. In 2019, we acquired 6over6 to lean into this corporate partnership model and expand the positive impact we can have both domestically and internationally. Our acquisition of Ditto broadens our product suite and enhances our ability to provide integrated, turnkey solutions to e-commerce and omnichannel partners. We will combine Premium Vision, 6over6 and Ditto into a separate business unit focused on providing B2B solutions." 

VMAIL reported on 1-800's 6over6 acquisition in December 2019.

The spokesperson added, "Ditto is a pioneer and leader in virtual try-on for eyewear brands and retailers. Accurate virtual try-on knocks down barriers to purchasing eyewear online by giving consumers confidence in their purchase, and it helps retailers create a modern, omnichannel customer experience. We are excited by Ditto’s mission-driven team, which includes the company’s co-founder and CEO, Kate Doerksen, whose passion has driven Ditto into the forefront of virtual try-on."

Kellen Fowler, SVP of strategy and business development at 1-800 Contacts added, “Ditto’s goal of making it easier for consumers to discover and purchase great eyewear is closely aligned with our mission of making vision care simple. We are excited to have Kate and her talented team at Ditto join forces with Premium Vision and 6over6 as we pursue a better way in vision care. For our part, we look forward to providing the resources and partnership that Ditto needs to make the leap from a scrappy innovator to an established leader.” 

Kate Doerksen, co-founder and CEO, Ditto, said, “Our clients have been asking us for a broader, integrated technology solution for a while. By combining Premium Vision, 6over6, and Ditto, we can make this a reality for our partners. This acquisition helps us bring our vision to life on a larger scale and make eyewear accessible and empowering for everyone.”  Ditto was started in 2011 and has evolved its approach to the market significantly since that time. 

KKR acquired 1-800 Contacts in 2020, as VMAIL reported. 1-800 Contacts is the largest seller of contact lenses in the U.S. Its portfolio of innovative 1-800 Contacts brands includes Liingo Eyewear, 6over6, Boomerang, and Premium Vision.