By Samantha Ramcharran, LO

Every optical has its own unique approach to marketing frames. I recently took an inventory and realized how much product I could display instead of keeping it in storage. It was satisfying to rearrange the office and display new posters that mirror current trends. Here’s how we did an office makeover to stand out and attract business.

Frame displays with multiple tiers can show off designer frames and edgy looks. This gives customers an inside scoop on the latest trends in fashion and we celebrate that fashion and luxury are available to everyone who wants to look fabulous. When it comes to presentation, I prefer clear or light-colored backgrounds. They showcase the frames’ brilliant colors and draw attention to the beauty of the product. Mirrors and glass shelves look elegant and display the patterns inside and on the temples. We place our best frames in an easily accessible and prominent place that captures consumers’ attention and highlights a line. If the line includes sunglasses, we represent them in the display. The bulk of my luxury frames are in their own section with accompanying designer signage for brand recognition. Our frame department and vendors offer marketing posters and frame stands that accentuate the brands and we change them if they become faded or out of date. We also add a few attractive props such as colorful accessories, candles, or flowered branches, and refresh them regularly and seasonally. We routinely change the lines we showcase for a fresh and trendy look. 

I like to portray a chic optical with mirrors and minimalistic design. That avoids a careless and overcrowded look. Too much in one place looks unorganized and can be overwhelming for customers. There is always room for creativity even with a mandatory layout. For example, we don’t display 3 rows of drill mounts because they aren’t a daily demand. We put out enough product to give customers an idea of how inclusive our inventory is. And we take a step further with a regular walk through to inspect for cleanliness and fingerprints and make sure frames have tags on them. We remove defective frames and return them according to the vendor. 

I consider my space smaller than most opticals, displaying fewer than 500 frames, so we show a line in two sizes and three colors, and let customers know they can get “this size in that color.” We test out different styles and experiment with them. Familiarity with our stock makes browsing quick and efficient for patients by showing what would be best for them. We want to take the guesswork out of the hard decision of choosing frames and reassure patients that our knowledge in frame sizing and fitting is an art and will be recognized when they come to pick up their glasses. 

Finding a balance between practical and style isn't always easy. Along with a beautiful store and a variety of styles, the goal is to provide comfort and good vision in a well-fitting frame. We reflect on previous sales and review our clientele for changes in age groups throughout the year and adjust our inventory. For example, pediatric offices will carry more of a kids’ selection than an office that sees older patients. When we create an experience, not a sales transaction, we have a customer for life!

Learn how to integrate digital-tech-appeal into the optical retail experience with our CE, Steps to Enrich the Customer Experience, at