There’s an internet eyewear retailer whose advertising claims to dispel the “myths” of internet eyewear purchases. Here’s one. “Myth: Online glasses compromise on quality. While there are certain online retailers that sell less-than-quality products, there are plenty of low quality products at retailers that sell at brick and mortar locations. All you need to do is make sure you do your research.” Was that supposed to be reassuring?
Ever hear the joke about the girl who walks into a bar? She orders a martini, notices a rather dapper gentleman wearing a pair of incredible glasses, and decides to ask him where he purchased them. I ordered them online.
Girl then proceeds to call her cousin: Can you measure my face? I’d like to order some glasses online.
Here’s the punchline: I’m the cousin. Funny,right? NOT!
During my second year as an optician, our office signed up with a lab to handle a particular type of specialty job. This lab was considered one of the best in the Continental United States for handling this specific order, and came highly recommended to us by a number of frame reps and experienced opticians. Their testimonials were backed up by the jobs we got back: They were well made, the lab had a quick turnaround time, and we had a high satisfaction rate with our patients. There was only one drawback: The lab required paper orders to be filled out by hand.
Display and window designs are called “silent sales people” in the retail world and they are used to communicate a message, form a visual image of a business, “invite” patients in and call attention to eyewear and other products. Looking outside our industry we know that well designed displays and windows propel sales. It is more than worth the time and investment to create optical displays that have an impact and draw patients into your dispensary.
For most of us, walking into work, even driving to work, becomes a habit. We go through the motions but don’t always pay attention, taking it all for granted. Unfortunately, when we do that, we often miss the subtle changes that over time may become more significant.
Your optical provides a stage to show patients what is new and exciting in eyewear. In my office, we added a showcase wall to place a focus on just that. By featuring a new product or optical frame line every month, we create differentiation and educational opportunities for our patients. Our patients have become accustomed to seeing something new and different every time they come to the office, so it serves as a great merchandising area and marketing strategy.