20/20

Retailing

August 2018 Business

The Optician of the Future

You’d have to have been hiding under a rock somewhere if you haven’t yet discovered that there are some companies offering glasses for your patients to purchase online. (And at prices that are hard to compete with.) So, it’s here, people. The apocalypse that has long been predicted. But, I don’t think it is as scary as the nay-sayers think. I actually think the advent of online creates opportunities for human opticians to become great. So, while the internet is trying to pass itself off as an optician, what can actual opticians do to distinguish themselves?
August 2018 Business

Presentation, Presentation, Presentation

In an age when brick and mortar must compete not just with internet but big box and other opticals, presentation is key to not only differentiating yourself from the competition, but providing patients with a pleasing ambiance and atmosphere to encourage browsing and purchasing. Done well, good presentation can lend generous dividends. In-store visual presentation is accountable for the majority of retail purchases, according to Joseph Weishar, author of The Aesthetics of Merchandise Presentation (2005, stmediagroup.com/stbooks). How, then, does an optical retail—especially one attempting to compete by offering patients the boutique experience—succeed through presentation?
July 2018 Retail Strategies

So Your Glasses Don’t Fit?

I recently joined a new “online community” for my neighborhood. It’s a great forum where people look for recommendations for babysitters and handymen, recover lost pets, buy and sell household items and discuss neighborhood concerns. The other day, someone posted a question about getting an adjustment on a pair of glasses he bought online. I gritted my teeth when I saw he lived in the wealthiest part of town. I couldn’t bear to chime in. I couldn’t come up with an answer that wasn’t snarky, but my “neighbors” quickly filled the void. Several told the gentleman that local opticians and optometrists were “glad to do it – free.” While I know that’s true, I secretly hoped he would have to suffer a little longer with poorly fitting glasses.
June 2018 Doing Good

No One Is an Island

Our digitally-amped world is shrinking. Events far beyond traditional borders are touching people and companies, and a courageous few are tackling the causes and effects of those events. They, in effect, have resurrected the John Donne missive (“No man is an island, entire of itself...Any man’s [loss] diminishes me because I am involved in mankind”) and transformed it into a 21st century mantra.
May 2018 Retail Strategies

Make Time for Staff Training

Whether you work for a large corporation or for a small business, answer the following questions. Is there enough time during the day to properly train your staff? Is there a formal training plan in place for new and current employees? If you answered yes, you are in better shape than many of your peers.
May 2018 Education

Make Time for Staff Training

Whether you work for a large corporation or for a small business, answer the following questions. Is there enough time during the day to properly train your staff? Is there a formal training plan in place for new and current employees? If you answered yes, you are in better shape than many of your peers.
April 2018 Retail Strategies

Get Excited!

When I was new to this field, a mentor told me that when people asked him what opticians did, his answer was, “Opticians make people happy.” Doesn’t that really sum up what we do? We help people to see better and look better, and that makes them happy. That’s something we should all be excited about.
April 2018 Retail Strategies

Enthusiasm is Everything

What is the difference between a good dispense and a great dispense? In my experience it is the patient’s response to the product they have just received. Do they LOVE their glasses, or do they merely like them? I’m not saying it’s wrong for patients to like their glasses, but isn’t it much more fun when they LOVE them? I certainly think so, and it’s that feeling of excitement that keeps me coming to work every day. The key is enthusiasm.