Optician Success 30


"Look outside of optical.", is Step 11 in the Ultimate Guide To Becoming A RockStar Optician. All of retail is going through massive change. The issues you face with customers and sales are not unique. Online sales, showrooming, declining margins, customer education are all being struggled with and handled successfully and unsuccessfully in other retail sectors.  Learn from both.

There’s a theme emerging in the competition between brick and mortar, and online retailers: “If you engage in the race the to the bottom (pricing), you eventually lose.” Now finding themselves going head-to-head with Amazon, even Walmart and Target are scrambling to remain relevant. Traditional retailers have traditional overhead, online retailers don’t. It’s simply too easy, too cheap, and too convenient for the mass market to shop online.

You can shout about the special, in-person skill necessary to make a good pair of glasses and the shoddy products that come out of many online retailers, but the market continues to turn a deaf ear. Our industry is not immune to the changes that have been coming for several years now. It’s becoming more and more clear that, if you want to succeed going forward, you have to target a very specific audience and provide a product or experience (ideally both) that they can’t get anywhere else.

Logically, this strategy almost certainly requires some level of high-end sales. Because a) Commodities aren’t often different or better; and b) You have to be able to afford to deliver the experience that is going to draw them in and keep them coming back.

Nearly 4 years ago, Seth Godin talked with Frank Giammanco of First Vision Media about the importance of finding a specific market, being a trendsetter, providing a unique proposition, and the futility of hoping the world will stay the same.


Limited Options

Women’s clothing retailer, The Limited announced it is closing all 250 of its brick and mortar stores. Yet another indicator of the struggles retailers face in competing with online sales. However, watch the short clip at the top of the page. It keys in on the main idea you need to succeed in the increasingly competitive retail marketplace.


Macy’s and Kohl’s Still Don’t Get It.

Macy’s and Kohl’s are experiencing similar struggles with major recent stock declines. Jim Cramer’s answer to the cost-of-overhead anchor burdening brick and mortar?  Go narrow and go high. Even though for many, it may already be too late.

"There is still room for ultra-specialty retailers [at the mall], but that is only because the elite one-percent has to shop somewhere, he said. They won't dish $10,000 for a pair of earrings without seeing them in person.

[The mass market] is too cheap to shop at the mall. It's just too inconvenient unless you are uber-wealthy and need to see the ultra-luxury wares in person before buying them," Cramer said.


Luxury Cars and Opticians

Opticians might learn a thing or two from how luxury car dealers respond to the question, “What do you do or say if a teen comes in just to sit in a car and get a picture.” Hint: their answers are not even remotely close to, “Chase them away and complain about how stupid they are on Facebook.”


Putting The Sex In Specs

...or is the specs in sex? Either way, if you continually find yourself with the hots the visually challenged, there’s a new dating site just for you