Optical Retail Success 95
Tasty, weekly nuggets of random goodness; tips, stories, and science hand-picked to help you find the most success in your optical retail business/career.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl
Where Everybody Knows Your Name
I know many opticians liken themselves to bartenders, but it turns out there's actually a great deal opticians can learn from bartenders.
When companies — and bartenders — give little shit away, it gets people engaged, and it inspires them to come back and spend, through the power of reciprocity. They feel like you guys really had something special.
The caveat is that it has to seem targeted, special, and unexpected.If customers know that you’re giving everyone a sample of beer — or 10% off — the magic is broken. They’re definitely still going to reciprocate — but it’s going to be in like-kind. They’re going to treat you as a source for discounts. If you want this, awesome — seems like it’s working fine for Costco. But if you don’t want this, tread lightly. Build the relationship instead — or alongside.
Now more than ever, the luxury consumer is looking for an experience. They don’t want the same shopping experience they’ve seen before; they want one-of-a-kind, hard-to-find items that no one else has; and they want to find it in an environment that isn’t replicated anywhere else.
Genusee is a startup that recycles used, Flint, Michigan water bottles into eyewear. They even have a buy-back program so they can continue to recycle the frame materials. Probably the coolest thing here is that with the resources we have today via the internet, from manufacturing to fundraising via Kickstarter, any optical could start something similar. What a way to build a key differentiator and an alternate source of revenue.
More than 80% of all retail purchases begin online. Therefore, it is absolutely critical that your customers can find you when they begin their search. Ideally, you want to be in the first few results for relevant searches that include your local market areas. The process of getting your content to rank higher in search is called search engine optimization or SEO. Unless you are in a large, ultra-competitive area, SEO doesn’t have to be all that difficult or expensive. In many cases, you can do it yourself. Here some tips to get you started.
Better Than Better
Thinking of joining the Better Business Bureau? Are you also considering advertising in the Yellow Pages? There are more effective ways of managing your business’ reputation. Most of which, have the added benefit of making it easier for your customers to find you online.
Like many of the retailers worldwide, we will need to have a dominant online presence. This will extend past contact lenses and glasses. The reality is that our concerns will extend past online refractions and more toward online exams.
This is not a popular statement with some, but if we fail to change and adapt, we, as a profession, will go the way of pharmacy. No sociopolitical organization can save us. So, I challenge you: Focus your online presence on something that creates value for your consumer. Give the onlooker a true representation of what you are. And create an experience that will bring them back.
—Scot Morris O.D., Editor, Optometric Management
Rise of the Machines
Think online won’t continue its march to take over the industry? Think again. The growth of online eyewear is far from over.
Zenni is close to releasing an app that measures PD using the camera on a computer or a smartphone. They already have a device called the EyeQue Personal Vision Tracker, that works with a smartphone to test your vision. For $5 per year, subscribers can get an unlimited vision test updates.
Wait until Amazon buys them out.
Unless the AOA is harboring a time-travelling John Connor, you might want to reconsider counting their war on technology to save the day. At least come up with a solid plan B; one that begins by figuring out what your best customers really want, not what you think they should want.
How Cold Is Your Turkey?
If your customers had to stop using your product or service tomorrow, how much would they miss it?
How easy are you to replace?
How deep are the habits, how essential are the interactions?
Being missed when you're gone is a worthy objective.
Norm! Knows AR
In every case where we do AR training, AR sales go up dramatically. Knowledge is the key. I think robust training programs [without all the marketing BS - my words] in all aspects of the optical business are missing.
Good thing someone’s working to help fix that. 😉
Video of The Week: How Premium AR Coatings Are Made
If you watched the wildly popular surfacing lab video we released a couple weeks ago (all the way to the end), we covered the AR process in a fair amount of detail. But, there is so much myth, misinformation, misunderstanding, and thirst for knowledge about the coating process, we felt it deserved its own video. So, even if you watched the first one, here you get an extra special treat as we dig into the vault yet again to unearth even more vintage OpticianWorks footage. Enjoy!
Through the OpticianWorks free video lessons, Laramy-K Optical is making every effort to provide better and more accessible education for opticians everywhere, but we’re only able to do it with your support.
You can help keep it going in two ways:
Become a paid member of OpticianWorks.com for access to the best in online optician training (The videos are only a small portion).
Or, even better, open a Laramy-K Optical lab account for the very best in independent uncut work and we'll throw in the OpticianWorks memberships for free! Your customers and your staff will thank you!
I hope you enjoyed this edition of Optical Retail Success.
Here’s to your success in this year and beyond.
Thanks for reading and sharing!