Optical Business Success 184

Tasty, weekly nuggets of random goodness; observations, musings, tips, stories, and science hand-picked to help you achieve success in your life and independent optical business.

Lost time is never found again. 
–Benjamin Franklin.

It's Time to Reconsider

It’s easy to believe that most consumers make their online eyewear purchasing decisions based entirely on price. In fact, that’s probably the reason you hear most often. So, it may be tempting to look for ways to compete on price in an effort to bring some of that business back. But before you start down that path—something I wouldn’t recommend—consider the following:

Nine out of 10 consumers say they’re more likely to choose a retailer based on convenience, and convenience is the primary reason 43% of U.S. consumers make purchases online. The pandemic has advanced this trend, with nearly half of consumers willing to spend more money in return for convenience...

Far too often, doctors make it abundantly clear that they don’t value their patients’ time. 

Think of the typical eye exam/eyewear buying experience. Consider the time it takes someone to schedule an appointment, show up early, fill out forms, wait for the doc who’s probably running behind, select frames, select lenses, return at a later date to pick up their glasses. It’s not an experience anyone would look forward to. And that’s without even getting into the dilation and oh-so-scary NCTs. 

Compare that to the experience of buying eyeglasses from the couch on a mobile device. Oh yeah, and at less than half the price.

Now, obviously, we are comparing apples and oranges, but is that so obvious to the consumer? I dare say, it’s not. I put the blame for that squarely on the shoulders of how we do business in this industry, but that’s another article.

Regardless, when you think about setting up your optical business for success, don’t forget that time, a non-renewable resource, is more valuable than money and your customers’ time is just as important to them as your time is to you. If your patients are choosing to take their customer dollars elsewhere, it very well be because they value their time more than you do. 

While you may not be able (or want) to provide the level of convenience a retail app can provide, there are two areas you can work to improve to show your patients and customers that you value their time and make it more likely they will decide to spend some it with you. 


  1. Start by looking for ways to reduce friction and time spent at each step of the process. Leverage the power of digital communications allowing your patients and customers to complete forms and learn about your process, products, and services at a time that is convenient for them. If you find yourself repeatedly answering the same questions, create engaging articles, videos, and emails that cover these topics to save time for both you and your customers. You might even consider customizing your communication to pre-educate based on your customers/patients specific needs.
  2. Create an experience for your customers. Think about how you want them to feel from the time they discover you to after they leave your shop. Try to make them feel as if their time is not being wasted. Look to make each step as painless, enjoyable, and even as remarkable as possible. Be creative and infuse your personality. You’ll not only be giving them a reason to spend their valuable time with you, you’ll be giving them a reason tell others to do the same.    


Two GMBs or Not Two GMBs?

Google My Business should already be an important tool in your digital marketing arsenal. But did you know that solo practitioners with an optical store can, and in fact, should have two GMB pages? 

Two GMB pages—one for the practitioner optimized for the medical practice and one for the eyewear store optimized for eyewear sales—give you twice as much opportunity show up in search and maps. 

Here’s an article that talks about two GMBs for solo practitioners with two specialties. The strategy is even more relevant and effective in the case of optical, where you essentially have two different businesses.   


Wood Knot Could

People value things that are hard to make—products and services that require time, effort, creativity, and above all humanity. That is why Smoke & Flame, North America’s only premium, handcrafted firewood company, sells bundles of ginger-infused kindling for $1000.


Optician Videos of The Week: Lens Tinting and Lens Washers 

Learn the ins and outs of lens tinting then discover what to do when that lens a bit too small for the frame and your lens stretcher is nowhere to be found. 

Through our OpticianWorks free videos, Laramy-K Optical is making every effort to provide better and more accessible (and yes, even free) education for opticians, helping independents everywhere deliver a better optical experience. But we’re only able to do it with your support. 


You can help keep it going in two ways: 

Purchase a paid membership to OpticianWorks.com for you or staff, to access 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 lab work and we'll throw in the OpticianWorks memberships for your entire staff for free! Your customers and your staff will thank you!

I hope you enjoyed this edition of Optical Business Success. Please share with anyone you think might benefit from it. If someone shared it with you and you would like to receive future updates, join over 15,000 optical professionals and sign up here. https://www.laramyk.com/optical-retail-success/

Until next time, be kind and never stop learning!