Optical Business Success 181
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.
Creativity is the new literacy.
The Appointed Ones
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned how savvy optical retailers who have adopted an appointment-only model could potentially find themselves in an enviable position as things open back up. It turns out that retailers across many industries have found success shifting to appointment models.
...like the hordes of consumers who first shopped online during lockdowns, some consumers who experience an “all-appointment model” for the first time may become lifelong converts. These customers “may realize that the ease and convenience are better than a ‘walk in’ model, which will make this feature a must-have for all kinds of businesses.
The Store Is Dead. Long Live The Store.
Shopping should be fun.
Sadly, this is a lesson long-lost on far too many optical stores.
Yet as retailers try to recover from the pandemic, lockdowns, and subsequent shift to purchasing online, this is precisely the lesson many will turn to, in their efforts to bring customers back through their doors.
As part of rethinking the physical shopping experience, we’ll see more and more retailers launching one-off events and providing personalized experiences that create a genuine connection between customers and retailers. Events provide the perfect opportunity to bring the brand to life and offer customers an unforgettable experience, enhancing brand perception and shopper loyalty.
Make Your Own Beginners’ Luck
Abundant research has shown that intellectual humility—the capacity to recognize the limits of our knowledge—can powerfully improve our thinking and decision-making. That capacity to reconsider our preconceptions and open our minds to new ways of thinking in unquestionably important in today’s rapidly changing world. Whether we are learning for pleasure or attempting to boost our professional skills, we could all do well to cultivate that “beginners’ mindset”, where nothing is certain, and there is everything to learn.
Location Search, Location Search, Location Search
Attracting new customers and patients to your online presence is always a challenge and the rules are always changing.
Once upon a time, all you needed was a website to stand out and be found. Now, it’s an obvious requirement, but a website by itself does very little.
Then you had to have a blog. If you wrote regularly about topics of interest to your customers/patients, you’d be more likely to show up in search results. But, not only are blogs a pain to keep up, they’re not nearly as effective as they once were. With massive sites like WebMD and Mayo Clinic dominating search results, your blog posts on eye-related topics are unlikely to even show up.
“Social media marketing” was all the rage for years. In the early days, it was easy and effective to get free attention on social media. But, like all good things, marketers ruined it. Now, it’s nearly impossible to gain meaningful traction. Unless you’re paying (not a terrible idea with the right strategy), your posts simply fade into the ether, only to be seen by a few, if any, of your followers.
So what now?
Being visible in Google search is still your best bet, but to do so, you need to think and act “local.”
Thousands of searches take place every day for "name of town + optometrist" and "eyeglasses near me".
To appear in these searches you need to think about not only the town/city where you’re located but also, the surrounding areas where your potential customers and patients reside. Targeted pages are generally far more effective for this purpose than blog posts. So, build out pages on your website and in Google Ad campaigns that focus on each of your targeted areas of interest. Once you have those covered repeat the process, creating another set of locally targeted pages for any specialties you have.
The goal is to be visible in Google Search Ads (paid), Google organic results and the Google Map Pack. The more surface area your practice occupies for valuable search terms, the more likely a potential customer or patient will see you as the best local option and take action.
Optician Video of The Week: Basic Lens Styles
Another back to basics lesson with a look at basic lens styles including single vision (SV), flat-top (FT) or straight-top (ST) bifocals, trifocals, round segments (RD), executive bifocals, and executive trifocals and what, if anything, they're all good for.
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!