By Fabio Pineda
March 29, 2023
An effective frame board management strategy ensures that patients leave with the products they need and want, and that your practice builds profitability. In the summer and spring months in our office, we sell an equal number of plano sunglasses and non-prescription, non-sun glasses. It is not quite equal in the fall and winter, but close.
Here is how we manage our frame displays to create such strong sunwear sales.
Start With a Goal of Making Your Practice the Destination for Designer Sunwear
The greatest hurdle in promoting/selling plano sunwear is the common perception that it is simply a second-pair item for patients. Although there is certainly merit in combining sunglasses with optical to boost sales, my practice, Eye Boutique, takes a different approach. We market our office, or “boutique,” as a destination for designer sunglasses.
Make Sunwear Highly Visible on Your Board
Achieving optimal sales of both entry-level and high-end sunglasses requires effective inventory management and strategic display placement.
Our experience has shown that positioning your sunwear in the most prominent and highly visible location of your store is the key to resolving this challenge. Identifying this area is easy. It is typically the first place customers gravitate upon entering your store. This is usually the central part of your showroom when walking in to the right. This prime location is where your sunwear display should be situated for maximum visibility and impact.
Avoid Impulse Buys for Your Board
Effective management of your frame board hinges on controlling your inventory. Avoid impulsive purchases or succumbing to the allure of promotional offers such as “1 free for 10.” Instead, if your frame board displays between 24-36 pieces, carefully curate the best 5-6 sunglasses from your brands.
Keep a pulse on current trends and styles, taking cues from social media influencers and celebrities, and stock colors and shapes that are in style. Additionally, consider consulting with your brand ambassadors to identify the top-selling sunglasses in their collections.
Implement a Seasonal Buying Strategy
Since our inception, Eye Boutique has achieved a near 50 percent equilibrium between optical and sun sales. Although this ratio fluctuates during the winter months, we strategically address this by scaling back our inventory and reducing our purchasing activity during the slow season to 50 units or less.
Conversely, we ramp up our stock levels during spring and summer months, resulting in an expanded selection of 100+ units. Additionally, we leverage our list of top buyers for plano sunwear, actively marketing to them when we receive new merchandise. Our primary objective is to continually offer the most well-rounded selection possible, and to proactively communicate the availability of these products to our patients as soon as they arrive.
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Showcase Only the Best of the Best
Establish your office as the go-to destination for the best selections within your community. Set yourself apart from ordinary retailers by emulating the approach of your favorite designer brands. Do they showcase every color, style and size available, or do they offer only the crème de la crème of their collections? By curating the finest sunwear available, you can differentiate yourself from the competition and elevate your reputation in the marketplace.
Focus on Your Target Demographic in Pricing
Do you cater to an upscale clientele with an array of designer brands, or do you specialize in entry-level offerings with more affordable pricing? At Eye Boutique, we have positioned ourselves at the higher end of the spectrum, featuring brands like Dita, Philipp Plein, John Varvatos Artisan, Fendi and other prominent labels.
However, we also offer a selection of high-quality, reasonably priced options, including Ray-Ban, to cater to those seeking exceptional value with warranties. Once again, the optimal strategy for your store will depend on the specific character you have developed for your brand.
Train Your Staff to Answer Questions About Products in Detail
If you have positioned your practice as a destination for designer sunwear, and have a carefully curated frame board with sunwear featured prominently, your staff’s sole responsibility will be to answer patient questions. They should be equipped to discuss the designers, manufacturing locations and all warranties associated with the frames and sunwear.
Track Metrics & Set Growth Goals
We meticulously track all metrics on a monthly basis, including all numerical data. We analyze the previous year’s monthly sun sales to ensure that we have a sufficient inventory investment in place to meet demand. It is imperative that this information is closely monitored by your office manager or owner. You cannot expect to grow your sun sales if they are just a thing in the back of your mind, and you surely cannot expect your staff to do it on their own.
Our sunwear goals for this year are ambitious. We are striving to double our sun sales from the previous year. To accomplish this impressive objective, we will be intensifying our marketing efforts on all social media platforms, collaborating more closely with our brand ambassadors to ensure access to the most coveted styles, and deepening our knowledge of our brands to better inform our customers of the value of purchasing from us versus online or from big-box stores.