Insights From Our Editors

Market Opportunity: Promote Durability & Style in Your Optical

March 23, 2016

Emphasizing the durability and style of your optical products could pay off, findings from The Vision Council’s VisionWatch 2015 Fashion Versus Function Study suggest. When asked to consider and rank five different aspects of the eyeglasses they recently purchased, most recent buyers thought that the durability of the frames was the most important factor when settling on the frame they purchased (determined by a ranked system on a five-point scale).

In fact, 26.2 percent of recent eyeglass buyers ranked “durability of frame” as the top factor, and only 5.0 percent ranked the durability of the frame as last on the list of factors presented. The second most important factor considered when purchasing eyeglasses was the style/appearance of the frames that were bought. Over one-sixth of all recent eyeglass buyers (18.6 percent) rated the style/appearance of the frame as the most important factor in the decision to purchase the specific frames they bought.

There are key words that we all look for in a purchase. Have you identified those words in your practice? Are you and your staff using these key words in your practice with your patients? The Vision Council’s VisionWatch 2015 Fashion Versus Function Study found the durability of the frames was the most important factor when settling on the frame purchased.

Durability. Durability trumps fashion. The patient can find the most fashionable frames in your practice, but if they are not perceived as durable, then it’s on to the next frame, or, worse yet, on to the next practice. Since durability is so important, stress it in your internal and external marketing. Make sure you use that word every time with your patients.

Next highest in importance to the purchase is style and appearance of the frames. In order to properly manage your frame boards using the science of business, you need to know what your current patients are buying from you in order to properly stock your frame boards for future purchases.

So, what are you selling in your practice? All of the frames on your frame boards can fit into one of the following classifications: Conservative, Contemporary or Fashion Forward. Last year, what percentage of your frame sales were in each of these categories for men’s frames, women’s frames and unisex frames? Fill out the chart below.

Now, the question becomes, what do your frame boards look like? How close are your frame boards to what you are actually selling? Fill out this chart based on the percentage of frames you currently show for each of the three categories.

If there is a difference between the two charts, then remix your frame boards to be closer to your actual sales.

Let’s take this week to go through this simple exercise to take control of the frame boards and to maximize their use in the practice. And don’t forget that key word – durability.

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