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Article Date: 3/1/2014

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Don’t Place Limits on Your Optical

Take advantage of all the opportunities to make an impression on patients.

FROM THE EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
Jim Thomas

Whether you plan to redesign your optical dispensary, restructure your frame inventories or simply introduce a few cosmetic changes to optical displays, don’t limit yourself. That’s a theme running through much of the content in this month’s issue of OM, which is dedicated to excellence in your optical dispensary.

Pushing the limits

How can your optical push beyond the limits? In “No Passion for Fashion” (page 22), Milena Cavicchioli, of Luxottica, makes several recommendations, including becoming brand conscious and presenting eyewear as both vision correction and a fashion accessory. Fashion then, becomes part of your business.

If you are looking for advice on the right design elements for your optical, take the advice of Jay Binkowitz, president of business management company GPN, and visit the top retailers, hotels and restaurants in your area to see how they have recreated the customer experience (see “What Image Are You Presenting in Your Optical?” beginning on page 18).

With this exercise, be certain to cater to your specific patients. For example, if you plan to emphasize sunwear to target those patients who enjoy fishing and outdoor activities, your first step might be to visit a successful outdoor retailer. Once there, ask yourself: What color schemes are popular? How does the retailer present premium products? What design elements did I like? Granted, a room-sized aquarium would monopolize floor space, but one visit should yield dozens of ideas that inspire you.

After the visit, if you’re not sure exactly what the outdoor customer likes, look up the retailer on a review website, such as Yelp, to see what customers have to say.

Join the conversation

To promote your optical, participate in conversations on social media websites. Here, resist the urge to sell. Instead, experts recommend you offer information to your target audience. Using the outdoor example, post information, such as: the largest trout caught in a nearby lake, recipes for local fish, facts about sun protection and vision on the water. After several posts that inform, consider an offer (“stop by this weekend for a 25% discount on all sunwear”).

Like most creative business endeavors, there is no one correct way to recreate your optical. Leave it to your imagination, and the possibilities are indeed limitless. OM



Optometric Management, Volume: 49 , Issue: March 2014, page(s): 4

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