Give Your Optical a Makeover
Use these six steps to create displays that will generate patient interest.
DAVE ZIEGLER, O.D.
The way you display and present your frames can make your patients’ shopping experience either pleasant and fun or frustrating and dissatisfying.
Though most optometrists cringe to think their patients are “shopping” when they come to their practice, that’s exactly what happens every day in your optical area.
Here are the keys to attractively merchandise your frames.
Adopt a “less is more” mindset.
If you have ever stood in front of a drugstore shelf full of toothpastes and felt a little listless or dissatisfied, you’ve experienced “repetition blindness.” This is a neurological phenomenon in which your mind checks out when confronted with too much of one thing. That’s what your patients experience when they see 75-100 frames grouped together.
To prevent this, make products stand out from each other. Show fewer frame choices than usual, and break up board displays with shelves. In addition, use small POP pictures to give the consumer’s visual system a break and help differentiate frames from each other while also reinforcing a manufacturer’s frame brand.
Accessorize with props.
Instead of placing only frames on your displays, find ways to incorporate interesting non-optical props to add interest. For example, pick up interesting items when you travel that can be part of a future frame display. I’ve utilized relics from a recent mission trip to the Himalayas. Patients are drawn to this display, as it makes the frames stand out from others.
Find ways to incorporate interesting non-optical props to add interest.
Replace fluorescent lighting.
People tend to look less attractive under fluorescent lighting, as it washes out their features and takes away their color. As a result, consumers may not like how they look in your optical and choose not to buy from you.
Use incandescent, halogen and LED lighting to make the optical area more inviting and give the space a whole new look. LED lighting is the future and is available in warm color temperatures.
Experiment with display heights.
When different sides of a display look symmetrical, it creates a formal balance that can be a conservative way to show frames. Though this can be pleasing, try some informal balance, and place one side of a display at a different height than the other. This makes the eyes move around to see the merchandise and can be a more visually exciting way to shop, thus stimulating your patients’ brains and encouraging them to buy from you.
When you are shopping, visit high-end stores, and take note of how they merchandise. If you see an interesting idea that you’d like to utilize in your optical, take pictures with your cell phone to make it easier to replicate later.
Also, feel free to take your own spin on the ideas and customize. This makes the optical a refection of you.
Make the changes.
Implement these ideas to differentiate yourself from your competition and generate more interest from patients. Experiment, and see what works for you. OM
DR. ZIEGLER IS A SENIOR PARTNER IN A GROUP PRIVATE PRACTICE IN MILWAUKEE, WISC., AND A FELLOW OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF OPTOMETRY E-MAIL HIM AT DZIEGLER@AMERITECH.NET, OR SEND COMMENTS TO OPTOMETRICMANAGEMENT@GMAIL.COM.