Let Your Customers Know Why They Should Visit Your Store..!
Hard times are not just to endure but to find newer ways to overcome and bring good times back again.
Yes, it’s a hard time for everyone in the business and everyone is looking forward to getting the time to normal. It’s therefore time for everyone to think, think and think more on how to overcome the pandemic as well as the dripping economy situation.
In today’s situation, particularly for the optical industry, the process of thinking about newer ideas should start from the opticians level as only if opticians get better footfalls and if their business improves everyone above their level - the wholesalers, distributors, brand owners and manufacturers will succeed.
Helping the opticians is the best way for other stakeholders to help themselves and the good news is it’s broadly happening already!
In a chat conversation with a couple of stalwarts in the optician community, we have this reaction that opticians sitting on heavy inventories is a big problem for the stand-alone stores. Also, some of the domestic and international brands of eyewear sold online with deep discounts is a major disruption for them.
As VisionPlus sees it, opticians generally believe in their customers coming to their stores as passers-by to buy products as their personal essential goods. However, this doesn’t hold good in today’s time as every optical store has competition from another optical store nearby, unlike it was in earlier times. Also, the optical products have evolved from being just eyecare or vision correction products to more fashion products as well.
With the changing times therefore it’s time for every optician to change his style of practice too and learn from other sectors. Today to attract consumers to their stores it’s very important to promote their stores at the consumer level. Luckily for them, unlike the earlier times, it’s not too difficult in today’s situation. Technology is on their side to help them like never before. What they ought to believe and do is ensure that their communication activities with their existing and new customers are regular and effective, and attract them to their stores. They have to have a healthy competition with fellow opticians in their localities for which regular and well-planned communications is necessary.
Telling the customers why it’s good for them to come to their store is possible by highlighting their strengths compared to their competitors. These strengths include offering better customer service, the announcement of new products arrivals, offering competitive and fair prices and above all highlighting customer experience of shopping at their respective stores.
Once this is done, targeted at a larger customer base of the locality of one’s store, the customers’ interest to shop for optical products and that too at the store they find best for them is achieved. This should happen regularly from time to time so that you create a desire in the minds of your existing as well as the potential new customers to buy optical products both for paramedical reasons as well as to add to their fashion quotient. If a brand of eyewear becomes popular by brand promotion, why should the same not apply to an optical store as well?
There’s another area where an optician can score points for his store. Every optician has a grudge against online portals. He should therefore also have an eStore parallel to his brick & mortar store to make the tech-savvy customers visit his store through technology as well. This will bring about a big change in the mindset of customers who currently are happy buying optical products from portals. While eCommerce portals generally are global or countrywide and big names, the dependency of the customers for the choice of products on these portals are limited as they sell mainly their own limited in house brands and not the established and popular high-end fashion brands. Also, non-availability of after-sales service for their purchases is a big missing point for the buyers. Local eStores, therefore, will have a big advantage as they offer multiple brands and choices of products and the buyers have easy access to the seller in the locality they live in for after-sales service.
Time for making the best of these advantages therefore, is ‘NOW’ for all local optical stores in the line of finding ways of overcoming the problems they are facing.
We are happy to mention here that VisionPlus has just introduced a service platform ‘Go-Phygital’ for the local optical stores in a ‘Take Your Store To Your Customer’s Door’ concept.
This is mainly to help opticians to overcome the above discussed aspects. The service includes creating a fully functional eStore for the local stores, managing it and help in promoting it effectively. Enquiries have already started coming in from across the country. We are sure this will help the optician community in a big way as it is a win-win and win proposition for all stakeholders in the optical industry as well as the customers!
Wishing everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year!