As optical business starts to see the uptick, here is what is in store for the eyewear retailer
The year that has gone by has taught us a lot. From embracing the new norms of masking, social distancing and sanitising to the accelerated digitisation, the pandemic has a lot of positives. All we need to do is widen our perspective. Even in the case of optical trade, the business has been impacted. But things are finally looking up as the world slowly begins its return to normalcy. Eyewear retailers across the country are getting ready to welcome the post-pandemic customer. Let’s take a look at the changing dynamics in an optician’s store.
The New Customer
Your post-pandemic customer is very different. He / She wants a shorter yet fruitful shopping experience. Even eyewear seems to be evolving – from a health requirement to a fashion accessory and even protective equipment now. After all, the lockdown, prevailing uncertainty and focus on health have reshaped the customer behaviour. However, opticians need not worry. The eyewear distributors are empathetic to the new normal and are stepping up their game to support
the opticians. From virtual tryouts to online appointment booking apps, the distributors are helping opticians to get accustomed to this new normal. Some brands like Safilo are also investing in marketing campaigns to help build trust and confidence in customers to shop at stores.
The Opticians’ Focus
For eyewear retailers, the sole focus should be on giving their customers the best possible shopping experience. And here is how you can do it:
- Familiarise yourself with the safety protocols that are the new focus area in the post covid era
- Do not hesitate to take questions from the customer. You have to address their concerns to fuel their confidence in the in-store purchase
- Take feedback and criticism positively. Remember this new scenario is a learning opportunity
- Seek support from eyewear distributors. They have various programmes and initiatives specifically designed to help opticians accustom themselves to the new normal
Optical Business Is Set To Grow
The key challenge that every other retail business is facing, is getting the customer to visit the store. Despite the mushrooming of online stores, touch-feel remain a pertinent part of eyewear purchasing. This ensures that a steady footfall of serious buyers is continued for optical retailers.
Roy Rana, Sales Head-Wholesale and Distribution, Safilo says, “Eyewear business is a semi-essential category, the recovery for this sector is expected to be much faster. The category may start with mid or low price points, but soon it will touch the high price points within a month or two. On an absolute value, the recovery may start slow, but we can expect to reach 70% of what it was in 2019 by August 2021.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 2.2 Billion people are suffering from eye blindness and vision impairment. A similar number of people across the globe suffer from vision impairment. So clearly, the requirement for eyewear will not go down. All of this puts the optical trade on the front foot for recovery and opticians have a lot of growth avenues to explore in this new era.