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How to: Place Merchandise in Optical Retail

Creating a Customer Experience

Creating a great customer experience extends beyond the moment they leave your office or exam room. As a medical professional, the care you provide must make an impact into your patient’s health and wellbeing until you see them again in 1-2 years. Simply handing the patient a prescription as they leave the exam room does not ensure they will benefit from your care. How will your patient successfully maneuver through the endless frame, lens, and coating choices to meet their lifestyle, fashion, and vision needs?

Converting your patients to retail customers must be considered a critical part of the customer journey. As part of your service experience, they will walk away with the perfect pair of spectacles to meet their needs and price point. In return, your office and business benefits: frame sales can easily be a third of your revenue!

Visual Merchandising

Making the conversion from patient to retail customer can be made much easier with visual merchandising. Visual merchandising is the practice of developing floor plans and three-dimensional displays to maximize sales. If done right, it empowers your customers to do most of the pre-sell process without assistance from an associate or sales team member.

The power of visual design and appeal applies to countless industries. In web and graphic design, the presentation of text is an essential part of success. Providing structure and hierarchy can draw a reader in—or shut them out. For instance, take the following words. Our team brainstormed our values and created a brand manifesto:

But it wasn’t until we put design behind the words that they truly started reflecting our brand and the way we felt about our work.

The same visual inspiration applies to merchandising

When a customer looks at rows and rows of lenses and products, it does not draw the shopper in. The “massing” of products becomes overwhelming. In addition, the physical space must be clear and provide an easy approach to the merchandise. For instance, chairs, desks, or signage that block access to a display will reduces its “shop-ability.” With bulked products and limited access, the client is not engaged in a story with the products or store. Their experience becomes cluttered and frustrating, and the story falls flat. And don’t forget: stories sell.

Capturing Initial Visual Interest

One quick tip for attracting customers: use your brand visuals to engage. Brand graphics give visual focus to draw customers in. Product display should include an intentional hierarchy. A variety in product placement highlights frame features and gives visual relief, rhythm, and negative space. Window displays at the storefront set the theme for the customers visit. What does your customer want? Great offers? A trendy style? Pumpkin Spice Lattes? Mix it up to provide interest and appeal, and they will want to walk in the door.

Attraction, using your storefront to drive traffic

The story presented by Sunglasses Hut begins with a large, eye-catching visual. That story is reinforced with a featured product offering. Because frames are small products, they can be enhanced by pairing them with a sleek fixture. As a customer walks through the door, the story is reinforced with a larger assortment. This experience can be repeated, altered, and reinvented throughout the year.

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