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How to: Manage Customer Flow

In our last 'How To' post, we talked about how to display products to effectively grab the attention of customers and bring them into your store. But now that you have them in your space, how do you ensure you deliver a great customer experience as they move throughout the store?

Your physical space can support your goals, or they can work against them. Optical Retail has so many components going on in the customer journey, medical care, insurance, manufacturing, consultation, and frame selection. It’s easy for all of these activities to get in the way of each other. Let’s take a look at just the dispensing as an example.


  • Make it look like someone is "home": At your storefront, provide good lighting and a view into your store.

  • Accentuate a promotion, but don’t go overboard.

This storefront is visually overwhelming, with too many products and promotions.


A classy storefront with simple and elegant display. The view into the store is clean and compelling, and it easily draws you in.

Entry Zone:

Give the customer a minute to get their bearings. The first introduction is not the time to mass out your product! Too many products is overwhelming and gives the impression of low-cost, low-quality items.

In comparison, a great entry table with a limited number of well-organized products is visually appealing, especially as you look up and see well-organized mass product along the perimeter. Notice ample aisle space, which gives customers a clear flow.

Entryway Tips:

  • Have some simple wayfinding, so they know where to go, don’t start the process with confusion

  • Secondary display for you promotion is fine to reinforce here.

Shoppability Tips:

  • Shoppers tend to go right when they enter the store. This is where you should have your most desirable product.

  • Provide ample aisle space, 3’-0” minimum is required for wheelchair accessibility and it’s the law! More is better so customers can pass each other as they browse

  • Make sure to avoid bottlenecks, esp at the dispense tables and reception desk. Remember, the chair will be scooted back at times or will have a customer sitting in it.

  • With small products, like frames, wall displays tend to get the most traffic. It gives height and presence to the product, especially when it’s massed out. Floor displays are better suited for promotional displays.

Make your product accessible! If merchandised correctly, your customer will want to touch the products, try them on, and have fun with different looks. Provide plenty of mirrors and good lighting so your customer can check out their looks and have fun--it ensures they will want to shop again.

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