Top 'retail' tactics for sunwear

January 1, 2011

Optometrists can learn much from three of the country's leading retailers when it comes to increasing sunwear sales.

Selling at every step

http://Amazon.com/, as anyone who has used the popular Web site knows, is very good at making offers of more sales at every point along the initial sales process. The site's hallmark is its ongoing sale pitches: "If you're buying this, you'd probably also like this," or, "Customers who bought this item also bought." The strategy is simple yet effective.

Don't limit your patient to sunwear styles that are similar to the eyeglass frames they're considering. "Show them something different from their regular eyeglass frame," Gibb said. "Sunglasses get to be the 'fun purchase.' People can go off the beaten path from the typical conservative colors or size they may typically pick out. When you add the 'this- is-fun-and-9different' element to the sunglass sale, it creates a different feeling about the purchase."

Gibb also suggested talking about sunwear during the exam, during a contact lens purchase, and during the dispensing process. Optometrists may also wish to write a separate prescription for sunwear along with the prescription for eyeglasses.

Another very effective time to suggest sunwear is during the appointment reminder. When your staff is calling patients to remind them of an upcoming appointment, have them tell the patients to be sure to bring their sunwear as well as their regular glasses. "That makes patients think, 'Oh, wait, I'm supposed to have sunwear,'" Gibb said. "It's a very subtle yet effective way of delivering the message to patients that they need to have sunwear."