Market analysts say that India’s USD 1.3 billion ophthalmic market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8% a year to USD 1.8 billion by 2022. Hence, with the expanding ophthalmic market, there is an enormous scope for increasing sales in optical shops. It is important to update the sales techniques. Also, keeping in mind that the retail scenario is changing drastically with online sales and promotions, retailers need to keep up with the changing outline.
The major growth issue faced by most of the optical shops or opticians is getting new patients to their fold. Many business houses adopt the traditional ways of advertisements and marketing to keep their business growing. But with changing conditions, the marketing strategies need to be more creative and result-oriented.
5 POWERFUL TIPS FOR 2021
If you are worried about selling more eye-glasses whether online or offline the following tips may really work for building your own sales strategy to increase sales.
- EDUCATE CUSTOMERS ABOUT THE PRODUCT
Whenever any customer visits your online or offline store it is advisable that they are made aware of the products available. Firstly, when a customer visits any shop they are looking for all kinds of options for their needs. So it is important to educate them about the eye care products like eye-glasses, contact lenses, sunglasses or accessories available in your store as well as in the market.
In-case of online sales, brief but important information regarding each product may be given in the products/services section. Customers may accordingly search for their requirements. For an offline store, you may ask the customer about their need requirements and then offer and educate them about the products/services available with you.
But it is not advisable to give any kind of false information to the customers just to make a sale. Remember that a customer is not just your present opportunity but also an opportunity for future sales and promotions.
- BUILD CONFIDENCE AND VALUE BY YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS
Helping the customers choose an option that will give them the best value will help you build customer confidence. Customers may even get all their requirements at an optimal cost through your advice. In such situations, there is a high probability that they will become your loyal customer. They might even recommend people to visit your store, and your client base may increase by word-of-mouth.
Customers also look for single-point eye care solutions. They would like to visit you for all their eye care needs like eyeglasses, contact lenses, and even sunglasses for their entire family. They will be willing to spend their money on quality vision products if your recommendations suit them well.
- DEVELOP YOUR APP, WEBSITE AND HAVE SOCIAL MARKETING PRESENCE
Nowadays, the most contemporary method to increase sales and reach out to customers is through the virtual world. You can develop a website, design an app for your optical store and use social media as promotion and marketing tools.
It might seem to you that developing a website or an app may be very difficult and expensive. But with the availability of drag–and–drop app builders and free website designing facilities, the task might become easier.
These apps and websites can be customized according to your needs. You may use your own branding, logo, color theme to make the app or the website look professional. Details regarding all the products available at your store, address and opening hours, etc., can all be included in such websites.
You may also hire a professional to develop your website and app, depending upon your budget and resources. You can add an online store option to your website to sell glasses, lenses, and frames online if you have the available resources.
Nowadays, referring to websites or online shops and buying from there has also been on the rise. Here, you can also mention the prices of your products and discounts offered. You can make your existing clients aware of the website and urge them to download your app and use them.
You can also make your presence felt with social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp Business accounts and make people initially aware of your products and after that develop relationships with them as customers.
- ENGAGING WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS FREQUENTLY
Sales is not a one-time affair for any business. Customers, if they like your product, service and after-sales service will definitely be coming back to you on a recurring basis.
Hence, staying connected with customers is also a part of the sales process. Engaging with your customer by means of sending messages whether by SMS, Whatsapp or other social media account may prove to be helpful. Information regarding the latest designs of eye-wear or discount offers or service offers may also be given to the customers on a time –to- time basis. Even sending newsletters on email can be another way of staying in touch.
Taking these steps are necessary for reminding them about your presence. And, whenever need arises, the first name that will come to their mind would be your store.
- TRADITIONAL MARKETING
Sometimes being traditional helps. Maximizing walk-in customers by making your offline shop captivating, will help in getting success. Make sure that the shop looks neat and clean, and the signage is clearly visible.
Distribute pamphlets with attractive offers and photos in the nearby locality through newspapers. It hardly costs much and is able to reach out to a large number of people.
You may also put up small notice boards in the nearby residential areas where it will be visible to the general public. Sometimes offering discounts or small gifts may also attract customers. In those cases it is necessary that your offerings reach out to people.
If you have any additional hand to help you out, they might directly go and approach customers in the streets. These are just various levels of local level marketing to ensure constant walk-in customers and increase revenue generation for your store.
- COMMUNITY PRESENCE
As a business house and also as an optometrist/optician, you must consider your responsibility towards the community. Depending on your area of presence, you may try and get involved in some community service activity.
There may be various ways of getting involved in community service without spending much money. You may consider activities like sponsoring local events e.g. sports events or marathons, hosting educational activities in nearby community halls, schools or colleges, etc. If you have a bigger budget, there may be other ways of increasing your presence too like arranging for free-eye camps by tie-up with ophthalmologists or eye-hospitals or tie-up with corporates for awareness programs etc.
With these activities you can not only dispense your community responsibility but also make your presence visible among people in your locality. You along with your staff members can all get involved and increase your brand awareness. This can also be treated as a method of advertising yourself while getting involved in community activities and services.
Keeping in view the aforementioned tips, it is well understood that people want to do business with people they prefer. Hence, it is very important to focus on building an excellent customer relationship with your customer, whether online or offline. Well managed optical stores with experienced optometrists can be great profit-centers for the eye care industry in our country.