Why Do They Go To Sunglass Hut?

For a long time as a frame buyer, I would steer away from bringing in more expensive plano polarized sunglasses. When meeting with frame reps, I would only select the non-polarized version of a sunglass frame. My thought process was that most people buying sunglasses from our office, bought sunglasses with the intent of turning them into prescription sunglasses so there was no point in having a selection of sunglasses that had polarized lenses in them that were going to get trashed…

That all changed when on a recent trip to the mall I decided to pop into a Sunglass Hut. There was a very knowledgeable young lady working there and we began talking about the type of customers she was selling sunglasses to. She informed me that about 65 percent of her customers are contact lens wearers. That got me thinking, are the contact lens patients from our office even aware that we can do nonprescription sunglasses??? Then I realized, because of my bad buying habits (only catering to prescription sunglasses wearers) our office does not have the best selection available for contact lens wearers to take home the same day. Also, there was no incentive to purchase sunglasses from our office instead of a dedicated sunglass store.

As a result, we developed a plan in our office to increase plano polarized sales in our office. The first step was to increase the number of board spaces available for plano polarized sunglasses. We started with 20 new plano polarized offerings. The second step was to incentive patients to buy plano sunglasses, so we started offering patients who bought a year supply of contacts lenses, 30 percent off a pair of plano polarized sunglasses. The third step was to inform our patients. We created marketing material which included posters that we hung in our office and a nifty social media campaign.

So far after one month of offering a wider selection as well as an incentive to buy from us, not only have we increased the number of plano polarized sunglasses by 30 units more than the month prior, but we also had some other unexpected results. The first unexpected result was an increase in the number of year supplies sold. Patients were more motivated to buy the year supply of contact lenses to take advantage of the 30 percent off. Another thing we didn’t anticipate was an increase in our premium prescription polarized sales. Before focusing on increasing plano polarized sales, we didn’t have a large selection of specialty or proprietary lenses options such as Ray-Ban “Chromance” lenses or even Oakley “Prizm” lenses. While increasing the number of plano polarized options on our board, we have also increased the amount of specialty and proprietary lens options we had for patients to experience. This led to our prescription patients being able to experience the quality difference in these lenses which led to an increase in sales of premium prescription lenses.

We may never have enough board space to compete with a dedicated sunglass store, but our results thus far have shown that we were underserving our patients and missing opportunities. Hopefully this can help you determine if your office has room to improve your plano polarized sales.

Article written by Thomas Cervantes, ABOC

Find him here: LinkedIn

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