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Category Focus: Freshen Your Look

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A NEW EYECARE OFFICE DESIGN
CREATES THE RIGHT IMPRESSION

Well before patients — and eyewear buyers — meet you, they have a sense of who you are.

Each color, pattern, fixture and piece of furniture in your office tells part of the story. If your place is outdated, you’re probably not creating a positive impression. A space that’s grown cramped also does no favors for you, your patients or your staff.

If your working quarters leave you uninspired, it might be time for a design project, or even a new office.

“Moving or renovating is a big investment, one that is usually done only once or twice, so it’s important to plan and take the time to do it right,” says Dr. Jeffrey Clauss of Primary Eye Associates in Sparta, NJ. “We looked at magazine articles, vendor websites and websites of other practices and spoke with colleagues to gather ideas.”

Take a look around. Is your office sending the right message? — By James Ritchie

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POINTS TO CONSIDER

Reach out to other doctors who recently renovated and ask them to share their experience and refer a designer. Use your resources at hand such as frame reps, instrument companies, practice management and marketing consultants. These are great contacts who will know designers in the optical industry. — Richard Winig, Eye Designs.

You’re better off working with someone who’s experienced in all aspects of optometry. That way there’s nothing missed. You don’t end up asking, “Why isn’t there an outlet there?” Even in the exam rooms, we have list of about 15 questions to get at how they practice. — Larry Funston, Modern Design/Oadbe Designers

Often, the opticians and staff are the ones that bring the need for a remodel to the doctor’s attention because of comments patients make to them. You can have the most up-to-date and modern frames, but if they’re on 20-year-old displays, they look old. These patient perceptions make it difficult for the staff to take pride in their dispensary and their jobs. — Lori Estrada, Fashion Optical Displays

We’re seeing a trend where people are really into the way Apple stores look. They’re interested in clean lines, a smoother, brighter look, a simplified material palette. — Michael Ross Kersting, Fluid Vision Solutions

All the visual components of the optical — storefront, entrance, layout, traffic flow, signage, merchandising, lighting — determine success and failure in selling merchandise. This combined experience is the basis for patients to return to your optical and become regular patients. — Winig

A remodeled dispensary typically sees a minimum increase of 15 percent in sales, sometimes much more. — Estrada

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If revenue for the practice levels out even though you’ve hired more staff in an effort to see more patients, then it’s time to do something about the size of your space. The volume of well-designed space is directly related to the number of patients that can be seen. — Funston

Instead of having dedicated waiting and optical spaces, we’re encouraging more of a blending of the two. You can spread chairs throughout the retail space and get people to spend time there and perhaps check some things out. — Kersting

WHAT ECPs SAY

MICHAEL BRUCE | OD Vision Care Associates, Springfield, IL

“Perception is reality. If you haven’t changed anything in 15 years, patients might think you’re not up to date in your professional skills or with your frames and lenses.”

“The key is to find someone who will listen to you and work with what you want — not what they want. You know your demographics, your practice, the town you live in.”

“There’s a fine line between a nice, modern facility with higher-end optical and something that’s overboard, especially in the Midwest. You don’t want to come across as over the top and alienate patients. Ours came out great — contemporary but not too glitzy.”

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“We have two offices now, and the new one has a higher-end feel. People naturally feel a little more comfortable there and spend a little more money, so it’s more profitable. The showroom kind of sells itself.”

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Category Focus

Buying Guide: Website Designers

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WEB WIZARDS

Savvy web designers who build slick sites can help ECPs differentiate from their competitors.

This article originally appeared in the June 2016 edition of INVISION.


Once upon a time, a well-designed website was
considered just a nice thing for a small business to
have. Today it’s a must. The modern patient is likely to
research your practice online, and probably a few others,
before she ever walks through your doors. Steve
Freed, vice president at EyeVertise, calls your website
the “billboard” of your practice. If your billboard looks weathered and dated, it probably won’t persuade
potential clients to get off at the nearest exit and see
what you have to offer. Your site should also adhere
to a few best practices and inform visitors about what
you bring to the table. If done right, a newly redesigned
website can convert visitors to clients and help you
outshine your competition. — JESSE BURKHART



EyeMotion designed a modern-looking site for Solano Eye
Care in Fairfield, CA (solanoeyecare.net) that includes educational
content on different eye health topics for curious
visitors.



The website for Iconic Eye Care in Palm Beach Gardens,
FL (iconiceyecare.com) has been adapted for
mobile devices so that it can be deftly navigated using a
phone or tablet.



Designed by
EyeCarePro, the
site for Bright
Eyes Family Vision
Care in Tampa, FL
(brighteyestampa.
com) encourages
appointment-
making with
a contact form
at the bottom of
the homepage for
visitors to message
staff.



The website for Eyehouse in Dallas, TX (eyehousedallas.
com), developed by EyeVertise, highlights the range
of services and products offered by the practice.

VENDORS

DBA DESIGNS &
COMMUNICATIONS

dbadesigns.com

EYECAREPRO


eyecarepro.net

EYEMOTION/EYE-IQ
eyemotion.com

eyemotion.com
eye-iq.com

EYEVERTISE

eyevertise.com

POINTS TO CONSIDER

Understand the
Goal.
“You must have
new business as the
goal,” says Michael
Porat, COO of Eye
Care Pro, “and that
will drive all of your
decisions from a design
and content perspective.”
To that end,
he says to make sure
that your practice’s
contact information is
prominently displayed throughout the site
and that you offer
a way for visitors to
schedule appointments
online.

Be unique. EyeVertise’s Freed
says it’s critical for
your site to stand
out and not look like
“every other practice
with a template
website.” That means
highlighting specialties
and anything
else that makes your
practice different
from the rest.

Keep current. Rod Yost, president of
EyeMotion/Eye-IQ,
recommends that
your website include
a blog so that you can
communicate the
latest news about
your practice and any
upcoming events. The
key, though, is to regularly
update it — as
well as any other pages
on your website with
information that could
change frequently —
since your site “reflects
the image of your
practice,” he says.

Go mobile. Last
year, Google searches
on mobile devices
eclipsed searches performed
on desktops.
With mobile traffic on
the rise, it’s essential
that your site be easily
viewed and navigated
when it’s accessed on
phones and tablets.
Talk to any web design
or marketing pro that
serves the eyecare
industry, and they’ll
tell you that having a
mobile-friendly site is
a requirement, not an
option.

Mimic yourself. Your website should
match the aesthetic
and personality of your
business. For example,
if you sell high-end
frames, then you want
your site to reflect the
quality of products
offered. The idea is
that you’re “trying to
build a website that sets
correct expectations of
what [customers] are
going to see when they
[walk in],” says Daniel
Feldman, CEO of dba
designs & communications.




WHAT ECPs SAY

KEN MELIES

CFO, EUROPTICS, DENVER, CO

With our redesign, creating
a website for the mobile
environment was the first
priority. The goal was to
create a website that’s compatible
with all devices while
maintaining the integrity of
the Europtics brand.

We added some features
that allow clients to schedule
eye exams and request customer
service. We were also
able to create an environment
that supports online
reviews because those have
become more prominent in
the reflection of the brand.
Instead of making clients go
find us on Yelp, Facebook or
Google+, we incorporated
all of those sites into one
place to streamline the user
experience.

Driving engagement with
clients was important for our
redesign. We’ve definitely
had positive feedback and
experienced a lot of engagement
from all of the new
avenues they can interact
with us.

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Category Focus

Buying Guide: Optical Lighting

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LIGHT IT UP

THE RIGHT OPTICAL LIGHTING SOLUTIONS
CAN MAKE YOUR BUSINESS SHINE BRIGHTER

This article originally appeared in the April 2016 edition of INVISION.


My brain gets a little bothered when it
can’t decide what color something is. That’s
when things get chatty upstairs: “Blue? No,
it’s black. Or maybe it’s dark purple? No, it’s
blue. It’s definitely blue. … Right?” Now imagine your
customer is having that same one-way conversation in
her mind as she’s trying to determine the color of a pair
of sunglasses. Think she’s likely to purchase? I don’t think so either. That’s why it’s important that ECPs use
optical lighting that reflects the true colors of frames.
Well-considered, strategic lighting can also make your
shop look more welcoming to passers-by and create
better ambiance. We turned to the pros for tips on
lighting solutions. You might also want to plug into
their expertise to make your eyewear pop and brighten
the customer experience. — JESSE BURKHART



Having the
proper amount
of light — not
too much and
not too little
— can make
a retail space
come alive.
The LUM Retail
Lighting Group,
a division of Eye
Designs, designed
this look
for Envision
Eyecare in Celebration,
FL.



Local interior designers can
offer serious expertise for your
lighting needs, too. For renovations
at Shady Grove Eye & Vision
Care, Dr. Alan Glazier turned to
Todd Ezrin of TOBE Design Group
for the lighting.


Calvin Klein display from Eye Designs

This shelving
system
from Presenta
Nova features
diffused
lighting that
eliminates
shadows.


Calvin Klein display from Eye Designs

Efficiency and
color temperature
are the
cornerstones of
Paris Optical’s
lighting strategy.
Long-lasting bulbs
also cut down on
general maintenance
at the store.

VENDORS

ECO-LITE
eco-lite.com

LUM RETAIL LIGHTING
GROUP A DIVISION OF
EYE DESIGNS

eyedesigns.com

LIGHTING 4 DIAMONDS
(OPTICAL LIGHTING
AVAILABLE)

thejewelrylightingexperts.com

PRESENTA NOVA
presenta-nova.us

POINTS TO CONSIDER

Create convenience. Lights with the
right color temperature
and proper power
can make your store
an easy and enjoyable
place to shop. “If
you’re using a light
that’s too warm, a
purple frame might
actually appear brown,
or a pink frame might
appear more red,”
says Howard Gurock, president of Eco-Lite
Products.

Spotlight your
frames.
“Make sure
the textures and
colors really pop,”
says Blanca Rivera,
senior design director
at Eye Designs.
Having the correct
color saturation and
color consistency,
she adds, will help
you move product.

Illuminate every
square inch.
Maximize
your store’s
valuable space by turning your shadowy
nooks and crannies
into merchandising
opportunities. “When
selling our displays,
we always provide our
clients with the option
of integrated display
lighting,” says Vedra
Klaric, head of design,
Presenta Nova.

Make them feel
pretty.
Gurock advises
having lighting near
the mirror that makes
your customers look
attractive. “That’s
another way of keeping people in the store for
trying on more frames
and increasing the
chances of someone
purchasing,” he says.
“Someone is happy
to come back to your
optical if they like
how they look in your
mirror.”

Set the mood. Andrew
Fader, director of
marketing at Eye Designs,
says that many
retailers don’t consider
ambiance when they
choose lighting for
their stores. “They’ll either under-light it and
it looks dull or dingy, or
they’ll over-lamp it and
have too much glare
or too many hot spots.
You’ve got to have that
balance and control.”

Brighten strategically. Even a finer detail
such as the spacing
between fixtures can
alter visual perception.
“The arrangement of
the lights can affect the
consistency of color
throughout the store,”
says Sumita Paul of
Lighting 4 Diamonds.



Dr. Noah Wiarda of Colorado Optometry

WHAT ECPs SAY

DR. COLTON WICKS

CO-OWNER, PARIS OPTICAL, PARIS, TX

Efficiency was the No. 1 factor
we considered when choosing
our lighting product. We
want this place lit up brightly,
of course, so it’s not like Abercrombie
& Fitch where you walk
in and can’t see the product. We
also wanted low heat output.

We want to achieve a true
color perception, so temperature
of the light is important.
When we were working with Eye
Designs, that was something we
had to have. We didn’t want customers
thinking they bought a
black frame, only to walk outside
and discover they just bought a
dark purple frame.

Lifespan of the bulb is another
factor we considered. That’s
of the utmost importance with
frame board lighting. I also don’t
want to walk in, see a dark corner
and have to climb a ladder
to replace a flood light every
morning.

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Category Focus

Buying Guide: Optical Displays

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Carry On

As optical display trends evolve, think ‘breathing’ and ‘branding’

This article originally appeared in the March 2016 edition of INVISION.


A marketing campaign from OMG shows an old block-style mobile phone next to a tired-looking tier of tortoise frames and the line: “The ’80s called. They want their eyewear displays back.” Although frame display trends don’t change as quickly as phone technology, if you’re using the same frame boards and display props you had a decade ago, it’s time to reboot.

Think breathing and branding. However you display them, don’t crowd your most beautiful frames. Give them space and help them tell their stories via signage, classy point-of-purchase lifestyle images and creative props. And don’t forget your windows.

Plenty of optical industry companies are ready to help you maximize your display space. But talk with local craftspeople, too, as they did at Eye Elegance in Houston, TX. Working with a concept from owner Daniel Protz, the shop turned to a local cabinet maker to realize the vision. The results: beautiful walnut cabinetry with LED-lit glass shelves and locally sourced quartz counters. — JULIE FANSELOW

Display props from Optical Marketing Group

Modern frame display props, like this one from Optical Marketing Group, help shoppers see the entire frame.

Presenta Nova display for Claudine Optique

Beautiful lighting and creative touches make eyewear shine, as in this Presenta Nova display for Claudine Optique in France.

Calvin Klein display from Eye Designs

Highlight name brands. Here’s a Calvin Klein display from Eye Designs.

VENDORS

Bates Display
batesdisplay.com

Bright Display
brightdisplay.com

Eye Designs
eyedesigns.com

Fashion Optical Displays
fashionoptical.com

KDA Furniture & Interiors
kdafurniture.com

Optical Marketing Group (OMG)
omghome.net

Presenta Nova
presenta-nova.us

Tecno
tecnodisplay.com

POINTS TO CONSIDER

Make it easy for people to browse. “The most important thing is making the displays open and accessible to patients, as long as you are not in a high-theft area,” says Lori Estrada of Fashion Optical Displays. “Being able to try on frames without having to ask for assistance will increase sales tremendously. ” One exception: Your top-of-the-line frames can be displayed in locked showcases — to deter theft and distinguish them.

Maximize your space. “The main concern I hear from eyecare professionals is ‘How can I best use my space to display the most eyewear?’” says Nicole Kenefic of KDA Furniture & Interiors. Break up your wall displays with mirrors so people can try on frames. Adds Kenefic: “Center island displays help utilize open floor space.”

Your silent salespeople. Use signs to help people find what they want, whether it’s a popular brand, lifestyle eyewear or gender. “Most people cannot easily tell a man’s frame from a woman’s frame, let alone what sort of price point they are,” says Estrada. Adds Andrew Fader of Eye Designs: “Patients want to know where to find the frames they like.” This includes brand or style, so make it easy to find with signage, grouping and product messaging.

Lighten up. “Poor or inadequate lighting can do a lot of harm to your interior and overall frames presentation,” says Vedran Klaric of Presenta Nova.

Add personality. No matter where you source displays and signs, make them your own with creative touches. Change them with the seasons and highlight new styles.


Dr. Noah Wiarda of Colorado Optometry

WHAT ECPs SAY

DR. NOAH WIARDA

COLORADO OPTOMETRY, FORT COLLINS, CO

We were moving our office to a new location and needed to set up an optical that fit perfectly into our new office space. After speaking with several optical display companies, I found Fashion Optical to have a larger variety of pricing options and the design which fit my needs for a space-saving, classy feel at a reasonable price.

Since it was my first time purchasing optical displays, I was looking for someone to explain all the details involved and all options available. Fashion Optical did just that, plus Lori was very helpful in setting up the design of the optical to fit well into my office space, especially when it came to the custom-made front desk.

I wanted a classy/upscale look. The value for the “Impressions” design was great for our needs.

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