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Tuesday / August 9.
HomemifashionLooking Through the Glare: Polarised Sunglasses and Lenses

Looking Through the Glare: Polarised Sunglasses and Lenses

The effects of glare can be extreme. It can cause eye fatigue from squinting and can completely destroy the ability to see what’s ahead and around. While regular tinted lenses reduce the amount of visible light, polarised lenses present the ideal solution when it comes to blocking out blinding glare.

So, as we head towards the warmer brighter months, why not recommend scripted – or plano – polarised sunglasses to your customers? That way you’ll help protect their eyes, enhance their comfort, visual acuity and physical safety… and build your own practice sales as you go.

Polaroid stands for ‘Polarising Celluloid’, the innovation behind Polaroid sun lenses that aligns the vibrations from light waves into one or more planes of direction.

The net result is no glare, enhanced contrasts and correct colour perception… which all leads to greater comfort outdoors.

Show the middle to high-end first, don’t start at the bottom. Then if they can’t afford the mid to high end, show them the lower end…

A good way to understand how polarisation works is to look at a calm sea on a bright sunny day. The glare that reflects – or bounces – off the surface is the light that doesn’t make it through the ‘filter’ of the water. As a result of this glare you can’t see anything below – even when the water is crystal clear.

Polarising lenses absorb that glare, enabling the wearer to comfortably see what’s happening beneath the surface.

A Matter of Safety and Comfort

It’s not only what’s beneath the surface of the water that is revealed by polarised sunglasses. By enhancing contrast, and providing a truer colour definition, polarised lenses increase the wearers’ perception of space and visual acuity. Which means your customers can see more clearly whenever they’re outdoors. Obstacles ahead of them on the freeway, reflections from wet road surfaces, or the undulating grasses on a golf course… are all so much clearer.

Of course this also means that polarised lenses have the potential to greatly increase safety… which is especially important for those who spend time on the road. Thanks to new technology developed by Transitions, these days photochromic polarised glasses are available that can even adapt behind the windscreen of a vehicle.

What is surprising is that according to a study conducted by the Optometrists Association of Australia in 2011, 25 per cent of people who need distance spectacles don’t choose to wear prescription sunglasses when they’re driving – instead they go plano. It’s a frightening thought when you consider the number of cars on the road and the speed at which we drive.

Importantly, polarised lenses also provide protection for people with light-sensitive eyes, older people and those who have had ocular surgery particularly gain greater protection and comfort from polarised lenses.

A Sales Opportunity

There’s no doubt that adding polarised sunglasses to your stock can increase your sales potential. In fact, David Burch, Corporate RX Training Manager for Maui Jim believes a practice can increase its annual turnover by around 10 per cent, simply by selling sunglasses – many of which can be polarised.

“It’s not that difficult – sell one pair of premium sunglasses per week, over the course of a week, and based on a practice turning over an average of AU$680,000 pa, you’ll get to a 10 per cent increase on turnover,” he said.

But it’s up to you to make it happen.

“As your patient is waiting to see the optom, get them to fill out a lifestyle questionnaire – find out what they love to do on the weekends.”

He recommended including questions to find out how your customers live their life outdoors – do they spend time on the beach reading, fishing or water skiing? Do they play golf, tennis or bike ride? Do they spend much of their working life behind the wheel of a car?

“Ask them very specific questions: do you find the glare from the sun is painful? Do you experience any discomfort when you’re outdoors?

“These are the pain points customers will respond to…,” he said.

All of these scenarios – and of course more – provide opportunities to package the sale of new optical glasses with rx-able polarised sunglasses. After all, why wouldn’t a customer who needs prescription specs for indoor use, want the very best vision and ocular protection while outdoors as well?

And according to Mr. Burch, it’s a “no brainer” that you will be financially better off if you put more focus on selling polarised sunglasses. “You can sit and charge $60 an hour for a consultation, or you can combine it by selling frames worth hundreds of dollars,” he said. Good point…

Display and Promote

It’s a good idea to display your polarised sunglasses in one highlighted area within your practice. Consider decorating the display with props or images that immediately conjure the activities during which polarised sunglasses are of greatest value – for instance, alongside a bucket of fishing gear, in front of racing bikes or on a paddleboard.

These props will attract your customers and could also provide a conversation starter that will help your staff push the idea of buying polarised sunglasses to protect and enhance vision.

And in terms of which end of the spectrum, price-wise, to highlight on your display, Mr. Burch says aim high. “Show the middle to high-end first, don’t start at the bottom. Then if they can’t afford the mid to high end, show them the lower end of the market… Why work harder? Work smarter – sell premium – one premium is worth three cheap pairs,” he advised.