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Sunday / July 14.
HomemieventsInaugural Optical Dispensing Stream

Inaugural Optical Dispensing Stream

WAVE’s first ever one-day optical dispensing stream commenced with a high energy welcome from April Petrusma, Chief Executive Officer of Optical Dispensers Australia.

Amid diverse lectures there were two topics that particularly caught my attention: one on visual merchandising by Shiva Taghvaei (Safilo) and one on professional frame selection by Dominque Jorgeson (University of Wesern Australia and ODA).

Ms Taghvaei spoke about how to create a store environment that showcases various brands, models, and SKUs in a way that inspires customers to purchase.

Visual merchandising is a ‘non-verbal’ tool to create first impressionx that captivate your target demographic and elevate sales. Ms Taghvaei described the following essential techniques for visual merchandising: creating a total look, use of colour, power of logos, creating a focal point to highlight special features, building blocks i.e. grouping genders, brands, or concepts to build a story, and leveraging levels to position merchandise effectively and target the right customer. She also outlined the importance of presenting products appropriately online via marketing platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. It is important to keep the information displayed online fresh and up-to-date. Attention to detail is essential: using the wrong brand logo or hashtag on social media can damage your brand’s reputation and actively steer customers from your business. In summary she described visual merchandising as a “win win” for everybody.

Dominique Jorgenson spoke about the optical dispensers’ role in professional frame selection, which is the foundation for any successful dispense. She observed that, “A great frame is a walking billboard on your patient’s face and there is no greater form of advertising” for your practice.

Frame selection impacts the opinion and loyalty of a customer long after they have left the practice (normally for the lifespan of their glasses); to get it right, we need to understand the customer’s expectations and earn their trust with relevant advice and expertise.

While technology is increasingly innovative, impressive, and accessible, it will never replicate the experience of being given meaningful and tailored advice from a skilled professional instore. A truthful and professional opinion is paramount to help guide the customer to make an optically suitable frame selection; without guidance and advice frame selection is often a very daunting task.

Providing the customer with a large selection of frames to choose from and leaving them to browse and make unguided decisions does not help them nor provide them with the professional service they require and expect.

Ms Jorgenson observed that choice overload can become a genuine barrier. Customers can feel confused or overwhelmed, leading to buyer’s paralysis, poor conversion and, if they do make a purchase decision, buyer’s remorse. Decreasing the number of choices available increases the rate of purchase and takes a cognitive load away from the customer, making the experience much easier and more enjoyable.

She said a frame’s position of wear is vital to ensure the lens powers meet the wearer’s visual requirements. Useful professional advice starts by understanding frame anatomy, i.e., each component of the frame and its importance to the successful overall fit, feel and lens position on the face. We need to realise that the same frame does not fit the same way, on two different individuals. A frame’s components are its frame front, end pieces (or temples), and bridge. The bridge measurement is arguably most important and should not be considered alone. The bridge measurement should include the frame’s apical radius, projection and crest height, temples of different lengths, and the different types of temple ends available e.g. drop end, swan neck or hockey end (all of which are designed to suit different lifestyle needs and benefit different environments), and lastly nose pads. The key differences between the frame dimensions and frame anatomy are that frame dimensions i.e. eye size, depth, width, temple length, and distance between lens serve only as a general guide to frame fit and don’t consider many of the individual variables. Ms Jorgenson said, “Eye size is not like a shoe size, and it will not be the same in two different frames.”

In summary, the successful final fit of the frame on a person’s face must include accurate horizontal alignment, the correct and predetermined amount of facial pantoscopic angle, vertex distance, wrap, side width, side bow, length to bend, length of drop, and the correct position of the anatomical bend.

No wonder the final fitting is so important; without considering each of these components individually, the ongoing visual performance of a person’s set of glasses will never be as good as it could be, and their visual requirements will suffer consequently