By Mark Wright, OD, FCOVD,
and Carole Burns, OD, FCOVD
Nov. 28, 2018
Have you ever gone into a business just to look, and walked out with an armful of purchases? That didn’t just happen. You were led to purchase by what the business was doing that you weren’t really paying attention to. These are core principles guiding this marketing approach that should be used in your practice to help patients buy.
Seven of these principles are given in the 7 Layout Secrets of the Big Retail Chains1:
1) Make windows shine.
2) Make an arresting first impression.
3) Steer customers to the right.
4) Lead them somewhere.
5) Have an angle.
6) Create breaks.
7) Offer “hugs.”
First up is Make windows shine. This refers to your outward-facing windows. Use your windows to tell a story, to entice someone to come in, to highlight a new product. Here are a few rules to keep in mind:
• Use a single color theme.
• Avoid clutter.
• Learn from companies such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Macy’s.
Make an arresting first impression means to use an eye-catching display to slow down patients as they enter the optical. The use of displays just inside the door by Costco and Sam’s Clubs is designed to get people to slow down and look. The last thing you want is someone hurrying through your optical and leaving without purchasing.
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Research says that patients will shop longer and make more purchases when exposed to music. Pay attention to the music played in your favorite stores. Research also says that music has the following effects on your doctors and staff:
• Boosts performance
• Reduces employee stress and depression
• Improves employee retention
Here are three tips for your music choices:
Keep the melody in the background. Don’t let music be the focal point, instead have it be an ambience enhancer.
Strike a balance between soft and loud. “A softly played, lively and upbeat tune can put shoppers at ease and create an environment that’s warm and fun,” says Patricia Norins, a specialty retail expert and publisher of Gift Shop magazine.
Don’t get too lively. Beat is as important as volume. The faster the store music is, for example, the more people may feel stressed about how long they’ve been waiting.
Steer patients to the right. Patients usually prefer to move right and walk counter-clockwise around the optical (and the practice). Patients are happier when they are moving in their preferred direction.
Lead them somewhere. Use compelling displays to lead patients through your optical. This is more than just having compelling displays, it means the displays should be leading patients. Think about what decisions you want patients to make, then use compelling displays to help them make each decision.
Use angles to create visual interest. You create more visual interest when you use angles rather than just straight lines. A straight wall of frame boards is boring. Use angles to draw patients’ attention to specific displays. (The primary thing you have to keep in mind when you are using angles in your aisles is to keep the aisles wide enough to keep people from touching each other as they pass.)
Create breaks. In studying shopping patterns, up to 20 percent of the merchandise is skipped over because long, uninterrupted aisles don’t get people’s attention. Big-box retailers often create stopping points in the middle of long aisles by using signs or displays to create visual breaks. When you get a patient to stop, make sure you have a marketing message to direct their thoughts.
Offer “hugs.” People are attracted to round and U-shapes. These hugs make people want to stop and enter the space. Take a trip to Nordstrom to see how they use this technique in apparel displays.
With a little thought, you can use these seven principles in your practice to help your patients buy.
7 Layout Secrets of the Big Retail Chains