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  • Pandemic Forced Customer Online

    1 Jun 2021

    Adding an online store to your services has never been more urgent and needed to grow and even survive your business. It’s mind-blowing, but I still find myself explaining the benefits of having an online store. Ten years ago, it was a novel service and not well received by optical stores, suppliers, and regulators. But in 2021, it is the only tool to remain afloat. In 2023 your online store will be a tremendous tool to grow your business to new heights. Why 2023? Because the pandemic will not end until then, not at least in Canada. Your online store will help you survive in 2021. By 2023 it will be a well-established website that will set your store far apart from your lingering competition.

    We are still living through a small business nightmare, and no one would ever imagine that the core and soul of the commercial world - small business, will be forced to the brinks of survival. Many US states and all Canadian provinces forced businesses to close without warning nor fair explanation. Optical stores were not spared. It took the Canadian government three months in 2020 to realize that eyeglasses and contact lenses are essential and that online wasn't a viable option for emergency repairs. 

    But online was and still is the most viable option to sell eyeglasses and contact lenses in Canada because of the ongoing lockdown with no end in sight. LiveOptical Consulting reached the Tipping Point as per the definition of Malcolm Gladwell. We never expected to get so much interest due to unforeseen events. We enabled many stores to do business online by selling eyeglasses, contact lenses, communication, online book appointments, and more.

    Pandemic made many governments re-evaluate old discouraging online policies, and even glasses suppliers who didn't allow online trading have eased up over the last year. In addition, barriers that prevented optical stores from selling glasses and contact lenses online were removed. As a result, as of 2021, online is a must-have or die retail option for optical stores.

    American and Canadian online stores gained a fair competitive advantage when the   American government made US online shopping more attractive by imposing tariffs on goods imported from China. Customers need to pay more duties and taxes for overseas purchases, and why would they if they can conveniently shop directly from you and receive fantastic service from their favorite optician.

    The good news is that many stores wanted to sell online but were hesitant, worried that they disclose too much information to their customers regarding prices by having an online store. This myth was pushed even further down because customers actually want to know the costs and cannot shop around anymore by visiting a store to strike a deal. Instead, the customer is happy to see all the prices upfront. So having an online store is a considerable tool to attract new business that was not yours before. 

    With the help of our customers, we adjusted our software to make your chosen brands not display the price. In addition, we developed a hybrid model for catalog only and online store websites.

    We also added an online booking feature, which became very popular over the year. Customers can book an eye exam, order pickup, repair, shopping consultation, or any other type of appointment.

    On the LiveOptical website, customers can now pre-pay for the eye exam or purchase an eye exam voucher. All thanks to our beloved customers who feed us the ideas that we gladly implement to make your store a success.

    Turn the problem into opportunity and open your own online optical store!

  • What is Clienteling App?

    24 Sep 2019
    We, as a consumer dictate our shopping needs and shopping experience to retailers. If a new technology becomes popular, progressive retailers react and adapt it to grow their practice. It’s no longer a deniable fact that eCommerce overtook traditional retail in North America and Europe.

    Optical retail probably has the slowest adoption rate of eCommerce solutions. Less than 1% of independent optical retailers have an online store of some kind. It’s not because retailers didn’t recognize the need. Eyeglasses are among the most complex products that require a load of decision about the style, the fit, the trend, the prescription need and often, even lifestyle. Historically all those decisions were made in-store with a particular glasses selection on the shelf and with the help of a very knowledgeable sales consultant, who is often also optician. Choosing lenses is an entirely different story because lenses companies such as Essilor, Nikon, and others release a huge catalog of new lenses solutions every year. Which one is right for your customer and which one you prefer to offer is also very personal decision to make.

    Clienteling term refers to a technique used by retail associates to establish relationships with customers. The client is one of the oldest terms that appeared in 1570. Client word derives the meaning from Latin clinare to lean. So, client is the one who needs something or needs help to buy something.

    In today’s world client, more and more wants to make educated decisions on its own. Due to massive forceful advertising in the past 30 years, people learned that it’s better if they research, shop around and choose what they think is right vs. having someone dictate what they need. In optical industry, again, it’s a bit different because client often needs help. Advantage of that is once they buy from you and they are satisfied, they will likely give you another chance in the future.

    To provide the best shopping experience for optical retail customers, you need an online store. In fancy words, online store is your Clienteling App. App stands for digital application – literally a tool that you can use to present information to potential customer that is browsing the web. Once that customer at your door you can engage your physical tools such as talking and showing glasses to try. If you found out that you don’t have particular glasses on the shelf, you can engage your website once again on iPad for example to show other glasses models that can be ordered. Or if your client is not sure and wants to leave, you can take their e-mail or point them to your website, which will bring them back to digital until they buy or call you with questions. By having a Clienteling App, such as LiveOptical, you will close the circle to have all the tools needed today to engage with eyeglasses or contact lenses customer. You will miss out the opportunity to engage the growing number of online shoppers and convert them into your customers if you don’t have a proper online channel.

    Having just glasses on your website is a great start, but not the only information sought by the client. Your website should also have an array of information about fashion trends, new releases by the brands, lenses novelties, your customer personal stories, tips on how to choose the right product, how to look after glasses at home, how to clean them and how to solve many other problems. Your website is not just a webstore, it’s a Clienteling App that provides information to help customer. LiveOptical platform give you tools to create such content with ease. This type of specialized content will put you ahead of that 1% of customers who already have an online store and ahead of 99.99% of all of them.

  • O2O Online to Offline. What is it?

    27 Aug 2019

    imaage source: Freepik

    Retail is not dying, it's evolving. It's predicted that the next big technology interest will be about reviving retail. At the end of the day, shopping online can't replace the need to shop from real humans that are located nearby. O2O is the initiative to use technology to attract local business. Hence is the word O2O - Online to Offline.

    LiveOptical is the first company in North America to serve O2O initiative for optical stores. We recognized that optical store owners don't have a technology background to not just build their own online store, but to even manage a professional team to do it for you. LiveOptical does everything for our customers - we build your online store for you. Most importantly, we know the optical retail business so well that we generally need 30 minutes with you to gather all the necessary requirements to get your store done.

    Why is O2O important? Here are just a few ideas:

    - To not offer an online store, it's like saying that you only take cash. Online shopping is the convenience that people demand, just like they demanded to pay with VISA 30 years ago.

    - To not have an online store, it's like having a store with no sign. Unless it's your loyal customer who knows you, you simply can't rely on people to walk by and drive by to find your business. Everyone goes online to look for shopping options.

    - To not have an online store, it's like telling your customer your product offering is 100 times smaller than any online store out there.

    - To not have an online store, it's like telling your customer to shop on your competitor website and then come physically to you to buy.

    - To have just a traditional 5-page website, it's like telling your customers that you want all their customers to go and see you in person every time they need glasses. Few new customers will waste their time on that.

    The truth is that many people want to buy online or at least shop online. Ideally, for customers, they do it from a local store that is nearby. If anything goes wrong, they can come and solve their problem. Not too many want to willingly buy from overseas websites, deal with month-long shipping and waiting, pay customs and duties, and not have an option to solve their problems.

    The truth is also that many people are not aware that your store has access to thousands of more products that you have on your shelf. Only you know that you can order any pair of glasses from a current collection by calling your supplier or going to their B2B website. Your customer still thinks that your store, as beautiful and friendly as it is, has a very VERY limited product choice. Unless you list all your product on your website, they will not know your true product offering.

    O2O is the future of retail. I can't see any optical store 10-15 years from now that doesn't have an online store.

  • Choosing a Good Domain Name for your LiveOptical Store

    19 Apr 2015

    With over a billion websites on the web getting a good domain is getting harder every year. As it is getting harder, Google and other search engines started to give less credit to good domain names when ranking your website. Content of your website became the most important factor. But domain is still very important, at least for you. With a good domain name it will be easier for you to advertize your website, tell other people about it and will ultimately contribute to success of your online business.

    So what is a good domain name and how to get it? So criteria for a good domain name are:


    The name of your website must be simple. Three words max. It is virtually impossible to get a one word domain any more, and two words can be still tricky. Two short words and one name would do the trick. Ex. or

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  • Transform your current optical store website with LiveOptical Non-Shopping Cart Solution

    16 Apr 2015

    Do you find your current website is outdated? Has it been 7-15 years since you launched your optical store website? Whether you want to sell glasses online business or not, LiveOptical platform can be used to transform your current optical website to the standards of present and future. Trash your old website and get a sleek new beautiful website in a matter of a few hours. Anything is better than keeping your old ugly website that not only does not bring you good business, it discredits your company!

    If you are not ready to sell online yet, you can use LiveOptical non-shopping cart solution to host your current website according to current standards. One day when you want to start selling eyeglasses online, and we can guarantee that this day will come in the next 5 years, you can then enable the shopping cart features on your LiveOptical website and be ready to go in no time. By then Google will already know about your web store and will give you heads up in search ranking over those who just opened.

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  • What Domain Should I Choose For LiveOptical Store

    18 Jan 2015

    Domain name is a name of your website that is part of the address of your webstore. For example is a complete web address of LiveOptical website. Domain name is (without http://www.)

    LiveOptical eCommerce platform offers numerous configurations for many different business cases. Whether you want to run an online store as a retail or wholesale operation or you want to transform your own website to a sleeker, more robust web application to showcase your products, LiveOptical can be configured in a few minutes and reconfigured later if your business goals or business case changes.

    At LiveOptical we offer you three options for the domain:

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  • Accepting Credit Cards for your Online Optical Store. All You Need To Know

    17 Jan 2015

    We briefly discussed all payment methods that you can accept with LiveOptical web store here. We talked about PayPal in details here. Now time to give you the full list of benefits and pitfalls about credit card. You have a lot of experience accepting credit card at you walk-in optical boutique, but don’t get too encouraged. Accepting credit cards online is totally different, more complex process, that eventually you would need to master if you are serious about running a successful online optical. Here is what you need to know.

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  • PayPal Payment Method For your Online Optical Store. The Good The Bad and The Ugly

    16 Jan 2015

    We briefly touched on all payment methods that you can use for your online optical store. With LiveOptical you have unlimited choices. You can take Credit Card, PayPal, Cash or Check. This article will focus on PayPal as it is one of the most popular payment methods for a starter online optical. PayPal has the most benefits and the most dark sides. You need to be aware of all.


    When you just open an online optical store, you will find that the easiest method to set up and get paid is PayPal. It only takes a few minutes to set up a PayPal account. There is no sign up fee. You can start taking money right away.

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  • Which Payment Method Should I Accept at My LiveOptical Glasses Store

    15 Jan 2015

    You have been running you walk-in optical boutique for a long time and know that accepting credit card is a norm in today’s world. You have a POS terminal and take Visa, MasteCard, sometimes American Express and Discover. It is still very common in US to accept paper checks and there are many technologies with paper scanners from RDM, Ingenico and others. Cash is still a King, but again is getting less popular with mobile payments emerging into the payment market. PayPal used to be one of the most popular methods of online trade, but it is getting a lot of competition from it’s payment gateway rivals such as Authorize.NET and alternatives. With LiveOptical you can accept ALL of these payment methods.

    But each method comes with its own set of rules and may have a different cost.

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  • Promoting Your Optical Online Store. Understanding Content

    14 Jan 2015

    What is Content?

    The word content, related to Internet, as written in Merriam Webster Dictionary means the principal substance (as written matter, illustrations, or music) offered by a World Wide Web site.

    Content is text that makes your website meaningful. It is also pictures, numbers, links to other web pages and customer forms (ex. inquiry or rating form) that complement the text. Design of your website, such as colors, positioning or various elements, fonts and font sizes is not really a content, it is simply a way to organize and present your content.

    Why Content It Important?

    The richer the website content is, the better your web store will sell.

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  • Promoting Your Online Glasses Store Via Coupons

    13 Jan 2015

    When you use LiveOptical software to sell glasses online you will have an access to coupons feature that will make your online glasses store more fun to use and easy to promote.

    Use of coupons are the most popular web store promotion techniques and some big websites, like issue a few new coupons every day. They want to make their websites more fun to use, but most importantly they want to create new content around their website to generate it constant buzz. Google loves when a website has new coupons because it is an indication that your company is currently in business and that you are doing promotions outside of Google. It is ironic, but Google gives rank points to websites that do their own “white hat”, honest promotions outside of just using Google ads or Facebook ads. 

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  • Selling Glasses Online. Content for Static Pages

    12 Jan 2015

    When you choose to sell glasses online with LiveOptical you will get a powerful platform equipped with all necessary, and most importantly, easy to use tools to get your website selling fast with no sweat. Your LiveOptical webstore will be loaded with the digital catalog of the brands that you want to carry. So you don’t need to worry about entering all the products and SKU into the database. But the main content about your company and your selling policies you will have to write yourself. LiveOptical newly created stores will have a few sample pages for you to get started.

    So what Static Pages should be? If you visit any e-commerce websites ex. or you will see that every website has at a minimum the following pages:

    About Us
    Terms and Conditions
    Privacy Policy
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  • Selling Glasses Online. Setting Pricing Strategy

    11 Jan 2015

    Many people give up on opening an online optical store when they just think of pricing strategy. They think, it is hard enough to compete on price with the walk in optical store, but it must be even harder online because of so much competition. You get it wrong if you also think this way. Yes, you would not be the cheapest on the net with your products, but cheap is actually not always good.

    How Google Shows Your Website

    Before you even think of pricing, you need to understand how Google displays websites to people. If you in New York would open up your browser and type “Prada VPR 10Q eyeglasses” you would see completely different result from someone in Toronto typing same keyword. So, when you are competing online with other websites, you need to realize that you are not competing with entire world. It does not mean that a New York website wouldn’t get sales from Toronto customers, but generally, your competition is limited to 10 websites that Google ranked you against. 

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  • Selling Glasses Online. Which Brands Do Better

    10 Jan 2015

    It is a common question from our new clients which brands to offer online. A typical optical store will carry 20-30 brands. Some could be very exclusive, like Cartier, and some quite main stream like Ray-Ban. There are also many niche brands for ophthalmic frames such as Lightec, J.F.Ray, Silhuette. Do you really need to have Prada or Gucci to do well online?

    As we frequently discuss on our online course, content and promotion of your website would be the most important factors for successful sales. Product offering will become, third, the most important factor for success of your online store. And it is not always the popularity of the brand that matters. To our own surprise some of our clients who sell both Prada and niche ophthalmic brand will sell more of the niche brand. Some times it is the opposite. But what is for sure, that ideally you do have a mixture of both.

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  • Selling Rx Glasses Online. Dealing With Customers

    9 Jan 2015

    When you, an optician or optometrist open your own online glasses store as part of your walk-in practice, you will be getting Rx glasses sales and would need to know how to deal with such customers. Rx glasses sales would become the best sales on your Internet store because you would be making double money, for frames and lenses. You would also benefit from gaining more customers and perhaps eventually some local customers will turn into your walk-in customers. So encouraging people buying Rx glasses from you, a licensed optician or optometrist will generate more awareness about your company.

    Rx glasses customers are very different from just optical frames or sunglasses customers. You need to be prepared to devote more time to them though out the order fulfillment process. And of course, dealing with them, in most cases will be via e-mail or Communication section of you LiveOptical website.

    Even before Rx order is placed you may get e-mails with questions about prescription options, order processing time etc. If there are too many questions, you may want to recommend this customer to walk-in for a consultation. It is also a good idea to ask customer to e-mail you their prescription for best advice.

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  • Selling Sunglasses Frame Online. Dealing With Customers.

    8 Jan 2015

    Sunglasses online sales make the majority of online eyewear purchases. They are usually easier sell because they involve less customer interaction. We already talked about dealing with Rx glasses frames customers. With sunglasses there are fewer questions about the fitting, even about your policies or prices. Reason is because sunglasses online shoppers demographics is younger. These are usually people in their 20s-30s or even late teens. Young people are often best online customers because they have a lot of experience shopping online and have reasonable expectations from online stores. But sunglasses online shoppers still do have their needs. Their needs are different from Rx glasses frames shoppers.

    Sunglasses online shoppers need more post-sales service. You, an optician or optometrist knows better than anyone that sunglasses go out of shape faster than Rx frames. Majority of sunglasses are made out of acetate and stretch more due to heat. So you will be getting questions about how these can be adjusted. There are many tutorials online about how this can be done at home with the hair dryers. You might want to think of making your own tutorial. You can film yourself on iPhone or any Smart Phone and post a video on YouTube and ship customer a link. Of take a few pictures to write a tutorial and post it to your static pages or News section of your LiveOptical store. LiveOptical makes it very easy to post videos, photos and text. Every time customer has such question, direct them to this page.

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  • Selling Prescription Glasses Frame Online. Dealing With Customers.

    7 Jan 2015

    At LiveOptical we strive to provide our customers, optical stores and boutiques, best experience and encouragement. Before we launched LiveOptical we have been on your side of the fence selling glasses online just like you. We’ve been through thousands of eyeglasses sales and are proudly happy to share our experience to make your selling more successful.

    Prescription frames alone make about 20% of entire eyewear sales. These are prescription frames without Rx lenses. About same amount are full sets of eyeglasses. When you get just the Rx frame online order, depending on model, chances are you are dealing with elderly customer. It’s been reported by American Optometric Association that 85% of people over age of 55 need eyeglasses. And we all know that most of them need progressive lenses. When you are selling to elderly, often first time online buyer, you need to be PATIENT.

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  • Selling Glasses Online. What Return Policy Should Be?

    6 Jan 2015

    Eyeglasses are among lest returned items bought on Internet. Eyeglasses returns account for only 5%. Rx glasses are returned even at lesser rate. Compare that to clothing return rate of 30% and realize that selling glasses online is still a very lucrative business.

    When you are setting up your LiveOptical store you will need to think about various terms and conditions that will apply to your customers. One type of terms and conditions is Return’s Policy. All LiveOptical websites have a sample Return Policy typed into Return Policy static page. You have to change it according to your own opinion. Plus you would need at a minim to rewrite our text in your own words to minimize content duplicity. Return’s Policy is also one of the first pages Google checks when indexing your website. If you have a clear Return’s Policy or any of the keywords “free”, “free returns”, “any time”, “contact us”, Google will favour your website over others. But of course, it does not mean that you should adopt free return policy.

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  • Online Glasses Selling. Best Practices for Shipping Customer Order

    5 Jan 2015

    When you get your first order on your own LiveOptical website, you will be excited! Perhaps a bit nervous about how to deliver the order to your customer. First, verify the payment. Then get the eyeglasses ready for shipping. Shipping eyeglasses is very similar to shipping other goods. If you ever sold anything on eBay or Amazon, you would be familiar with the practice. If it’s a first time you ever shipped anything there are several precaution measures that you can take to assure the safe delivery and avoid issues with customers.

    -       Take pictures. For your own assurance, take several pictures of the glasses with your phone or camera. You can print shipping label directly from your LiveOptical website administration panel. Put the shipping label on the table and then put glasses on the label. This way you will record not only glasses but also a customer they are for. Photograph eyeglasses model number, color and size. In rare cases, there could be questions arising later about you making a mistake and shipping the wrong model. You will have photos to check who made the mistake you or a customer.

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  • Minimising Risks When Selling Glasses Online. Preventing Credit Card Fraud

    4 Jan 2015

    There are certain risks involved in selling glasses online and shipping them to people you never met to  far away city or even country. Glasses are expensive products, often range between $200-$500 and if they get lost in the mail or worse, bought with fraudulent credit card, you will be out of some money and it will not be pleasant. But there are few steps you can take that will majorly minimize your credit card fraud risks.

    Verify the Credit Card

    Even before you start filling the order you can do investigation of the buyer. It may only take a few minutes and with time you will develop a sixth sense to spot the trouble. Make sure that the key information about the buyer matches as follows:

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  • Waiving Main Concern About Selling Glasses Online - Cannibalizing Your Traditional Practice

    3 Jan 2015

    One of the main objections ECP (Eye Care Professionals) have against setting up the online store is the fear that it will cannibalize their traditional practice. “If I tell my current customers that I now sell online they will go to my web store and then search Google for a similar pair of glasses and buy elsewhere”. This is a valid concern because traditional way of doing business is diminishing and every year you have less of those customers who walk in to shop for eyeglasses at your store. If you tell them that you sell online, you might fear to lose them too. Traditional customers are your current bread and butter and you simply don’t want to risk it all for the sake of trying how web world will play out for you. Did we get it right? Yes oh Yes.

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  • What is SEO?

    2 Jan 2015

    When you open your own online optical store you would have researched many options available for you. One of the main factors would be SEO. SEO is Search Engine Optimization, a very technical and often misunderstood term. Many people think that SEO is behind the scenes code elements that make your website Google friendly, better searched and visited by web surfers. SEO is definitely that, but way more than that.

    As per Webopedia SEO is typically a set of "white hat" best practices that webmasters and Web content producers follow to help them achieve a better ranking in search engine results. White Hat stands for honest practices to get your website a high Google rank. There is also Black Hat – dishonest practices and Grey Hat – somewhat dishonest/honest practices.

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  • Promoting Your Online Glasses Store Via Blogging

    2 Jan 2015

    Blogging is one of the most effective methods of promoting your online optical store. When you create a blog article and post it on your website, you create new content on your own website. Search engines like new content and give your website more points, thus increase your website ranking. If your website ranks higher than others, it will show up on Google search more often, thus resulting in sales. So, when you post a blog article, think money! Each article will most definitely result in sales.

    How often do I need to write blog articles?

    This is one of the most frequently asked questions. Answer is, it depends. If your online optical store is brand new, no one knows about your website. There are thousands of online optical websites out there and you need to outrank them. They most likely lost cool already and don’t generate new content, so the more often you post a new blog article, the faster you will get first sales. 

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