Selling Glasses Online. Setting Pricing Strategy

11 January 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. 

Location of the customer is a primary factor for search displays, but there are others. If your webstore for example offers Nikon lenses and that particular customer searched for Nikon before, your website will be shown to him in the top of the page. And if your price is the highest of other 9 websites, 30% chance you will get the sale just because you appeared first. This is just how odds work on Google.

Waiving the Cheap Price Myth

You would search Google yourself and ask how can some popular websites have a price lower than my cost? Yes, you guessed it right. They are selling fakes. Some of them, are not selling any eyeglasses, they are selling “cancellation fees”. They charge a few dollars cancellation fee. After a customer bought a pair they will hold the order on long backorder hoping customer will initiate cancellation. Then they will charge cancellation fee. We will not get into much details about how others rip customers off. We want to make sure that you realize that you are only competing for same customers your competitors do – somewhat educated and legitimate.

Choose Pricing Strategy With Room for Maneuver

So, you shouldn’t worry to be the cheapest. Obviously you can’t be the most expensive either. You should be right in between generally. Like we talked before promotions of your website is very important, so if you planned for enough margin you will have room for discounts and coupons. Plus, given that you have a walk-in store, your online price should be around the same. Otherwise it will become a mess to explain to a customer why your in-store price is much different from online.

Higher price often brings credibility to your website. Serious shoppers understand that there is a cost and if your price is much lower than competition they will doubt that you have authentic product. You can offer cheaper lenses with the package to make it sound like a good deal. If you are experienced optician you will know that lenses cost vary a lot giving you a lot of room for price play. But your eyeglasses frames and sunglasses have to be priced high enough to not discredit your webstore.

A Final Price is a Total Price

An important factor of the total price is shipping charges. All online customers know they might need to pay for shipping and will be either checking your website for the price or finding it out on the checkout. So for your customers a total price is not just eyeglasses. It’s eyeglasses + shipping. $200 will turn into $220 for a local customer or $280 for someone in Europe or Australia. Some of our customers prefer to have higher price for the eyeglasses and offer free shipping, while others like to keep shipping fees separate to make the initial price sound cheaper to get a click through. It is often a good pricing strategy to offer free shipping to customers in your city. When you sell glasses with LiveOptical software, you will be able to set a different price per country, province or even city and offer free shipping to certain cities and even for a certain time.