Selling Glasses Online. Which Brands Do Better

10 January 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.

It is very good to have a niche brand, such as Ziggy that is not offered by the Lenscrafters or major optical chain. It definitely not as popular as Oakley, but it is not selling online much yet. If anyone looking for this brand, your web store will likely rank high on Google for “ziggy glasses” keyword, thus generating traffic to your website. On other hand it is very hard to rank high for Ray-Ban keywords. Ray-Ban is the most sellable brand of glasses in the world. Luxottica reported over 25 million pairs sold in 2013. Every descent website that is out there has Ray-Ban eyeglasses. Most likely you have Ray-Ban in your optical store as well. So people price shop Ray-Ban a lot. Even if they find your optical store carrying Ray-Ban, don’t expect much sales because you won’t be able to beat 50 other websites, most of which carry fakes. Not even Sunglasshut, that has promotions and coupons issued daily. But you should still have Ray-Ban, because it will give you traffic indirectly. If Google see traffic to your website increasing, it will increase the general rank of your website and give you even more traffic. Therefore you need to choose the brands wisely with this idea in mind.

It is also important that brand updates collection often. Usually at least 3-4 times a year is good. Some brands, such as Dior, will issue a few new models 5-6 times a year. Some, like Prodesign, would go into extreme and have a new model every week. The more the better because new models in your web store mean new content. And Google loves new content. New content on your web site means that your website is frequently updated and there are real people behind it. New models of eyeglasses is effortless content for you because LiveOptical will upload collections update to your website every month.

A choice of brands is very important to give your website visitors a good impression. Visitors generally get good impression if they see some catchy brand names as mentioned above, even if they are interested in OGA at the given time for example. They will feel more confident to buy from you because they understand that getting a good brand into the webstore you need to have an account, thus a real location and real optician’s staff.

Should you carry very cheap, no name brand? If you have access to it, then yes. It will be easier for your to upsell brand name customers on a second pair of no name glasses. Some of our clients were quite successful with this strategy. Most importantly they used this strategy to create interesting coupons and promotions and advertise it on Facebook and Google banner Ads to generate traffic to their webstore.

If some brands are not doing well, you can always exchange them on others, or just keep them in your web stock for quantity purposes.