Selling Prescription Glasses Frame Online. Dealing With Customers.

7 January 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.

Such customers often expect to call you in person even before ordering. The better you serve them on the phone the higher the chance they will buy from you. Just imagine what they are thinking. They were told by their children that online is cheaper and there is better choice. They were sold by their children to shop online. So here they are shopping, with the hopes of getting same service online as in walk-in store. While you might laugh it off, you should be ready for this expectation and if you want the sale, be patient. They might call or e-mail with all kind of questions:

-       What is the shipping fee?

-       How much frames cost?

-       Is this frame in stock?

-       How much my lenses will cost?

-       How long is delivery to my location? (Often how much is delivery without even specifying the location)

-       What is your return policy?

-       Can you please recommend a frame for my face?

-       Does this frame work for my prescription?


You might think, all this information is on my website. Why can’t you just read? If they call you might not even have all the answers in your head.

If you can’t answer the question, you can ask for the e-mail and answer the question via e-mail. This would be best for many questions such as how to buy lenses or what is the index, coating options.

If customer is asking for too many questions, our experience shows, this is not a good online customer. Some people spend more time thinking than actually buying. Any questions related to fitting their face, quality and other little details could be an opportunity for you to invite them to your store and see you in person. You will find yourself typing answers with no result. In our experience these are often customers who return the purchase.

Another trouble could be from a customer who made a purchase of several frames and suddenly changed their mind about the model or brand. They want completely different frame. This too often results in return because these people simply are not sure what they want. Imagine they, indecisive enough, getting glasses in the mail and trying them for the first time. Companies like Werby Parker who adopted a try at home model would welcome customers like that. But for brand name boutique is not a good customer. High chances are they will return. You will be out of pocket for the frame and disappointed. So what can you do in such case? E-mail and ask them what is the intention. Just say “You have bought several frames, did you plan to try and return them or plan to keep them all?” Or “I see you changed your mind about the model, is there anything our trained staff can help you with?”. Invite them to your store if they are local to try eyeglasses in person.

Sometimes customers may be frustrated because they expected to receive their eyeglasses in two days, but it takes 2 weeks for you to receive eyeglasses from the manufacturer. Even it’s clearly stated on your website that processing time is 2 weeks, many customer simply don’t read or hope it’s not the case. They will e-mail you frustrated asking where is their frames. We recommend answering all questions by customer who already placed an order. These people are not just shoppers, they paid often several hundred dollars and should expect your attention. Tell them how it is. If there is a delay, explain why. Explain that you too still haven’t received them and provide the ETA. Also, tell them that you will most definitely e-mail them once order has shipped out. Even this is clear from your policies, it is not clear to your customers because, let’s face it, no one reads customer policies.

There could be many different situations. Most of sales will be smooth without even one message from the customer. In cases when there is a situation, just be patient and don’t get mad. Answer their e-mail and carry on.