At a recent event I was fortunate enough to hear Rachel Shechtman, the founder of “The Story” store in NYC, speak. She discussed her business, how she came up with the idea, and why it works. For those of you who aren’t familiar with “The Story” store you can find more info on her website, www.thisisstory.com.
One concept that she utilizes in her store that is not new, however one that most retailers are not fully embracing, is that of being inspired through visual, tactile and auditory means. We all have a different emphasis in how we appreciate these three. So, when as educators, retailers, doctors and leaders, we learn how to incorporate each of these learning styles in ways to reach our patients/customers, we will see greater success in every way.
When we follow this through in the area of contact lenses, we have tremendous opportunity. One way to begin is to send patients, after they schedule an appointment with the office, a link to the manufacturer’s website where they can read and hear about colors and complete a virtual try on from home. Going through the virtual try on is not only going to enable our patients to have some fun but also allow them to experience learning through visual, tactile and auditory means.
We can also apply this concept in our contact lens training center. The first place patient’s eyes go when they sit down to apply their contact lenses after washing their hands is the tabletop. This space is tremendously valuable for merchandising and continuing the story. Imagine placing a tablemat here that demonstrates different color options for contacts. The first thing a patient will say when relaxing at the table is “Wow can I get these contacts in color too?” In many cases the answer will be yes, but even if it is not there is still opportunity for prescribing colors for part time wear or special occasions.
Be inspired by “The Story” store to really consider how our patients learn and how important the placement of products can be. Remember that if a product has earned a place in our office, it should be for a reason. Every point of purchase item we showcase should have a story around it. If it doesn’t have a story, it shouldn’t be allowed to claim your valuable space.
April Jasper, OD, FAAO has a private practice in West Palm Beach, Florida. She serves on several Advisory boards including VSP, Vision Source, Allergan and Alcon. Dr. Jasper is Benedict Professor in practice management at Houston College of Optometry. Her passion is sharing with her colleagues in areas of practice management and technology in an effort to help them become more successful in patient care and personal growth.