Interview • 01.04.2022

Omnichannel strategies in the opticians' industry: Lukas Hahne from pro optik

AI, AR and online tools in the eyewear trade: statements from eyes + more, Fielmann, Mister Spex, pro optik and Rottler

Offline or online? Contrasting these two concepts as opposites is outdated; the physical and digital worlds mix and complement each other – especially in retail. We took a look at the optical industry as an example of this.

In a series of interviews, we asked five representatives of optical businesses – eyes + more, Fielmann, Mister Spex, pro optik and Rottler – the same questions. What omnichannel services or online offerings are they focusing on? What developments do they expect for their industry? And how can offline and online be optimally integrated?

Here are the answers from Lukas Hahne, Head of Marketing at pro optik.

Young blond man wearing a suit smiles at camera
Lukas Hahne is Head of Marketing at pro optik.
Source: pro optik

The optical industry is increasingly shifting to digital. Will artificial intelligence (AI) soon replace personal consultation when buying glasses?

At pro optik, we make no compromises when it comes to providing consultation and meeting the needs of our customers, because their satisfaction is what counts for us. We ensure this satisfaction with our unique First Class Service. We do not believe that a machine can ever replace the service that our highly qualified employees provide every day.

Of course, this doesn't mean that we don't also rely on digital and AI-driven tools – we certainly do, but only where it makes sense, and then only ever in support of the personal assistance provided by our staff. After all, buying glasses, contact lenses or hearing aids has a lot to do with trust and closeness. Glasses in particular are very personal products; you want to be able to look the experts in the eyes in the truest sense of the word when you are being advised on such a medical and also fashionable product. And that can only be done properly in a personal encounter.

What are the three most important online or omnichannel tools and services for your business? 

Our service is always about providing customers with the best possible support and offers tailored to their individual needs. This includes, for example, our newsletters, in which we address our customers personally – on occasions such as their birthdays or the European soccer championships – and offer them discounts or vouchers. Because we know our customers very well, we also know exactly when they need new glasses or lenses and can therefore approach them selectively and propose special offers.

We asked the German Central Association of Opticians:

Voices from the optical industry

Which technologies will you invest in the most over the next few years? 

We want to be trustworthy experts and advisors for our customers. To do this, it is important to understand our customers in detail and learn as much as possible about their habits. The more customers tell us about themselves, the more individualized our offers can be. That's why we are constantly working to get to know them even better on the basis of their customer data.

In addition, we are continuing to expand our digital tools so that customers can also immediately feel our special service spirit online.

Keyword 'virtual try-on': What role do you see for the use of augmented reality for online eyewear try-ons in the next few years?

pro optik has already integrated a virtual eyeglass try-on option on its website, and we are also getting very positive feedback. However, we are also of the opinion that this tool is only useful as a support or for a first impression. However, personal consultation with pro optik experts is essential to achieve the perfect individual result and product.

Is reliable online measurement of visual acuity coming? Are you already using it?

We are not opposed to this trend, but we see a risk that the simplification and acceleration intended by online measurement will be at the expense of the individual needs of customers. After all, eyeglasses, contact lenses and hearing aids are individual products that should be preceded by highly precise measurements. Online measurement involves a high risk of error – also on the part of the user – and we are convinced that it cannot achieve what pro optik experts can achieve in the context of a personal consultation in a specialist store and as part of our First Class Service.


pro optik Augenoptik Fachgeschäft GmbH (Optometry specialty store) is a German retail chain of specialist optician and hearing aid stores originating in Wendlingen, South West Germany.

Interview: Julia Pott

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Payment market and retail: The trends for 2022...
07.01.2022   #mobile payment #sustainability

Payment market and retail: The trends for 2022

Secure, personalized, convenient – How will e-payment develop in the near future?

Over the past two years, consumer shopping habits have changed significantly – especially in Germany and Europe – and with them the structural orientation of retailers and companies. Convenient online shopping and digital payment methods ...

Thumbnail-Photo: How will consumers buy eyewear in the future?...
15.03.2022   #online trading #e-commerce

How will consumers buy eyewear in the future?

Measured and focused: online, offline or omnichannel at the optician

The "onlineization" stops at nothing, not even at the eyewear trade. Online purchases of eyeglass frames, sunglasses or contact lenses are widespread. But what about topics such as virtual eyeglass fitting or measuring visual acuity from ...

Thumbnail-Photo: AI Counter tech: future of unmanned retail stores and ability to scan...
08.01.2022   #data analysis #food retail

AI Counter tech: future of unmanned retail stores and ability to scan objects

INFINIQ reveals next-generation retail tech at CES 2022

INFINIQ, an artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous driving data service company, unveiled its autonomous driving and retail innovation technology at CES 2022 from Jan. 5-7, 2022 in Las Vegas.INFINIQ presents a self-checkout solution and CES ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Top 5 robot trends 2022
24.02.2022   #Tech in Retail #trend research

Top 5 robot trends 2022

IFR reports on increase of adoption, easier operation and automation

The operational stock of industrial robots hit a new record of about 3 million units worldwide – increasing by 13% on average each year (2015-2020). The International Federation of Robotics analyzes the top 5 trends shaping robotics and ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Smart Retail Tech Expo 2022
09.03.2022   #retail #event

Smart Retail Tech Expo 2022

The UK’s leading show bringing digital innovation to the retail sector

Smart Retail Tech Expo 2022 brought together an unrivalled collection of exhibitors, speakers, judges, partners and visitors eager to get inspired from and share to the very best in the retail sphere. The 2nd and 3rd of March 2022 saw an ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Aldi opens checkout-free concept store for public testing...
25.01.2022   #mobile payment #Tech in Retail

Aldi opens checkout-free concept store for public testing

Aldi, the UK’s fifth largest supermarket, has opened its first checkout-free store in London

The Aldi Shop&Go concept store in Greenwich opened last week for public testing, having been tested by Aldi colleagues in recent months.The new trial store, which is situated on Greenwich High Street, allows customers to complete their shop ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Sainsbury’s introduces contactless, checkout-free shopping with...
28.12.2021   #brick and mortar retail #coronavirus

Sainsbury’s introduces contactless, checkout-free shopping with SmartShop Pick & Go

New initiative available at Holborn Circus using Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology

Sainsbury’s is launching a new in-store digital innovation with a contactless, checkout-free way to shop. Building on the success of SmartShop, which grew 173% last year, SmartShop Pick & Go is using Amazon’s Just Walk Out ...

Thumbnail-Photo: ISE 2022 – Integrated Systems Europe: three-month postponement...
12.01.2022   #digital signage #event

ISE 2022 – Integrated Systems Europe: three-month postponement

New date: 10-13 May 2022 | FIRA Barcelona

Integrated Systems Europe is the world’s leading AV and systems integration exhibition. ISE 2022 will on 10-13 May 2022 showcase the world’s leading technology innovators and solutions providers. In addition we will see five days of ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Israeli companies cooperate on smart shopping carts...
18.12.2021   #food retail #Tech in Retail

Israeli companies cooperate on smart shopping carts

Supermarket chain Machsanei Hashuk integrates solution by WalkOut for intelligent shopping carts

The Israeli company WalkOut, the developer of an autonomous end-to-end frictionless shopping solution, announces an extensive cooperation agreement with Machsanei Hashuk, one of the largest supermarket chains in Israel. As part of the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: POS printers that can be used for more than just receipt printing...
23.03.2022   #brick and mortar retail #printers

POS printers that can be used for more than just receipt printing

Hardly any company can do without point-of-sale printers - and these small devices can be more than just printers for receipts.

In a world where we have access to various different types of technology to help our businesses it’s important that our devices can carry out a multitude of tasks – even our POS printers. That’s why we’ve designed our POS ...

Supplier

Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen
Talon.One
Talon.One
Wiener Strasse 10
10999 Berlin
SALTO Systems GmbH
SALTO Systems GmbH
Schwelmer Str. 245
42389 Wuppertal
EuroShop
EuroShop
Stockumer Kirchstraße 61
40474 Düsseldorf
iXtenso - retail trends
iXtenso - retail trends
Celsiusstraße 43
53125 Bonn
Shin Heung Precision Co., Ltd. SAM4S
Flat C-911, Woorim Lion's Valley 168, Gasan Digital 1-Ro, Geumcheon-gu
08507 Seoul
Reflexis Systems GmbH
Reflexis Systems GmbH
Kokkolastr. 5-7
40882 Ratingen
Citizen Systems Europe GmbH
Citizen Systems Europe GmbH
Otto-Hirsch-Brücken 17
70329 Stuttgart
shopreme gmbh
Brückenkopfgasse 1
8020 Graz