The market for children’s eyewear is growing. Here is an insight into the nuances that need to be kept in mind while selling eyewear for children
Over the years, a new target audience surfacing with need for everything new and everything in choice, are the children! Whether it’s a dress, shoe or an accessory, children love variety just as much as they love their candy. Their love for variety extends to their choice of eyewear as well. And eyewear sector is no more shadowed under the light of other lifestyle products. Since quite some time now, the buying power, in case of eyewear has fallen in the hands of children. This is a stark contrast to the situation in the past when parents used to decide what is to be bought for their children. This may be attributed to their individuality and the exposure through multiple mediums that has led their mind to make choices for themselves.
How are children different from adults?
When adults look for an eyewear, their checklists might include comfort for day-to-day wearability and fashionability to a certain extent. But for children, the emphasis will be more on comfort because of their routine which includes a lot of exposure to the external environment! To put it simply, children have more physical activity involved in their whole day, so the emphasis on durability and comfort is essential else it will end up acting as a hindrance in their fun time. Another criteria in case of children is their idea of fashion which includes colour, sparkle, favourite cartoon/superhero/princess character inspirations. Additionally, in case of children, the eyes are more sensitive and prone to damage by the sun, when compared to the adults. From an optician’s perspective, it is important to understand this difference in order to be able to improve your sales pitch when it comes to the children’s eyewear segment.
Missed out opportunity!
Children love to be treated like adults therefore when selling eyewear for them, the opticians should take time to understand their routine. Accordingly, you can prescribe the best eyewear option for them. Hear them out just like you would in case of any other customer and you will find it easy to convince them.
When we say that the buying power has shifted to the hands of the children, it is important to understand that the finances are still sponsored by the parents. This simply means that the decision making authority does not lie solely with the child. Even the parent or the accompanying guardian needs to be convinced about the feasibility of the product, motivating them to make the final purchase. Given this situation, opticians have to strengthen their sales pitch to give due importance to all the decision makers involved in the process. So, here is a break-up of the audience involved when it comes to selling children’s eyewear in order to help you understand them in a better way.
Children: This is of course the most important area of focus for the opticians. In this case, opticians are advised to keep themselves updated with what’s trending and what’s not in terms of movies, cartoons, comics, etc. For instance, if a certain superhero series is doing well, children are expected to like accessories and eyewear designs inspired by it.
Whether it’s pink for girls or blue for boys, a frill on the temple or a superhero mark on the handles, children can be very precise of how they want to look like. Once the colour and pattern of the frame is sorted, it will come down to the fit of the frame where comfort becomes important.
Parent / Guardian: Parents also play an important role when it comes to selling eyewear to the children. For parents, functionality and durability are of utmost importance. Therefore, the opticians should focus on convincing the parents by talking about the comfort factor that the eyewear offers.
In case of sunwear, the opticians can talk about the sensitivity of the children’s eyes and the risk of infections that it carries. Depending on the needs of children, opticians can also recommend photochromic lens which will simplify things for children as they will not need to change their eyewear when they step out. Highlighting such benefits rightly can make it easy to convince the parents.
Preferred lens material
With its greater impact-resistance, lightweight structure and ability to offer 100 percent UV protection, polycarbonate is a preferred lens material. However, polycarbonate is not the only choice. With the advancement of technology, Trivex lenses are also emerging as an excellent choice for children. They offer a higher impact resistance which assures the parents that their children will not end up damaging their vision while indulging in sports, playtime activities, etc. These are attributes that will easily impress the parents. Another factor that opticians can use to convince the parents is the warranty that the product offers. It is important for the optician to identify the best suited frame and lens, and sell in totality as a kids package which can include additional options like anti-glare coating for the lens, etc.
Frames could be either in plastic or metal. Plastic glasses are lighter and have virtually no chance of breakage unless snapped. But, the problem with plastic frames is that the bridge cannot be adjusted. So a growing child whose nose is still to get an adult shape might find it difficult to wear the glasses for long. Sometimes though, children can be allergic to certain metals. So it makes sense to know your products well.
Basically, as an optician, it is best advised to do a little research on the availability of safe materials in the market. After all, if a parent says that his child is allergic to a particular metal then you should be in a position to recognise that metal and keep it aside.
Do children like brands? Of course they do! But it is difficult to say what grabs their attention the most: brands or designs. Some of the many brands that are known to offer popular children’s eyewear designs include Hello Kitty, Adidas, Pitt & Mitt, and many more. In fact, there is also an entire line of eyewears inspired by various iconic cartoon characters like Spider Man, Chhota Bheem, Mickey Mouse, Disney Princess, etc.
Focusing on the latest in eyewear and related merchandise for kids can actually open up a plethora of opportunities for opticians. All you need to do is tap the right buttons, coupled with the merchandise you have on offer, and you will surely end up as a winner!