dba logo

Subscribe to dba

dba Archives


October 23, 2013

In This Edition

dba LIVE
'Wake Up' and 'Catch Up'
Tech and Omni-Channel

Eye Tracking
Engage and Educate
Transforming Retail
Digital Meets Traditional

dba LIVE

'Wake Up' to New Technologies and 'Catch Up' With Omni-Channel Retailing

By John Sailer

LAS VEGAS—Some optical retailers are embracing the latest in retailing technologies, while many are lagging behind. Even fewer have tapped the potential of omni-channel retailing by seamlessly integrating all forms of distribution for their customers.

Amidst presentations representing the cutting-edge of retailing technology and the increase in the trend toward omni-channel, the sentiment that "this industry needs to wake up" and "this industry has a lot of catching up to do" was repeated by the speakers at the first ever dba LIVE event presented at the beginning of Vision Expo West held here earlier this month. The afternoon seminar series on "Technology Reinvents the Retail Experience" was sponsored by Adlens, which introduced its newest technology, Focuss variable focus progressive lenses.


The Rise of Technology and Omni-Channel Experience

Presented By Marge Axelrad

The way technology is transforming the retail setting and the fact that it's already begun to change the way patients and consumers access eyecare, where they purchase eyewear and what the implications of that are, was presented at dba LIVE by Marge Axelrad, senior vice president/editorial director of Vision Monday, in her discussion on "The Rise of Tech and Omni Channel."

She began with an explanation of the omni-channel concept. "Omni-channel is different than multiple channel retailing. Omni-channel retailing embraces the idea of enabling the customer to relate to your brand and the experience of dealing with your store or your office the same way no matter which medium they're using, virtual or actual," she said. "Consumers today absolutely want to have a smooth interaction across every channel that they deal with, and they are actually further ahead of where most retailers are today. They're starting to communicate in a universal way, and our industry has a lot of catching up to do."


What Are You Looking At? Eye Tracking Has the Answer

Presented By Barbara Barclay

"Using eye tracking technology in retail can add an objective viewpoint into what someone is looking at," Barbara Barclay, general manager of Tobii Technology North America said in her dba LIVE presentation on "Eye Opening Eye Tracking at Retail."

She illustrated how studying where consumers are looking when they walk into a store can dramatically impact sales. One technique her company uses is to have a test subject put on a pair of eye tracking glasses with a camera built into the lens to film a video that shows exactly what that person is looking at as they walk through a store and the order in which they look at it.


Transforming the 'Patient Visit Cycle' from Exam Lane to Dispensary... and Beyond

Presented By Brian Chou, OD

Technology can be transformational for the optical practice... when it is used correctly that is, as Brian Chou, OD, of EyeLux Optometry explained at the start of his dba LIVE presentation on "Using Technology to Engage and Educate Patients in the Exam Lane and Dispensary." However, using technology incorrectly can also interfere with the patient/doctor relationship, he warned. To illustrate the bad use of technology, Chou described a doctor who rolled a video about cataracts and simply sat there and watched it with the patient with no interaction whatsoever.



As Technology Transforms Retail, It's the Personal Relationship That Counts

Presented By John Bonizio

With three existing Bronx locations, Metro Optics is planning to add an "Apple store for eyewear," as owner and president John Bonizio describes it. His dba LIVE presentation on "Transforming the Optical Retail Experience" discussed how the practice his business partner founded in 1978 started out on the cutting edge and remains there. However, even with all the technical advances they've implemented over the years, he stressed that it's the personalized service that keeps them on top of their game.


Traditional Goes Digital As Omni-Channel Offers Opportunities to Optical

Presented By Joe Pflanz

LensCrafters has already implemented a wide range of digital tools to enhance its well established optical retail operations throughout the country. Joe Pflanz, senior director, omni-channel customer experience, LensCrafters, discussed them in his dba LIVE presentation "The Interaction of Digital and Traditional Retail." They include a virtual try-on tool with Facebook integration, a lens simulator, an in-store virtual mirror, the AccuFit digital measuring system, and even a low tech quick-replace eyeglasses case containing all the necessary information for replacing a pair of eyeglasses.



John Sailer, Senior Editor

Send us news about your mid-size regional optical chain or optometric group, provide us with subjects and/or questions for a future dba q&a or let us know what topics you'd like to see covered. Contact dba's Editor John Sailer at

Copyright © 2013 VisionMonday. All rights reserved.
dba is published by Jobson Medical Information LLC,
100 Avenue of Americas, New York, NY 10013.

To subscribe to other JMI newsletters or to manage your subscription, click here.

To change your email address, reply to this email.
Write "change of address" in the subject line.
Make sure to provide us your old and new address.

To ensure delivery, please be sure to add to
your address book or safe senders list.

Click here if you do not want to receive future emails from dba.