The Basics

What the outdoor retailer offers is personal expertise which is something the web cannot deliver. In a world awash with product and competing claims, the informed sales person comes into his or her own. On these pages and in concert with individual sponsors we offer a series of bullet point guides to the basics of the key outdoor product categories. Our aim is to provide inexperienced sales staff a guide to what to remember and for more experienced ones a reminder of things they might have forgotten. The Basics has been produced so as to make it simple to download – in most cases each takes up no more than single sheet of paper.

The Basics of Selling Eyewear

Sponsored by Sunwise

Sunnies, shades, performance eyewear, however you refer to them, there is no question that they give the wearer increased confidence, add style to an outfit and provide sun protection. However you dress them up, sunglasses are a feelgood item. And while, not every style, suits every face, it’s not too hard to find something for just about everyone within their budget. However, it’s not quite that simple, there’s a little more to it than meets the eye. Here are a few vital pointers... 

1. Protection from above 

Whilst the cosmetic appeal of eyewear is a big pull for punters, it’s also something to keep under control. Sunglasses are, first and foremost, there to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays which can result in the development of cataracts. It’s worth reminding punters to check protection levels and when buying chose products with UV marks and Sun ratings clearly stated, saving you time and making it easier for your customer to make a purchase  

2. Protection from below 

Then there’s the other form of protection. How many modern outdoor activities involve participants hurtling along at speed over tough ground? Whether its loose chippings from biking or simply dust and debris from trail running, the eyes are susceptible and easily damaged from what’s below as well as from what’s above. Sunglasses often offer various levels of coverage and air flow and tints for all light conditions and all year round use. If enquiring find out which factor matters most to your customer and then guide them. 

3. Positioning 

Prices vary enormously from brand to brand. At the lower end, you have an impulse buy, best situated near the cash desk or the door, easy to pick up on a whim. At the top end, you have some very expensive £100 plus products that can make a classy looking in-store feature, so a more central position may be preferable. These products often come with expensive looking display cases and stands supplied by the brands, depending on the size of order. While it’s tempting to lock these away for security reasons, resist if possible, remember, touching, feeling and trying on is particularly important at this end of the price scale. 

4. Selection 

When choosing what to stock, match the eyewear to the other products in store. A store that stock lots of trail running gear stock eyewear that suits trail running – sounds obvious but can easily be overlooked in this particular case. Also, price is a factor, if a store stocks primarily budget apparel and footwear, it’s not going to sell much in the £100 plus bracket. There’s some really good well priced brands, that look a lot more expensive than they really are. Also, combine classic looks with seasonal variations to appeal to both older and younger punters. 

5. Price pointing 

The key price points are under £25, under £50 and £50 plus. Retailers choosing to cover all three price points can make life easier for customers by displaying each price point on separate but adjacent racks or stands in store. 

6. Talking from experience 

Retailers and staff sell boots, apparel and other accessories best when they have tried them for themselves. Eyewear should be no different. Bringing personal experience into a sale always helps and as with other products, trying them out leads to a better understanding of what they are capable of. 

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