In an interesitng reversal of the trend of recent years for retailers to go oneline, online glasses and sunglasses retailer, Selectspecs.com, is opening its first ‘bricks and mortar’ store in a bid to bring its ‘cheapest glasses in the world’ offering to its offline consumers from 23rd April 2012.
Currently one of the leading retailers for cheap glasses online, Selectspecs.com offers a range of eyewear including both own brand and designer specs. Visitors to its site will find some of the most competitive prices in the world for items such as cheap Ray-Bans, geek glasses and rimless glasses.
Its expansion onto the high street in picturesque Westgate-on-Sea, Kent, is part of the upcoming trend to combine online content with an engaging in-store experience. While offering consumers the same great value and enticing discounts, the store will allow people who aren’t confident in purchasing online to try before they buy.
In-store computer terminals will showcase the extensive online range, and frames not available in the shop can be called in for customers to try. In-store optometrists and trained staff will be on hand to offer comprehensive eye-tests using the very latest technologies, consultations and advice, with orders processed and delivered direct to the customer at home.
David McMillan who founded Selectspecs.com in 2005, said: “The decision to open a shop on the high street stemmed from our observation that digital content has reached a new level of consumer influence. To stay ahead of the competition our future growth strategy had to combine both clicks and bricks; a multi-channel approach rather than a pure online offer.
“Building brand equity online has been our key objective, with huge investments in SEO, PPC, marketing and PR to improve search results and drive traffic to the site. But channel-hopping is becoming the ‘new normal’ for today’s Internet-savvy shopper so we envisage a high proportion of high street sales coming from this consumer sector as they will use the store as a showroom for online purchases. The intention is to increase brand exposure and sales by making the shopping experience more enjoyable and convenient than ever, both online and in-store.”
This type of activity has already been witnessed by leading consumer brands, Hotel Chocolat, Amazon and eBay, and is supported by Professor Joshua Bamfield, Director of the Centre for Retail Research.
He said: “This is a reasonable strategy as a significant proportion of online retailers are likely to have a high street presence over the next three to four years. Multi-channel retailing is now seen as part of the upcoming trend and Selectspecs will be at the leading edge of this growth strategy.”
Selectspecs.com has one of the largest ranges of glasses and cheap sunglasses on the market, boasting 40,000 styles of frames online. This, combined with its unique offering of the world’s cheapest prescription glasses range at a mere £6 (including prescription lenses), has firmly positioned the company at the top of its game with an average of 200,000 website visits per month.
www.selectspecs.com: 37 Station Road, Westgate-on-Sea, Kent, CT8 8QY.
For a video sneak preview of the store, visit Selectspecs on YouTube
For images and latest news, visit Selectspecs on Facebook