As you may have seen on our blog, we’re expanding onto the high street with our first ‘bricks and mortar’ store in Kent’s Westgate-on-Sea. The store opens for trading on Monday 23 April, complementing our online offering of the cheapest prescription glasses in the world.
The expansion is part of an upcoming trend to combine online content with an engaging in-store experience. We will be offering offline customers the same great value cheap glasses and cheap sunglasses as online, however, the store will allow people who aren’t confident in purchasing online to try before they buy.
Here’s a sneak-peek of the new store:
The two worlds will be connected with in-store computer terminals showcasing the extensive online range, and frames not available in the shop can be called in for customers to try.
In addition, there will be:
- Fully trained staff on hand to offer advice
- A simple ordering system with delivery direct to the customer as opposed to in-store collection
- The opportunity to allow us to store your prescription and frames details for extra convenience should you place repeat or additional orders online
- An optometrist will be available in store offering a comprehensive eye examination using the latest technologies.
David McMillan who founded online spectacle and sunglasses giant, 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.”
David continues: “With the convergence of bricks and mortar with online and mobile channels, there is a new era of retailing. Customers are using both online and offline channels and our business structure must keep up with the pace of change and continually strive for better.”
Pop down to see us in our new Kent store!