In this article, we discuss Singapore’s optical loyalty market and how optical brands can introduce rewards programs to keep their customers loyal to their brand.
Singapore has one of the highest rates of myopia globally. 83% of young Singaporean adults are myopic; 40% of all Singaporeans have myopia; and an estimated 5 million Singaporeans will have myopia by 2020. Myopia is a condition causes nearsightedness, which means that distant objects appear unfocused on blurred, and objects that are closer tend to be clearer.
While Myopia is irreversible, eyewear chains and opticians have made the struggle a little easier by providing their customers with an array of different products that meet their needs. These products include prescription lenses; designer frames; contact lenses for day, week, month or yearly use in a variety of colours; thinner lenses; thicker lenses; or even lenses that filter the harsh blue light of a computer screen. Sunglasses are now offered with prescription lenses, so that nobody with myopia ever has a shortage of options to beat the blur.
With crippling vision comes an opportunity for business, and that’s evidenced by the estimated 900 optical stores on the island alone. These stores include traditional eyewear retail chains like Capitol Optical, Optical 88, Nanyang Optical and Better Vision, to smaller family-run businesses like New China Opticians. Japanese eyewear brand Owndays disrupted the industry when they launched by providing users with their requested frames and lenses in a super-quick 20-minute window. Not all chains can afford to compete – but there are ways to cut through the oversaturated market.
Johnson & Johnson’s MyAcuvue Program
Acuvue’s loyalty program and app has disrupted the market for contact lens providers. Instead of cultivating loyalty to a store or outlet, this program aims to cultivate loyalty to the Johnson & Johnson brand.
What does this mean for optical stores? The answer isn’t as bright as we thought it was:
No loyalty for small optical brands: Customers loyal to the Acuvue brand have no reason to be outlet-conscious when every single optical chain is onboarded to start giving points through the Acuvue app. Customers can go to any single store of any brand of their choice and earn the same rewards on the Acuvue platform. Similarly, they can redeem rewards the same way.
To stay relevant, optical stores need to compete. Let’s look at Optik Seis for an example – an Indonesian eyewear chain with over 130 stores in the country. When faced with the conundrum of how to drive members to their stores instead of competitors like Optik Melawi and Optik Tunggal (stores which are often found on the same level in the same malls), the Optik Seis team came up with an innovative solution to encourage customers to spend with their brand.
The Optik Seis app – Optical Loyalty done right!
Optik Seis created a digital mobile loyalty program where customers earn stamps for every contact lens purchased in-store. Once a member has bought 5 boxes of lenses (that are eligible to earn points under their promo), they can redeem a free box of contact lenses. Members also receive 10% off every purchase of frames or sunglasses, and with an accumulated spend of Rp 4,000,000 (approx SGD $400) will be upgraded to the Gold tier, where they get double the discount. Members also get 5% of their total transaction value converted to points that they can use to redeem rewards.
What this did was help the Indonesian retailer incentivize their customers to spend with their brand. Instead of having to choose between different optical stores, Indonesian customers know that by spending their money with Optik Seis, they are earning rewards that they can redeem in the future. With the mobile application, customers can effortlessly look up their rewards and stamps balance, update their member profile and redeem vouchers.
Creating an optical loyalty program for your brand
A loyalty program is more than just assigning points or stamps to each spend. Your marketing team has to ask the right questions, and ultimately work with the right provider who can offer you a platform for success. Here are some things you should look out for before diving into the deep end, based on our experience as loyalty providers here at Riverview:
- Who are your customers?
If you’re a chain store, it’s worth knowing what your average footfall is per outlet and who your customers are. If you have outlets located in tourist-centric areas like Orchard or Marina Bay, you will notice a lack of sign up or users in that store. More local areas like the heartlands tend to have a higher number of repeat customers.
- What kind of offers do you want to give?
This is a great question for your team to consider. Will you opt for a stamps-based program like Optik Seis, or a points based program on every purchase? Each of these mechanisms have their own merit, but your team should consider your customers before deciding on which mechanism would suit them. We encourage all of our clients to conduct brief customer surveys to best understand what their expectations are and how you can meet them.
- How can you make it interesting?
Speaking to the right loyalty provider can ensure that you create a program that is interesting, effective and most importantly user-friendly. Creating an interesting program with unique features and rewards ensures that your customers will constantly be incentivized to spend with your brand above others.
Beat the Blur: Next Steps
Speak to us at Riverview about crafting a loyalty program for your optical brand. We’re leaders in the field and have optical brands across Asia as satisfied clients. Creating a unique program for your brand has never been this efficient!
Download our Beat the Blur cheat-sheet to find out more about our loyalty offering in the Optical sector.