DOSSIER Occasion, Mobile opticians, Eco-design: When optics take other paths
The rise of unlimited globalization, the health crisis, galloping inflation are pushing professionals, both salaried and self-employed, to reinvent themselves. Whether it is to give meaning to one's job, to save money, to rediscover a taste for service or to escape the routine, we are looking for new solutions. They can be organizational, logistical, managerial, based on convictions and principles that are more important to us than just salary. In the optical sector, we are not immune to this revolution. In recent months, trends have emerged. Some have decided to be actors of their own destinies. So they thought of the optics differently. Second hand, mobile opticians, ecological manufacturing, all the ideas are on the table, and often well carried out.
Mobile opticians: service first
Refocus on the relationship with the customer. This is the credo of mobile opticians. The optical store, although advantageous on certain points, no longer always offers satisfaction, and some opticians sometimes feel that their job no longer makes sense. Answering the phone when you are with a customer, receiving a delivery at inopportune times, sometimes giving the illusion of running everywhere, having an ever larger and less targeted offer… The customer journey seems to be suspended in the today's optics. The offers themselves do not necessarily give satisfaction: a second pair too often offered or chosen by default, without taking into account the real needs of the customer.
Because mobility is not necessarily the simple fact of moving around, and offering one's optician service to those who cannot move around. This concept has been experimented with by some major franchises. If this has had the merit of helping a population in their need for assistance, the new mobile opticians seek to maximize the service.
The franchise or the optician who offers his services à domicile will only extend its store. The new mobility offer is a very different approach. It completely frees itself from the activities carried out in stores, to become a profession in its own right. Judge for yourself: the mobile optician travels with his technical equipment, 150 frames from the same supplier and at the same price, thus collapsing the objections of purchasing power. In the end, the experiment turns out to be conclusive. The approach responds solely to the needs of the client, the role of the optician is recentrized: he travels for his advice as a health professional, and nothing else.
As for the opticians themselves, they are masters of their time and their schedules and earn more on average than in stores. Today, three main companies have bet on mobility. These are mobile opticians , the optician on the move and home opticians .
The second-hand market: the boom of the future?
Purchasing power and climate change are among the main concerns in France and Europe. To be able to consume without breaking the bank or creating an even greater dependence on the manufacturing process, a solution seems to have been found! With the emergence and explosion of applications like Vinted or le bon coin, the second-hand market weighs heavily. Very heavy.
Almost 7.4 billion euros to be exact. Impossible to ignore. Of course, in the optical sector, it is difficult to change glasses without personalizing them, since they must be adapted. As a bonus, difficult to offer a guarantee on the occasion. And yet, some opticians have gotten into it. This is the case of crazy glasses and local eyewear , for example, which offer cheaper frames, refurbished and reimbursable by mutuals!
Of course, frames, to be refundable, must be purchased from an approved optician. Also, it is quite easy to vary your offer by offering a multitude of second-hand frames. They have many advantages: the price, of course, but also the possibility of presenting one's technical background, of offering very old frames, with a real history, and of highlighting environmental responsibility within one's company.
The second-hand market, as for mobile opticians, is booming. The new way of consuming, which always accompanies the crises of globalization, will certainly give pride of place to the second hand. And crises, that's not what's missing at the moment!
Eco-design: redefining everything?
Manufacturing new can also free itself from obsolete production conditions. This is the principle of eco-design. Knowing how and why to use this or that material is the responsibility of any craftsman. For this, it is necessary, even mandatory, to be informed, and to finance research and development in order to find viable solutions. New labels have also appeared to try to reinforce the ecological responsibility of the actors.
One of these solutions has caused a lot of talk in recent weeks: the design of a new recyclable material for the manufacture of frames. The acorium came out of the Nantes laboratory of Acuitis . It is made from organic acetate and vegetable-tanned leather powder. Fully recyclable, it also offers a unique and vintage look thanks to an aged leather appearance.
This example of success perfectly demonstrates the ability of certain industrial players to offer new prospects for production, combining technological prowess, respect for the environment and response to commercial demand. Of course, we can't wait to be able to determine the fallout from such a discovery.
The eco-design of optical products is considerably reshuffling the cards and redefining the future of optical. While the various international optical fairs are increasingly emphasizing the need to foster convictions related to the defense of the environment and the fight against climate change, it seems that the sector is taking more plus the right direction.
Optics takes paths that seemed inaccessible to it a few years back. This new way of seeing the profession, probably accelerated by the events that have taken place in recent years (financial crises, health crisis, geopolitical crises) shows the tremendous agility of the sector. Although we expect to see a few voices rising up against the redefinition of a profession or any lack of realism, we must not forget both that failure is part of the transformation and that a sector that does not transform is a sector that does not live.