Blog - Retail

Location Intelligence helps optical businesses visualise better

Written by Geoblink ·

People are becoming more aware and have realised the importance of regular eye check up and examination, globally increasing the demand for eyewear protection and products. To point out, Statista, the statistics portal, charted the value of the global eyewear market in 2016 at USD 95 billion.

The value is speculated to rise to USD 166.51 billion in 2026. We can thus forecast a constant demand in the coming business years as people from diverse culture and vast demographic differences become the consumers of these products. But what drives more people to the eye wear products? Gone are the days, when aging and eye problems were the reasons for wearing a glass; in today’s world where taste preferences keep fluctuating every second, presentable appearance and fashion trends also prompt a person to look for similar products.

How is this sector performing in the European countries?


Drawing some insights from GFK research, we can see that Italy, France, Spain and Germany, are the 4 key European retail optical markets. The 4 countries showed year-end turnover of €17.6 billion. This is an approximate 0.9% increase from the previous year’s data. The European market is showing many interesting style developments and consolidations making the outlook for the industry positive.

Moving on to the UK market, the sector in subject has increased its value gradually from € 4,789.3 million in 2012 to € 5,132.9 million in 2017. Let’s take a look at the graphical representation from Statista below:


Value of the eyewear market in the UK

Source: Statista

We can see the market is healthy in the UK as it is in the other European countries. So, this blog post is created with an aim to analyse the challenges faced by the optical businesses in expanding their network of stores and how Location Intelligence can change their game for the better.

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The challenges 

There are 3 most prominent challenges faced by the expansion managers of this industry: 

  • New openings based on intuitions 

Nine out of ten executives surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said if the available data contradicts their intuition, they would reanalyse or ignore it. This shows how central gut feeling is among the business leaders. But what could be the disadvantages? Flawed information leading to improper implication of strategies, lack of open mindedness. Decisions taken based on intuitions are useful to gain the first picture of an expansion plan, but for further analysis, one needs to rely on granular analytics. 

  • Ignorant about external variables that influence businesses

The external variables have an impact on the future business performance. They are all factors ranging from economy to the customer base. Organisations probe into these variables during the inception of a new opening. But, fail to understand how these variables can have an impact on sales, marketing and other business endeavours.

  • Limited use of a customer base

Some businesses have a solid customer record, but do not correlate with the external data. The huge data chunk is unused which, when used would ameliorate the marketing and communication strategies.

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The solution 

Geoblink’s Location Intelligence software helps businesses overcome the above challenges effortlessly. It uses Big data to provide granular and accurate details of a location, its surroundings, competitor’s history, external variables, etc. Let’s see the solution for the above difficulties: 

  • Not relying on the gut feelings, but on the surroundings of your new POS                               

For example, let’s say you are planning to open a new optical store in King Charles Street, Leeds, UK, What are the observations you could make from Geoblink?

Optical stores in King Charles street

It can be seen from the application, there are two optical stores (Boots opticians and Specsavers at 370m nad 385m from King Charles Street). Moreover, the disposable income of the population in a catchment area (which is created within a 15-minute walking distance from a specific point in King Charles Street) is GBP 36,150. This is critical to analyse, for high income drives more people to purchase glasses (for an enhanced fashion statement). 

  • Correlating external variables with the internal strategies

This is an important stage for sales forecasting, which is mostly underestimated by businesses. Geoblink identifies the variables that are relevant to the sales in each POS. This helps the clients to develop a sales forecast model for their new store.

For example: knowing the pedestrian traffic for a 30 meter facade of your optical store. This could help you optimise your resources for the business day. But, pedestrian traffic is one of a myriad of other external variables that you could correlate with the in-house strategies.

  • Making use of the customer data intensively

Geoblink imports the customer record onto the client’s map to conduct further analysis on cannibalisation, KPIs, segmented marketing campaigns, similar areas that have the features of previous POS, etc.  

Let’s take, for example, you are looking for areas in London, United Kingdom to set up an optical store, with this specification:

  • Men aged 45 to 55
  • Disposable income: GBP 38,100 – 43,100

The application lists a number of areas according to the above specifications:

Areas with listed specifications

This way you can also create segmented marketing campaigns directed to the specific target.

Thus, what are the impacts of integrating Geoblink into your business practises?

  • New openings have a faster ramp-up period than that of the previous store.
  • Improvised segmented marketing campaigns.
  • Knowing beforehand the number of customers for your new store
  • Increased Returns on Investment (ROI)  

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