Walman Optical is the largest independent optical wholesaler in the United States.

Industry:

Eyewear

Headquarters:

Minneapolis, MN

Customers have done nothing but thank me since Handshake was rolled out. There has been only positive feedback.

Meg Klaers
Frame Product Manager
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Product Discoverability: Why B2B eCommerce Helps You Sell More

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THE CHALLENGE:

Outdated sales and ordering processes made it impossible for customers to discover Walman Optical's full frame product offering, before B2B eCommerce.

THE RESULTS:

Handshake Direct B2B eCommerce helped revamp Walman Optical's subscription program through enhanced product discoverability on a digital catalog.

After implementing Handshake, Walman Optical immediately saw a 5% increase in revenue.

Due to streamlined order submission, Walman Optical can ship frames to their buyers 50% faster.

THE STORY:

ABOUT WALMAN OPTICAL

Walman Optical works with several different lens and frame manufacturers, distributing their products to a client base comprised of largely independent eye practices around the U.S. Walman Optical works with several different lens and frame manufacturers, distributing their products to a client base comprised of largely independent eye practices around the U.S. As a result, they are able to oer an extremely diverse set of frames and lenses, and make it possible for eye care practices to choose exactly what fits best for their customers. Frame product manager Meg Klaers must ensure the discoverability of her entire product line—starting with the nearly 30 sales reps in the field.

This case study is the story of how Walman Optical, the largest independent optical wholesaler in the U.S., reached a new level of product discoverability with Handshake’s B2B eCommerce platform—bringing all their products online and in front of customers to drive larger orders.

PRE-HANDSHAKE SALES REP CHALLENGES

During sales visits, reps used to bring heavy bags overflowing with samples—often carrying up to 900 frames at a time—into small optical practices. Between digging through bags to find relevant products and fulfilling customer orders with paper and pen, reps could hardly find time to introduce new products.

To solve this issue, Klaers equipped her reps with Handshake Rep, a mobile order writing app designed to increase the efficiency of sales reps during in-person sales meetings. Given reps finally had access to Walman Optical’s entire product line through the Handshake Rep app, large sample bags were no longer needed to get products in front of customers. Instead, reps can now walk customers through Walman Optical’s comprehensive catalog on a tablet.

PRODUCT DISCOVERABILITY: THE OPPORTUNITY OF B2B ECOMMERCE

Years before, in order to give their customers more of a self-service ordering option, Walman Optical had started a subscription service called Trusted Partners, sending auto-shipments of their four newest frames to participating eye care practices. Implementing an innovative subscription service promised to increase average order value for customers that opted in, giving them a BirchBox-like consumer experience, but Klaers started to realize their customers required a more tailored approach.

After processing too many product returns, it became apparent that customers desired the ability to discover and select frames themselves—a clear call for B2B eCommerce. She recognized the importance of online ordering to remain competitive in the eyewear distribution industry. Says Klaers: “The wholesale optical industry is ready for online ordering. We need a platform that allows us to keep up with the big players in the industry.” Klaers realized that Handshake Direct, Handshake’s B2B eCommerce
product, was not only the key to remaining competitive, but also to turning their subscription program around.

WINKIT & B2B ECOMMERCE: MORE PERSONALIZED BUYING, LESS RETURNS

Rolling out Handshake Direct at Walman Optical not only served as a replacement for outdated ordering processes—typically placed over the phone or through email—it also corresponded with a total rebrand of their subscription program. With a new name, Winkit, and more modern, updated aesthetic, Walman Optical’s subscription program was brought back to life.

With self-curated online ordering, customers were now able to custom-build their own Winkit subscription boxes with frames that would sell in their practices, rather than receiving the default box of products they often wanted to return. And as a result of the highly customized buying experience with their Handshake Direct powered Winkit portal, Walman Optical saw revenue growth in their frame business for the first time in several years: an uptick of 5% in units compared to the same months in the previous year. According to Klaers, this is completely attributed to B2B eCommerce through Handshake Direct, explaining that “the only thing that changed for us over this time period was Winkit.”


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