Recently Tru Vue conducted focus groups asking consumers about their experiences, opinions, and attitudes of having pieces custom framed. There are valuable insights and learnings from these groups that we want to share with our custom framer community, to help store owners strengthen their businesses.
As part of the focus group research, we asked participants about their experience selecting glass for their pieces. Most said that their framer had spent little or no time talking with them about glazing. When our focus group moderator showed them Museum Glass®, many were shocked that it had not been offered to them when they were having their pieces framed. A few did come in with pieces framed with Museum Glass, and those who did had no regret for their choice.
In fact, they were thankful that their framer had offered the upgraded glazing as a possibility. One major obstacle, heard from custom framers, regarding glazing, is the concern that the increase in price for more premium features might intimidate customers or even drive them away.
Custom framers who have had success with Museum Glass tell us that this does not happen. Market research supports this point, showing us that consumers will upgrade to Museum Glass more than one-third of the time if simply given a choice. The focus group feedback echoes the research.
When shown Museum Glass, the participants were disappointed that they had not been informed of this product. The moderator read actual custom framer statements. These verbatims recorded from a prior focus group, where custom framers spoke about why they are intimidated to offer glazing choices to their customers. Some of the participants’ comments in reaction were:
- “It’s good to have choices.”
- “Don’t prejudge and assume that your clients don’t want this.”
- “It speaks volumes when you see them (the glass choices) next to each other.”
- “Have the display so that people can see the difference. People can always say no.”
- “I want to make the decision myself.”
In the case of glazing, compared to other types of products, the choices are not so varied that they are overwhelming. Consumers like to be educated about the products they buy, especially when the perceived investment is high. In fact, after learning about Museum Glass® through their participation in the focus groups, several people said that they will now ask for glazing choices when framing. It stands to reason that glass choice is important to customers. In a survey done by Unity Marketing on the Art, Wall Decor, Picture Frame & Custom Framing market, preservation and protection of a piece ranked as most important to custom framing customers. The same survey sites glass with UV protection and anti-reflective qualities as two of the top three value added features custom framing consumers are most likely to choose.
Protection was a primary reason the focus group participants cited for choosing independent custom framers specifically — the expertise they offer in making sure their customers get what they need for their piece. Selection of materials was another major benefit cited. Offering a choice is not only good for the sale, but it is also good for those valuable relationships you are establishing or maintaining with your customers. By providing options and educating them about their choices, you are giving them what they want.
Tips for Educating Customers on Glass Choice
- Have a conversation. Get to know their piece and their attachment to it. Value is not always apparent, and customers do not always know what to say when describing their vision. They are counting for you to not only to be the expert but also to educate them.
- Ask them questions to identify how important protection is to them which will help put upgrades into context. For example, getting answers to questions like, “Do you want to hand this down to a family member?” or “How close to the original condition is this piece?” are more precise ways to assess a customer’s preservation needs.
- Help your staff integrate glass choice into the conversation. Visit www.tru-vue.com/customframers for a training video that offers a simple process for presenting glass options to customers.
- Use the Museum Glass displays. Showing the focus group participants the POP displays had a significant impact on their perception of glass choice. Many agreed with those who said, “Seeing is believing.” The Tru Vue glazing counter displays help put the price conversation into perspective, as it becomes clearer what the increase in cost offers.
- Reduce decision overload. By the time glass comes up, some customers are overwhelmed with the idea of making another decision. If you know from the conversation that protection is crucial or that reflection control is a factor, talk about the glass first, as there are fewer options overall than with the other materials. Another possibility is to discuss the chosen frame and mat as part of a package A, B or C, with variable prices based on glass options.
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This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of Tru Vue or its employees. Tru Vue does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented.