1. You don’t decide what patients want, they do
Facts are facts, people shop online. I know many of us eyecare professionals got super upset when Warby Parker came to market and made a ruckus. However, what they did was make eyewear cool again. They started the movement that eyewear can be accessible and affordable. Many of you don’t know or may disagree, but the styles they produce are becoming more attractive and the craftsmanship is great for the price point.
Patients may decide to buy that first pair from your office after their eye exam. But, what happens when they want a second pair? They know eye doctors have absurdly high prices even with those second pair discounts. They most likely are going online because the prices are transparent and the selection is vast.
The only thing that is missing online is the after-sales service. That’s where Optify merges the online and bricks and mortar experience. Someone can buy online and then can get adjustments, repairs, and customer service when they need it.
Or, just book a 30-minute meeting with the co-founder Wes Goddard. Why watch a 1-hour webinar when you can learn from the pro?
2. We are one of the last industries to sell online
The professional eye care community of optometrists, ophthalmologists, and opticians are one of the last few industries to sell physical products online. Obviously, most of us are against online eye exams and online LASIK (we’re joking).
It’s about time we loosen our control on how eyewear is accessed by consumers/patients.
The barrier to selling online has been tough, we agree. It’s not like we are selling T-Shirts. We are dealing with people’s vision and have a duty to make people see the best they can. The custom clothing industry found a way to do custom measurements (although we have never tried it), but we know selling online is the right thing to do now.
While we can’t be at everyone’s home to inspect the fit of eyeglasses, we can use modern technology to view the fit of eyeglasses using selfies consumers upload to us. From a picture, it’s pretty easy to see if glasses are too small or fitting too low on the bridge. I’m sure you critique all the news reporters on TV with bad glasses!
3. Optify makes it easy to sell online
It used to be selling online meant hiring expensive web developers and spending a year planning the opening of an online store. Shopify and WooCommere made selling online easier with drag and drop website builders, but this doesn’t solve our prescription lens issues and the need to do eyewear fittings.
With Optify, you simply pay an onboarding fee to begin, and then a monthly fee to keep your online store running. They make uploading your inventory from your practice or store super easy. Just download an excel sheet of your inventory and send to them. They will source all your images.
Each additional online sale you are making in your practice is additive. It is highly likely it was a lost sale to other online retailers or the Costo’s of the world whether you believe it or not. Be happy you are increasing your revenue and not having to have your opticians sit there for up to an hour to sell a pair of glasses.
4. It’s a 24/7 employee
Do you know who your hardest-working employee is? No, it’s not your heavy hitter optician who sells $1000 pairs all day or the doctor who works their butt off in the exam lane selling year supplies of contacts and fancy dry eye treatments.
Your website and more specifically your e-commerce eyeglasses store provided by Optify works 24 hours a day to help market your optical to existing patients. Yes, we said existing patients.
The cost to market to new customers online is extremely high. You have to develop marketing campaigns, buy social media ads, and get in front of a customer 10 times before they decide to buy.
It’s much easier to get in front of your own patient database. After all, you have their email address and cell phone number. Other businesses would die to have this personal information to help increase sales.
When you sell online, your emails and text messages promoting your services are all automated. Thank Optify for creating an employee who doesn’t demand much.
5. Use your patient database as it was intended for…for marketing products and services beneficial to health and beauty.
Most optometry practices do zero marketing or ineffective marketing. Buying a cookie-cutter website that’s actually a digital brochure and pretending that’s going to drive you more sales is a silly idea. Buying expensive Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, and Instagram Ads does work, don’t get us wrong. However, it’s much harder to pull in new traffic to your eyecare business and expect them to trust and buy from you.
Why not just use all the 1000s of people in your database to market to and skip the agony of trying to convince random people in your metropolitan you have great products for purchase?
Here’s how Optify uses your patient database to market to:
- You determine when an email can be triggered to send out. It may be if a patient walks with their Rx, it could be if you want to try and sell them on a second pair 3 months after they bought an initial pair, or maybe you are trying to promote computer glasses.
- The email campaigns are all pre-written for your convenience and branded to you.
- Nobody wants to be bothered on the phone or mail anymore. Over 90% of text messages are opened and read fully.
- Optify sends a 1-time HIPAA secure link to the patient that auto-logs them into the website. The patient is able to view the glasses and checkout super easily.
6. Does the patient need to know how to enter their Rx to use Optify?
No! Optify never asks your current patient to enter their Rx. You as the doctor or optician have the Rx in your computer, so there is no reason to ever ask your patient to enter this info. It’s just confusing and scares them they may enter it wrong. The patient focus should be on selecting frames.
7. Is the online measurement technology for pupillary distance, segment heights, and ocular segments accurate enough?
Yes, our high-tech mobile phones and quality cameras allow for really excellent photography capturing the frames and where our eyes appear in the lenses. Using proprietary software Optify has created, it can measure the pupillary distance and all necessary measurements to make a single vision, bifocal, trifocal, and progressive lenses. The remake rate for Optify glasses orders is less than 3% using this digital measurement technology.
8. How do I know if the glasses fit the patient? What if they are too big or too small?
You are in 100% control of deciding if the glasses fit or not. The patient is required to take a selfie with the glasses on they want to purchase. They upload the picture using a HIPAA secure method into their account portal. From there, the optician is able to see a frontal view of the glasses and “accept” or “reject” the glasses.
Obviously, if a patient is a high myope and chooses a large frame, you know the lenses will come out thick. This approval method allows you to keep your quality standards and tell the patient to choose another frame.
9. Bricks and Clicks
Patients want the convenience of relaxing at home on the couch after a family dinner doing their nightly e-commerce shopping. It’s really hard to open bricks-and-mortar. You have to sign a lease, buy furniture, have staff, buy inventory, etc. It’s much cheaper for you to go online, so what are you waiting for?
Optify merges your physical location with your online store so you can be everywhere every minute ready to serve patients in this digital economy.
Patients can buy online and then get all needed after-sales service just minutes from their home. Repairs, adjustments, and all other eyewear needs can be met to maintain your high-quality proposition your location demands.
10. Prevent patients from making the excuse “I need my wife’s opinion”
Ask an optician, and they hear this excuse every single day. It’s a scapegoat for patients to not make a decision or sneak out the optical door to shop elsewhere. It could be a boyfriend’s opinion, uncle, etc. they want, but it’s still an excuse.
People enjoy trying garments and eyeglasses at home. Sometimes they want to try goods on with different outfits even. Sometimes patients want to ask several people for their opinion to get the validation they look pretty or handsome in a certain style. Finally, you can have the system to ship glasses to one’s home and let them take their time to get the words “yes those glasses look great!”
11. What about shipping to someone’s home? Is it safe?
Yes, it’s 99% safe. How many times have you had a package not arrive at your home? Probably never or very minimal. Things happen, but it’s not a frequent occurrence. Plus, people that are scared of losing packages usually ship things to their work anyways.
We know eyewear is very expensive and it may scare you to ship $1000 worth of glasses in a little brown box. However, what should scare you more is how many sales you are losing in office because you don’t offer e-commerce eyeglasses. The benefits outweigh the losses.
When you ship glasses to someone’s residence, you pre-authorize their credit card for the amount of the frames. So, if the total cost of 3 frames you ship is $600, you would pre-authorize their Visa. If the patient failed to return the frames, you would charge their credit card this amount. The percentage of patients who don’t return glasses or products they don’t want is less than 1%. Don’t worry, you will get your goods back. Other companies have been doing home try-on for years, it’s nothing new.
The shipping rates are also really inexpensive for local shipments and usually less than $5 and arrive in 1 day. Your patients will be impressed by the speed. You are not shipping cases, just frames so the box is really lightweight and small.
12. Can a patient use their vision insurance or plan?
Yes, when a patient is ready to purchase, they will indicate they want to use their vision plan. From there they will submit a request to your office for you to look up their benefits and price out glasses.
You will input the data for vision plan discounts in the fields in their Optify portal. Once you finish, the patient will be notified via email they can now view their insurance pricing for that particular pair of glasses.
The patient can now easily buy the glasses now with their vision plan. Your office will know when the glasses are purchased and can now submit the claim using your normal office procedures.
The patient will ship the glasses back to your office for normal lens processing using your usual mandated vision plan labs or in-office lab.
It’s never too late to start selling online! Let the big corporate eyewear companies sell their eyewear at discount prices online. We as eyecare professionals sell high-quality unique frames and lenses and should promote this to the world at large! We have a major skillset as optometrists and opticians and we need to utilize the internet to enhance the profession and grow the market.
Get started selling eyeglasses online using Optify.