How to Win The Fight Against Online Retailers in Your Optical Shop

Posted by Janelle Pauli on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 @ 10:01 AM

Your competition in the eyeglass market is growing with each new online retailer.
While Warby Parker is optical shopprobably your biggest online competition, there are plenty of other companies who have entered the space including brands like Rivet and Sway, Lookmatic, Eyefly, and many more. The biggest appeal consumers see to using these online sites is more often cost, and trend.

Warby Parker has upped their game and now has 7 brick and mortor storefronts and 6 showrooms nationwide. Warby Parker's marketing has dubbed Optometrists as the "greedy middle man", making their bottom-of-the line frames even more appealing to consumers. Truth is, most consumers aren't aware of the total value package they receive when purchasing their frames and lenses, in your optical shop, from a licensed optician. That's why we think that patient education is your biggest weapon for competing with the online retail giants. 

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[Tips for ECPs] Maintenance: The Silent Killer

Posted by Sharon Chin on Thu, Jan 15, 2015 @ 10:01 AM

We know that your practice can get busy and even hectic on some days. But with your overwhelming schedule, have you neglected your practice’s maintenance? Does it look clean and new, just like when you first opened your practice? If not, you could be losing your customers very soon!

Today’s post comes from John Seegers at Optician Works, a complete, online training program for all levels of eye care professionals. His website helps aspiring opticians as well as practices that need help with the new hire training blues. And today, he’ll help get your practice in shape. Look out for a checklist at the end of the post. You’ll need it to see if your practice needs maintaining and fixing.

Practice Maintenance Tips for ECPs and Their Practice

Kurt Vonnegut, my favorite author, wrote, “Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.”

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10 Optical Dispensing Retail Trends for 2015

Posted by Janelle Pauli on Wed, Jan 14, 2015 @ 15:01 PM

Our first article of 2015 from our friends at The Optical Vision Site is an excerpt from their full post, 19 Eyecare Retail Trends for 2015. We pulled our top ten optical dispensing retail trends from their full list, so if you like what you read make sure to check out their original post! Each month this year we will be featuring a post from The Optical Vision Site to help bring fresh ideas to your eyecare practice.

Top 10 Retail Trends for Your Optical Dispensary in 2015

Retailing in 2015 will be changing at rapid speed and is becoming increasingly challenging for eyecare professionals. Between the mix of fashion, medical, insurance, educated consumers, smart phones, communication platforms, better target marketing, technology, personalized experiences, and a variety of solutions, all retailers including eyecare professionals have to adjust and adapt to change to compete in the market.

1. Customer Service

Self serve check-ins and check-outs have become the name of the game, saving retailers time and money. Vending machines are growing. You are seeing them everywhere and you can purchase anything from cars to iPads, including contact lenses, eyeglass accessories, and sunglasses. Stores like Neiman Marcus have a location-aware app called NM Service where you can send your preferences to the sales staff. When you check in it gives the staff recommendations for you.

In Eyecare: Eye exam kiosks, online eye exams, sharing apps, and eyewear apps are all growing. You name it, you can get it online. Consider having a #selfiesaturday hashtag for those to post their new pics on Twitter.

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2 Eyecare Practice Marketing Trends for 2015

Posted by Sharon Chin on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 @ 10:12 AM

A lot of practices don’t spend a lot of time or effort in marketing their practice. But what most practice owners might not realize is that in order to bring in new patients, and even retain existing ones, is that you need to spend a little on marketing. Just like technology, marketing best practices become outdated very quickly. As we approach 2015, we wanted to give you a heads-up on what we think you should focus on for your eyecare practice marketing.

Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly 

eyecare_practice_marketing_mobile

We’ve talked about the importance of a website all through 2014, but in 2015, we want you to think one step further – optimizing your site for mobile users. In the past couple of years, we’ve seen a drastic increase in online mobile usage due to the increasing adoption of smart phones. A Pew Internet project research shares the following interesting statistics on mobile use in America.

  • 63% of adult cell owners use their phones to go online.
  • 34% of cell Internet users go online mostly using their phones, and not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer.
  • 67% of cell owners find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.

If 63% of cell owners use their phones to go online as the study suggests, we can assume that a lot of your site visitors are probably mobile users. Is your current website optimized for mobile viewing? It might be worth reworking your website to make it responsive on several devices. If you already have cool features on your website such as online scheduling or a patient portal, just make sure that your customers can access the same features on their phones.

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Managing Eye Care: Avoiding The "War on Christmas" in Your Practice

Posted by Robert Fallon on Tue, Dec 09, 2014 @ 10:12 AM

The holiday season is upon us and it’s time to start prepping for family gatherings, good food, and white elephant gift exchanges. Tis’ a time for cheer and happiness, but recently the holiday season has brought about a topic of controversy that all businesses must address. We’ve noticed a few conversations pop up online regarding the celebration of Christmas in businesses. And, as an OD and leader of your practice, you need to decide how your practice is going to “celebrate” this December. Understanding the conflict and how it is being handled might help you become neutral in your stance and avoid conflict with the “War on Christmas."

Managing eye careThe frontlines of this “war” have been in the public sector, specifically in public schools. And now, the reach of this controversy has spread to corporations, businesses, and even to your optical practice. In the corporate world many are taking pre-cautionary steps to avoid offense to customers. They instill the tagline “happy holidays”, not due to religious beliefs, but in order to be inclusive and welcome as many dollars, or rather people, into their stores. The “politically correct” transition must be done carefully, especially on such a grand scale, as corporations don’t want to hurt their revenue from the one billion dollar commercial impact season shopping has. So, while using happy holidays is not necessarily anti-Christmas, it does seem to be pro-business, and as OD’s the last thing you want in your optical practice is to be anti-business, right?

Managing Eye Care: How to Avoid the Christmas Controversy in Your Eyecare Practice

We aren't here to say there is a right or wrong way to handle this in your eyecare practice, we are just curious how practices out there are handling it, and want to get the conversation started! Is your eyecare practice taking a neutral stance in order to avoid conflict with patients, or even staff members? Playing Christmas music, having a big red Santa in the lobby, or going all out and installing a nativity scene, can all be considered offensive to certain people’s beliefs and should be addressed, rather than ignored.

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