Published by Madhu Singh on
Mon, Aug 30, 2021 @ 10:08 AM
Predicting the future is more difficult now, as we all have come to realize. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected consumer habits, especially in eyewear? In the middle of last year, consumer spending slowed drastically as uncertainty ran high in the stock markets and the world. However, data from Luc.id suggests that consumers are actually keeping their 2020 budgets or spending even less.
We're doing a deep dive today to uncover anything that might help you organize and market your inventory to provide the best value-add products for your optometry patients.
Keeping Up with New Consumer Habits
Calm budget anxieties.
Buying a designer pair of frames or a year's supply of contact lenses is a big purchase decision when money is tight. If you've noticed a customer on the brink of purchasing but not quite ready to decide, provide a custom quote for them like this Vision Source practice does. You can include the cost of the frame, lenses, and any insurance copays that you've pulled for them. If you're feeling confident, you can throw in a discount if they purchase within the week. Let them walk away and then emphasize that purchasing from your practice will save them money down the line.
Create online sales.
Online sales rose 93% in 2020, according to this study from McKinsey. Focus on setting up some version of an online dispensary or Shopify. If you don't have the resources to set up an online shop, you can create a virtual browsing experience with 360 images of your office or allow patients to receive online updates on the order they placed in person.
Pay attention to the supply chain.
A global consumer trend is supply chain transparency. Consumers are more interested in the materials, labor laws, and sustainability of the products they're purchasing now. Luckily, this mentality works in your favor when competing with inexpensive online retailers like Warby Parker or 1-800-Contacts. Mention the large footprint that online retailers have on the environment with their unsustainable shipping practices. Curate and display a selection of frames from brands that promote sustainability in your dispensary, point customers towards that section.
Appeal with social proof.
Showcasing customer stories is more important now with the prevalence of online reviews and social media influencers. Ask happy customers to write down what they love about their frames when they're purchasing. Display these comment cards next to popular frames in your dispensary to draw attention to them.
Another way to find out what your customers want is to survey them. Download this free kit of patient surveys now.