Let’s face the facts - prescription eyewear is in demand.
According to a 2023 Optometrists Industry in the US - Market Research Report, “Optometry revenue has grown at a CAGR of 1.8% to $22.4 billion through the end of 2023…Nearly three-quarters of the adult US population uses corrective eyewear. These consumers require annual eye exams, corrective eyewear, and occasional therapeutic eye care services, providing a stable base of patients for optometry practices despite economic fluctuations or changes in consumer spending.”
The money is there, and the demand is there, but where is all of it going? Many Opticians may feel they need to be more qualified for sales. And yet, that may be why a practice is plateauing in monthly revenue. A 2022 survey found that “44.0% of individuals used the internet to assist in their acquisition of prescription eyeglasses, an increase from 22.0% in 2017. Of this percentage, 14.1% bought eyewear directly through an online retailer.” More and more people are going to the internet rather than their clinics to buy corrective eyewear.
This all may seem discouraging. But, don’t worry! By the end of this article, we will not only provide strategies to help your opticians become better salesmen/saleswomen and show you how you can use the internet to boost sales for your practice.
Tip #1 : Sell “Needs” Before “Wants”
Robert Bell, the Founder of EyeCoach, has noted that customers tend to be more interested in attractive frames than premium lenses. He found that it took more work to convince customers to invest in higher-priced lenses when frames were presented first. He used the example below:
“You just sold a patient a gorgeous designer frame for $400. They are thrilled with the color, the fit, the brand and the way the uplifting shape seems to shave a few years off their age. Good job! Now you have to get a premium lens into that gorgeous designer frame. How often do you hear: “Excuse me? The lenses are $550? How is that possible? How can a lens be more expensive than the frame? ”Wow, NOW you’ve done it! What a fine mess you’ve gotten yourself into.”
To prevent such scenarios, Bell recommends prioritizing the sale of "needs" over "wants." Specifically, the focus should be on promoting the sale of premium lenses before attempting to sell frames to customers.
Tip #2 : Provide Good Incentives
One way to encourage customers to purchase corrective lenses from your eyewear practice is by offering incentives. Incentives are rewards or benefits given to customers in exchange for their patronage. Offering incentives helps boost sales in the short term and encourages customers to return to your practice in the future.
You can offer several types of incentives to persuade customers to buy corrective lenses from your practice. One such incentive is discounts. By offering discounts on corrective lenses, you can attract customers looking for a good deal and may be more likely to make a purchase.
You can also offer bundle deals that include both corrective lenses and frames. This can incentivize customers to purchase by providing a complete eyewear solution at a discounted price.
Creating limited-time offers can also be effective in encouraging customers to act quickly. Customers may be more likely to purchase to take advantage of the limited-time offer by creating a sense of urgency.
Another way to encourage customers to purchase corrective lenses from your practice is by implementing a referral program. By offering discounts or rewards to customers who refer others to your practice, you can expand your customer base and encourage repeat business.
Offering financing options can also be beneficial, as it makes it easier for customers to afford corrective lenses by spreading the cost over a period of time.
Finally, implementing a loyalty program where customers can earn rewards for repeat purchases can help build customer loyalty and encourage customers to return to your practice.
Keep This in Mind
When offering discounts and promotions, it's crucial to remember that they should benefit not only the customer but also your eyewear practice. Work together with your team to see what is best for your practice.
Tip #3 : Feature Frames Exclusive to Your Optical Practice
To effectively compete with other eyewear practices and online competitors, it's essential to emphasize the concept of Frame Line Differentiation. This refers to the idea that your practice should not only carry frames exclusive to your store but each frame should have a unique story behind it. Courtney Dryer, an OD, illustrated the concept in this way:
“When you bring in a new frame line, it should have a story to tell. Know the stories, and be able to convey them to your patients. In your optical, each frame line should be different and fill a different purpose. Think funky, classic, bright colors, metals, chunky or tailored. Knowing your demographics can guide you in the total numbers you should purchase from each line. Most patients tend to be conservative in eyewear taste, so if you carry 500 frames, 50 should be allocated to funky. If your patient’s are younger, go heavier on the chunky styles. This will vary per area of the country.”
Simply put, know your brand. Know what you are selling and who you are selling it to. Research your competitors and find ways to make your practice stand out.
Tip #4 : Show Your Eyewear Inventory Online
Take your eyewear inventory to the internet to give your practice an edge.
Optify's sales tool software solution lets you showcase your eyewear inventory online using your brand. This means that customers can browse and research the frames and lenses they want to purchase before even stepping foot in your practice.
This software can be highly beneficial for Opticians, as finding the perfect piece of eyewear for a customer can often be time-consuming. By allowing customers to view your inventory online, they can quickly identify the frames and lenses they want to try on in person, saving both the customer and the Optician valuable time.
Many Opticians have reported that the time it takes to find the perfect eyewear for a customer has been cut in half thanks to Optify. Using this software, Opticians can collect the selected eyewear before the customer arrives at the practice, streamlining the selection process and improving overall customer satisfaction.
To Sum Things Up
If you want to increase your optician practice's revenue, there's no better time to start than now. With the growing demand for prescription eyewear, it's essential to take proactive steps to stay ahead. Try prioritizing customers' "needs" over their "wants," offering attractive incentives like discounts, bundle deals, and financing options, and showcasing exclusive frames to make your sales team more effective. Remember to tap into the power of the internet to attract new customers and offer online solutions that complement your in-person services.
Boost Revenue and Expand Reach with Optify's Digital Storefront
Missing out on sales and customer insights because your eyewear selection is limited to your physical store? It's time to go online and utilize a sleek digital storefront and integrated marketing tools.
Book a 15-minute demo today to learn more about Optify.