Insights From Our Editors

Market Opportunity: Grow Your Children’s Eyeglass Frame Average Sale Per-Patient

June 29, 2016

You have the opportunity to grow your children’s eyeglass frame average sale per-patient, findings from Jobson Optical Research’s 2016 Children’s Eyewear MarketPulse survey suggest. Some 50.7 percent of respondents reported that their children’s eyeglass frame average sale per-patient remained the same in 2015 compared to five years ago, while 44.4 percent said it increased. Some 4.9 percent said it decreased.

Click HERE to order Jobson Optical Research’s 2016 Children’s Eyewear MarketPulse report.

How profitable is the children’s vision portion of your practice? If you want to grow your average children’s per patient revenue, then you need to measure to manage. Start by searching your practice management software looking for how many children you had in your practice last year and what was the total revenue collected for just that population of people. Divide the total revenue collected by the total number of patients from birth to age 18 that were seen in your practice. That gives you your benchmark for last year for your revenue collected per patient for this population of patients.

Now let’s look at this year. Do the same exercise, but use the criteria of January 1 of this year to the end of last month.

Now compare the last year’s per patient revenue collected to this year’s numbers. How did you do?

If you really want to increase your pediatric per patient revenue, then you need to approach this strategically.

We like the concept put forth in the article by Lorraine Labiento Smith, OD, and Matthew Smith where they divide the pediatric market into three distinct groups by age – zero to three, four to seven, and eight to 14. We would add a fourth group from age 15 to 18.

Their suggestion is to start with five different frame styles for each gender in each category and then expand from there. Helpful suggestions they gave in their article include:

0-3: For babies and toddlers, basic durable eyeglasses are sold in kits of six-to-eight different frame styles and color samples. The two categories are the nylon one-piece designs and the semi-custom metal frames (e.g., Fisher Price).

With these kits, the optician has a lot of control over the frame front, nose bridge and temple design, and the parent chooses the color palette.

3-6: In buying frames for this age group, it’s important that they are well made and come with a good warranty. I look for smaller manufacturers because the quality is better and they don’t market TV icons.

Kids like to choose their favorite colors, so offer bright colors with cute details. Instead of stocking a huge inventory, keep some specialty catalogs on hand.

8-14. Pre-teens: Need I say more? Actually, this is a very fun group and I have the largest selection in this area. Tweens have very definite opinions about style and trends.”

15-18. This group also has very definite opinions about style and trends.

This next step is key. Use your frame sales people as partners in dealing with this area of your practice. Questions you need answered from the frame sales people are:

1) What are the best selling frames in each age category? Do we have these on our board?

2) What resources can you bring to me to teach my staff how to best manage each of these age categories in the optical?

3) What sales techniques are the best for each of these age groups?

With a little strategic planning and tactical application, you can really make the pediatric portion of your practice perform better this year than last year in all aspects including increasing your per patient revenue collected.

Reference

Review of Optometry

Children’s Optical: Little Tykes, Large Opportunity

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