By Laurie Sorrenson, OD, FAAO
July 14, 2021
Optical sales are increasingly challenging with competition mounting from online retailers and big-box optical chains. When you have a way of leveling the field, and even giving your practice an advantage over these bigger players, you take it. For those reasons, I added an optical e-commerce “digital storefront” solution, Optify, to my practice that in just three months is already producing impressive results.
Turnkey Digital Storefront
Optify makes e-commerce simple for practices by providing a turnkey approach that covers every aspect of online optical shopping that you can think of. It includes marketing tools to personalize the online shopping experience; accurate in-home PD, SEG and OC photo measurements, which can you confirm and retain in the patient record; in-network insurance for your patients; lens fulfillment with your existing labs; a HIPAA-compliant platform for practice-to-patient communication; and, most importantly, a way to facilitate sales of inventory you have already invested in. Instead of having to invest in additional products, you are given a big boost in selling what you already have in stock.
There are two things that have been mind-blowing and seriously unexpected in our practice’s implementation of Optify.
My opticians LOVE it! When a patient pre-selects frames from the e-mail or text, which we send them through Optify, the frame styling time savings in our office is about 15 minutes! That’s huge. Saving 15 minutes on one patient is a game-changer. Now I just have to figure out how to get 100 percent of our patients to use Optify. It gives us a great head-start in capturing sales.
Optify makes shopping for eyewear such a pleasure for patients and such a profitability winner for our practice that encouraging patients to use it does a favor both for them and us.
Quick, Powerful ROI
Just 12 weeks after implementing Optify, I saw that my frame capture rate was already 13 percent higher than it was during the same time period in 2019. That kind of increase makes a huge difference in our patient experience. It tells me that our patients have found a new, easier way to shop for eyewear with us, and it makes a significant impact on our profitability.
As Easy for Your Practice As It Is for Your Patients
Your patients need an easy way to browse your products and make a buying decision, and your practice needs an easy way to manage the online shopping platform you put in place.
Fortunately, Optify made using its platform simple. Once we decided to implement the digital storefront, one of our team members followed up with Optify to ensure our frame lines were on our site’s new shopping page–and that was it. The technology is so intuitive that once it is in place, and you double-check that all of your frame lines are available to patients, the work of setting it up is done and you can begin to reap the reward of offering patients an easy way to look through and decide on your merchandise.
Provide Consistent Branding
When patients get to our digital storefront powered by Optify, they see something familiar. The online store looks like our office. We use our logos and colors. It matches our branding and aesthetic. This kind of consistency reinforces for the patient that they are within your practice as they browse products to pre-select for purchase.
An Efficient E-Commerce Solution
The Optify system integrates well with my staff’s workflow, so that our team members can easily maintain it. We have two people in charge of reviewing and responding to the try-on requests and quote requests that come to us by e-mail from Optify. Our team members add an alert in each patient’s chart in our EHR that says “Optify” to indicate that the patient has pre-selected frames. They say it is easy and required little training.
Potential for Even Greater Benefits to Patients & Profitability
The technology is so beneficial that we are making plans to get more patients to use Optify. We will do this through an increase in internal marketing. We send an e-mail two days ahead of a patient’s appointment and a text message one day before with the link to pre-select the frames.
When we get our inventory fully integrated with Optify and have it “real-time,” so that only the frames we have on the board are on the site, I think that will even further improve the experience for our patients. Even more of our patients will come to our office primed to purchase from us instead of one of our many competitors.