Oct. 11, 2017
Most patients have more than one product need. Plano sunglasses and computer glasses to prevent digital eye fatigue, and protect against damaging blue light, could benefit nearly any patient. Now think of patients with more complex needs, such as presbyopes with glasses and contact lenses, who use the computer heavily, and participate in outdoor activities. Clearly, you have a huge opportunity to grow your multiple-product sales.
How Big is the Opportunity?
Independent practitioners are leaving money on the table. Take a look at these numbers from VisionWatch, The Vision Council 1Q 2017 analysis.
Note that private practitioners, identified as those with three or fewer locations, account for 71 percent of eye exams. But the sales percentages lag significantly. In fact, only frames and lenses have pushed past the 50 percent mark.
It might be easy to say that sunglasses, OTC readers, and even contact lenses, have become commodities, but the point is that your patients are going elsewhere to buy these products.
And it adds up. The average frame price in 1Q 2017 was about $130, and the average lens price was around $152, according to The Vision Council’s Vision Care Market Quarterly Overview. That’s about a $282 sale, on average.
Patient Financing: A Tool to Boost Multiple Sales
The average purchase in an optometry practice upon a cardholder opening a CareCredit account is $531. While about 76 percent of the dollars in sales of eyeglasses are captured by independent practitioners, the actual capture rate is lower, around 67 percent. (Independent practitioners tend to have higher-than-average sales per patient). That means about 33 of every 100 spectacle-wearing patients in your patient base are going elsewhere—and taking thousands of dollars in sales with them.
Capture More Contact Lens Sales
Run similar scenarios for your contact lens patients. If half of them are not buying their contact lenses from you, what is that costing you? Remember, these are average sales. Many independent practitioners pride themselves on offering their patients the highest quality and newest technology products, which also carry premium price tags.
These include newer designs and materials in daily disposable, multifocal and toric soft contact lenses; digitally surfaced ophthalmic lenses; high-quality, anti-reflective treatments; and new progressive designs and beneficial add-ons, such as polarization and protection against harmful UV and blue light. Remember, too, that patients are looking for a complete solution based on all of their visual needs.
Such a recommendation often includes multiple pairs of eyewear, such as prescription sunglasses, computer lenses, sports eyewear and eyeglasses designed to meet the specific requirements of certain hobbies or work tasks.
In other words, there are two compelling reasons to focus on your patients’ complete visual needs: they’ll be more satisfied, and you’ll capture the profit. >>READ MORE>>