By Mark Wright, OD, FCOVD,
and Carole Burns, OD, FCOVD
Consistent with the results from past research, when Americans do access the internet to assist with their purchase of eyewear, most only use one or two different types of web sites to aid the buying process, according to The Vision Council VisionWatch 2016 Internet Influence Report.
While many consumers generally turn to internet search engines for assistance when buying eyewear, there were some differences in the types of web sites used based on the type of eyewear being purchased. For Rx eyeglasses, people tend to use web sites operated by known eyeglass retailers. For people who recently purchased plano sunglasses, web sites operated by general online retailers or mass merchant retailers were most often used by consumers.
Here are some of the interesting numbers from The Vision Council VisionWatch 2016 Internet Influence Report.
What are people are doing online? Specifically, how are they using the internet? Primarily, they are conducting research to help them purchase eyewear in-person at a future date. The Vision Council Report tells us they do this by…
• Comparing prices of eyewear
• Examining possible brands
• Examining possible retail locations where they might eventually make a purchase in-person
• Reviewing customer ratings/satisfaction relating to eyewear or eyewear retailers
But, some people do more than just do research. They buy online. The report tells us what percent of people are actually buying on the internet.
Another question you need to know the answer to is: Who in your practice is going to be most likely to directly purchase eyewear online? The report states it’s going to be “women, older Americans, Americans with higher incomes, and Americans that use the internet when shopping for general retail goods.”
Based on The Vision Council Report, your action plan for this week has three steps.
1) Review your online customer ratings. Fix any problems you find.
2) Review your optical for your selections for “women, older Americans, and Americans with higher incomes.” Is your internal marketing and merchandising targeting these populations specifically to keep them in your practice?
3) Review your online frame presence. Make sure you are in the game.