By Athena Brasfield, OD
Optical sales are a challenge to capture in the age of online and big-box retailers. Independent practice owners like myself need all the advantages we can get. We have to compete against giant retail optical corporations and internet-based companies. These competitors have greater buying power, can offer lower prices and have larger marketing budgets than us. Many consumers view eyewear as a commodity, so we’re constantly having to fight for market share against these big retailers.
Fortunately, there is a resource I introduced to my practice last year that is making a huge difference in my ability to capture eyewear sales. That resource is the buy now, pay later solution, Sunbit.
Our capture rate for 2022 is 88 percent so far. It has improved tremendously over the past five years that I have owned my practice. Sunbit has been a major contributor to that. Sunbit has helped our office double our capture rate. Sales have jumped 60 percent higher per month since introducing it to my practice.
Reduce Patient Stress & Enhance Their Experience In Your Office
Worry over how to pay for what the doctor prescribes makes healthcare visits stressful for many patients. With buy now, pay later solutions like Sunbit, patients are able to leave our offices with much more comfort having paid with financing for their eyecare and eyewear needs.
Since introducing Sunbit to our patients, we were able to dramatically reduce our patients’ anxiety about applying for financing, which allows for an improved patient experience. With over 90 percent of our patients approved for Sunbit, and with an incredible variety of payment options to choose from, patients have a better experience with us. With Sunbit, our patients don’t have to wonder if they will be able to acquire the care and products the doctor prescribed.
Train Staff to Educate Patients About Financing Options
We give our opticians the tools needed to demonstrate to the patient that we can help them pay for eyewear and services much more easily via financing through Sunbit.
Our opticians are happier now because they don’t feel they have to make our patients jump through hoops to be able to finance their eyecare and eyewear needs. Telling patients that they need products like eyewear, cleaners, eye drops, or other eyewear accessories, but then telling them they have not been approved for financing, can be a daunting task for the optician. With Sunbit, we usually can tell patients they have been approved, which significantly helps the patient, and the optician, too.
Presenting Sunbit is ingrained into our whole process. As soon as patients walk in our door, they are made aware of Sunbit and its many benefits. This typically makes their visit anxiety-free. We also have a link to Sunbit on our website and feature the link in e-mail communications to patients. I have even featured information about Sunbit, and a link to learn more about it, in my practice blog and newsletters.
A Resource that Complements a Team Approach to Sales
Increasing the capture rate of prescribed eyewear is a team effort—where doctor, optician, technician and receptionist all sound a common message. The doctor must always prescribe from the exam chair and use their authority as the expert to explain why each piece of eyewear is necessary. Making sure the patient gets the best treatment plan, without prejudging what they can afford, has been integral to our success.
Sunbit’s platform enables us to provide a way for our patients to pay for a treatment plan overtime, which is appealing for anyone, especially when it comes to eye health. Optometrists must adapt and find financial solutions that will work for their patients to take that capture rate to the next level.
Make It More Likely Patients Leave with Glasses They Will Love
Merchandising is an important aspect of any independent OD practice, especially if you want to compete with online and big-box retailers. With Sunbit, our patients are able to use the buy now, pay later technology to be able to afford higher-quality designer frames that would otherwise be out of reach with their budget. This translates to patients being happier with their purchase, referring others to our office and increasing the profitability of our optical.
A True Practice-Patient Win-Win
Sunbit is the best thing I’ve ever done for my private practice, and I recommend it to anyone. Buy now, pay later is the way of the future, a win-win situation for everyone and a necessity for our industry.
*Loans are made by Transportation Alliance Bank, Inc. dba TAB Bank, which determines qualifications for and terms of credit.