2020 was full of new challenges for eye care providers. The COVID-19 pandemic created massive changes in the way that practices and optical stores could do business. It was more than just wearing masks and sanitizing continually. It was required to take an all-encompassing approach to how you can make a visit to your practice the safest and most comfortable experience possible.
With many patients who still may be hesitant about coming in for an appointment or a glasses try-on, it’s crucial to shift your business to a more online friendly model while still providing your patients with excellent service and care.
Luckily, there are some pretty neat ways to make your collection of eyewear accessible.
What is a virtual frame gallery?
Exactly what it sounds like! Statistics Canada reported that online spending doubled with in-person visits to offices and stores declining since the pandemic began. This shift in the way people are making purchases allows businesses to make strides in e-commerce. Eye care practices that invest now in their ability to take appointments, sell frames, and ultimately take care of their patients virtually will see continued success and loyalty as consumers reevaluate their priorities.
3 Reasons a Virtual Frame Gallery Will Benefit Your Business
No Sanitation Required
As practices and eye wear retailers are back to being open, there’s been some pretty creative approaches to keeping try-on frames clean. Many offices opt to give patients trays to place pairs to be sanitized, but it’s still a bit of a hassle and takes up valuable staff time.
With an interactive frame gallery on your website, customers can try on glasses from their couch, and you and your staff are relieved of the responsibility of keeping dozens of pairs of frames clean every time a patient would like to try them on. (At least a lot fewer than you would.)
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It’s a Built-In Catalogue
How many times has a patient called in to ask for a specific frame or brand? Whether the lenses they want are compatible with progressives, or if they can get their prescription in a pair of their favorite sunglasses? You can field these questions by keeping your frame gallery an online database continuously updated with what you have available.
If a particular supplier is delayed or discontinues a product, it’s as simple as removing the color or listing altogether.
Not only can customers try on the frames that they’re considering, but you can control the frames available so they patients can only see frames that you actually carry or can order for them.
Ultimate Customer Convenience
If a busy family can avoid a trip out just try on frames for one of their kids, they’ll thank your practice. As the technology is still relatively unused when it comes to small practices, utilizing it will be a selling point and something that will do wonders for your community recognition.
Any practice that invests in virtual assets that make the pandemic eye care experience safer and more convenient for their patients will see it pay off in terms of increased customer satisfaction, provided the tools are useful and user friendly.
So what does Marketing4ECPs suggest?
My Frame Gallery is one option and is a program that allows for virtual catalogue creation, including software for try-on via webcam from FittingBox. It’s just one way to up your online marketing game in the wake of the pandemic. Want to learn what other options are available? Download Marketing4ECP's e-book on e-commerce options available in eye care. Keep in mind that every potential solution you invest in needs to be:
- Easy to use and seamlessly functional
- Serving an expressed need
It’s as easy as that!
If you’re looking to talk to someone about how to improve your website, what implementing a virtual frame gallery would do for your business, or simply want to leave your marketing to the experts, reach out to Marketing4ECPs!
This article is written by Trudi Charest, Co-Founder of Marketing4ECPs. Trudi has spent her career trying to help eye care business owners run a better business. From her early days working in retail optical as an Optician & Corporate Trainer to an award-winning sales rep for Bausch and Lomb, Trudi carried her passion for the industry through to Eye Recommend, eventually breaking off and starting her own ventures.
Trudi can be reached at email@example.com.