Getting the most out of contact lens retail

March 27, 2014

During the Global Contact Lens Forum, a partnership between Vision Expo East and the British Contact Lens Association, Shelly Bansal, FBDO, Hon CL,FBCLA; Jason Jedlicka, OD, FAAO; and Alan Glazier, OD, FAAO; discussed the current state of contact lens retail and how the industry may evolve in the near future.

New York City-During the Global Contact Lens Forum, a partnership between Vision Expo East and the British Contact Lens Association, Shelly Bansal, FBDO, Hon CL,FBCLA; Jason Jedlicka, OD, FAAO; and Alan Glazier, OD, FAAO; discussed the current state of contact lens retail and how the industry may evolve in the near future.

As practitioners are facing a daily battle against online contact lens retailers, focus on service, pricing, and convenience to compete, the doctors say.

Dr. Bansal recommends bundling different products with contact lenses to increase revenue per customer. You can also add on alternative lenses to compliment a patient’s lifestyle.

Consider bundling:

• Contact lenses and solutions

• Contact lenses and spectacles

• Adding on prescription sunglasses

• Adding on sports eyewear

• Adding on accessories, like comfort drops, lid hygiene products, vitamin supplements,spectacle cleaners, cords, and cases

Dr. Jedlicka highly recommends offering direct-to-patient shipping for contact lenses, which offers opportunities to highlight your valuable services and competitive pricing (with the help of rebates and free shipping from most distributors), while still being a convenient option. You should recommend your patients get an annual supply because they may get an additional discount.

When patients order through you instead of an online retailer, they can deal with you directly if there is a problem or question and it can be convenient, as long as patients don’t have to come back in to your office to pick up the order.

Dr. Glazier says it’s important to stay in line with online pricing, but also make your patients aware your practice can offer a good deal. And if your pricing isn’t in line with online retailers? Your patients will start to believe you are ripping them off and will likely leave, says Dr. Glazier.

In the future, more contact lens manufacturers may set a fixed minimum price, which evens the playing field, says Dr. Glazier.