Vision Care Product News

MAY 2017

Product information for optical people.

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May 2017 65 VisionCareProducts.com VCPN WHERE TO FIND IT: Essilor of America, Inc. 888.409.6977 • MyOnlineOptical.com // Fitting Box 646.982.1135 • FittingBox.com // Ocuco, Inc. Ocuco.com • Dermot.Walsh@Ocuco.com ponents to having a successful online optical website. 1. Website Design and Development e site needs to look modern, be easy to navigate, mobile friendly and SEO (Search Engine Optimiza- tion) enhanced. It also needs good support content pages (including an About Us page, Rx info, FAQs, and more) that someone has to create and customize for each practice. 2. Product Presentation. Obviously, an online eyeglass site needs frames, lenses and poten- tially other products such as ac- cessories. Decide up front what the value proposition will be (low-priced generic products vs. high-end designer products, for example) and select frames/lenses and pricing that reflects that im- age. e following also needs to be considered: a. Eyeglass Frame Im- ages: Where will the frame images come from? is is a critical point to success. Con- sumers want high-res- olution images. ey also want at least three image angles of the frames to look at (pref- erably a 360° view). In addition, images need to be consistent among all frames on the site (for example, have the same image angles, resolution, etc.) b. Virtual Mirror: An important thing to consider when selecting a company to work with is that they offer a virtual mirror. Most online eyeglass sites offer one, but some of the most popular sites have decided not to. e key point is that if you do select an option that offers a virtual mirror, it must be easy to operate, fast and offer a good quality user ex- perience. It is better to have no virtual mirror than a bad quality one. c. Lab Work: Who will provide the lab work? If you plan to use an in-house lab, can they handle the anticipated increase in lab work and space needed for increased inventory? Can the lab scale up quickly if necessary? If using an outside lab, what do you know about its quality, speed and price? Also, is the lab willing to ship finished glasses with your practice label and insert material (for example, customized case/ cleaning cloth, printed material, and other promotional items)? 3. Ongoing Marketing and Site/ Operations Management Just having a nice-looking website is only part of the formula to suc- cess in an eyeglass e-commerce business. Is the practice willing to market to the current database of patients? If so, this a great place to start with email blasts, letters and other marketing techniques to let current patients know about the new eyeglass site. Otherwise, it will be necessary to do online marketing to invite consumers to shop. is will require an ongoing investment in SEO, pay-per-click advertising and/or social media marketing. is is a critical point. A strategy, plan and budget for online marketing will need to be developed. is investment can be considerable and adds to the time to a return on investment. Bob Main, ABOM, is a business development consul- tant who works primarily with the eyecare industry.

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