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It’s Time to Drop the E … E-commerce for Eyecare Has a Long Life Expectancy

It’s not a novel idea anymore. It’s just commerce.

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YOU’VE PROBABLY BEEN told to meet your patients where they are. Well, guess where that is? Online. Often extremely online.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic online shopping was on the rise. The inability to shop in person only sped up these at-home habits. Are you set up properly for e-commerce? If you’re assuming that eyecare practices don’t need to sell products online, you’re missing out. E-commerce for eyecare is alive and well — and it’s got a long life expectancy! Read on to learn why you should optimize your optometry practice for online sales.

Compete Through Convenience: Overwhelmingly, people are turning to Google for product research before shopping. In fact, 85% of shoppers are using the search engine to find the products they want to buy.

If you don’t have an e-commerce option, your products won’t appear in search results. Searches for eyewear, as well as eyecare products and services, have increased during the pandemic. Your competitors are investing heavily in e-commerce. Be sure that you show up alongside — or hopefully above! — them in search engine rankings.

Picture this: Your patient is at home and discovers she’s going to run out of CLs soon. It’s well after closing, so she can’t call you. Instead, she uses her smartphone to visit your website but doesn’t find an option to purchase more lenses, so she uses Google to search for her brand of contacts. Your competitors’ websites come up. Many offer online shopping, so she places a quick order. That sale could have been yours.

E-commerce Creates Loyalty: What does our CLs shopper do next? When those lenses get delivered to her door, she’ll get another reminder of how easy it was to shop with your competitor. Will she continue to have her exams at your practice? It isn’t your information on her package’s return address. Offering patients options for online shopping helps build loyalty to your practice.

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These days, people are being bombarded with ads from third-party eyewear and eyecare vendors. When your patients see those ads, you’ll want them to head to your website to buy.

Expand Your Reach: If new patients are only finding your practice when they need an eye exam, you might be missing out. Having an e-commerce platform can help shoppers discover your practice.

A pair of sunglasses or some contact lens solution might be all they need for now, but a proper e-commerce platform can help you collect customer information. That way, you can keep in touch with the buyer and convert them to a patient.

It’s Just Commerce: In an uncertain world, knowing that patients will be able to purchase from you, no matter what happens, can bring you some peace of mind. The pandemic reiterated what we already knew — that adaptation is the key to a thriving business.

If you haven’t already put plans in place to protect your practice from unforeseen circumstances, it’s time to get on board with e-commerce. It’s not a novel idea anymore. It’s time to drop the “e.” It’s just commerce.

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Kristy Koehler is a senior copywriter at Marketing4ECPs, where she crafts creative content for eyecare practices all over North America including social media posts, website pages, newsletters or marketing materials. Kristy is an em dash aficionado and when she’s not writing, she teaches wine appreciation courses, tests out vintage recipes, and dabbles in needle felting. You can reach her at marketing4ecps.com.

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