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Navigating Your Promotional Activity in a Post-Pandemic World

Do you know what’s important to your patients and consumers now?

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2020 AND THE start of 2021 has been an incredibly insightful, albeit difficult time for many worldwide. Thinking about what the world will look like after the coronavirus brings up many questions, defining what “the new normal” will be, and if anything will return to what we once knew.

The lasting effects of COVID-19 in globalization, urbanization, and foreign trade will likely not be fully known for years, if not decades. In the meantime, it’s essential to focus on what you can do to adjust your practice and its offerings to what your patients need.

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Since the announcement of widespread lockdowns, social distancing, and mask-wearing in indoor spaces, consumer enthusiasm for various business aspects has shifted drastically.

COVID-19 has created a massive surge in online shopping and the exact opposite for in-person browsing. Curbside pickup and delivery services have found success in a new world where consumers are discouraged from spending unnecessary time inside public places.

Nearly 50 percent of respondents to a survey by Global Web Index said they won’t visit stores “for some time” or “for a long time.” But what does this mean for eyecare practices and eyewear retailers?

Telemedicine isn’t new, but since COVID-19, it’s spiked in popularity. Allowing patients to ask questions and attend basic, routine check-ups via telemedicine lets them pursue eyecare from the comfort of their own home.

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However, many consumers interested in new eyewear may not feel comfortable coming into your office to try on several pairs (nor will you want them to without an appointment). Offering your selection of frames, lenses, and any other take-home eyecare products online gives consumers the power to shop freely from the comfort of their own home. Pro tip: Having a “virtual try-on” function for patients can make the experience a little more personal, which can drive business.

Making sure patients know they’re entering a clean space is vital in today’s landscape. Mandatory masks and complimentary sanitizer are musts. But putting up signs or verbally letting your patients know that there may be a small wait between patients due to sanitizing equipment, tools and rooms also tells them your practice is taking cleanliness seriously. Many treatments and tests cannot be done virtually, so making it clear that your office is clean ensures they know you’re doing your part to protect them.

Think…concierge! Provide a personalized, safe eyewear fitting experience. Seat the patient in a sanitized station and consult on their choices before choosing pairs for them to try on. Make it safe, fast and efficient and you will win business right now. People who’ve gone to the trouble of making an appointment are likely not interested in shopping around.

We can also thank COVID-19 for doubling global online content consumption in the past year. Lockdowns left many with little to do; they turned to their smartphones and laptops for interaction.

In 2020 we saw 9.2 percent global growth in social media use with 3.81 billion people using various sites worldwide. In March 2020, it was reported that over 40 percent of Instagram users and 34 percent of Facebook users watched other people’s stories, which leaves a lot of room for creativity.

With more people than ever using social media, contributing online helps solidify your brand and invite potential patients to connect with you. Having a strong online presence is essential and with a little dedication and compassion, adjusting to recent trends and meeting patients’ needs post-COVID-19 doesn’t have to be painful.

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Sheena Cassidy is a copywriter for Marketing4ECPs where she has cultivated and executed high-level content for eyecare practices all over North America. Outside of work, Sheena is a self-proclaimed foodie, animal lover, and video game nerd. You can reach Sheena at www.marketing4ecps.com.

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SPONSORED BY ESSILOR

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