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The Big survey

Subscriptions and Membership Programs Turned Out to Be Successful Ventures for Some ECPs

While some have tried the model in the past and abandoned it, other ECPs are still finding creative ways to generate passive income.




COMING UP WITH creative ways to make money was a reoccurring theme in many of the responses to our 2021 Big Survey. Many of you have dabbled in subscriptions models, some successfully and some not so much. But when we asked if ECPs had found anywhere to implement a subscription or membership model into their business we were pleasantly surprised by the creativity.

The responses to this question really ran the gamut. Not unsurprisingly, most ECPs do not have any subscription model, nor do they have a desire to implement one, but there were many who are finding success with it and many more who caveated their “No” with a “Not yet.”

Contact lens subscriptions were by far the most popular answer among the yes group, referencing services like LensFerry and Marlo from Alcon and noting the distinction that though it works for auto-billing for annual supplies their daily contact lens wearers are more likely to adopt such a model due to the “lower initial financial outlay.”

Supplements, nutraceuticals and nutritional products came in second as a subscription model ECPs have found success with; with EyePromise’s subscription program being name dropped as useful.

But some out-of-the-box thinkers are working on memberships for everything from pre-depository discounts for parents with myopic children to receive new lenses as the child grows to out-of-pocket “value added services” like OPTOS and subscriptions models for eyewear purchases, optical warranties and safety product to dry eye drops and topicals.

The 2021 Big Survey was carried out between September and October, attracting nearly 400 anonymous responses from owners and managers of independent vision businesses across the United States. The full results were published in the November issue of INVISION and are available online.


Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at


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