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Tips and Products for Boosting Your Rx Sunwear Sales

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With summer just around the corner and blinding sunshine on its way, your patients may start to hum Timbuk3’s 1986 song “The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades.”  According to The Vision Council, 6.15 million pairs of Rx sun lenses were sold in the U.S in 2016, representing 7.4 percent of all Rx lenses sold, and an increase of 1.2 percent over 2015. About 43 percent of those lenses were sold through independent ECPs. There is thus clearly room for independent optometrists to make marketing improvements to boost their Rx sunglass sales. 


Gannet sunglasses from Costa

Gannet shiny sea lavender crystal frame with grey 580 polycarbonate lenses. Costa

(800) 447-3700 costadelmar.com


Cali sunglasses from Kaenon

Modern black Cali frame with SR-91 proprietary lenses in G12 and Glare 86 polarizing filter. Kaenon

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(866) 523-6661, kaenon.com 


Hunt sunglass frame from SPY

Hunt sunglass frame with Happy grey-green lenses. SPY

(855) 655-8980, spyoptic.com 


Xperio UV lens from Essilor

Xperio UV lens in a copper color. Essilor

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(800) 377-4567, essilorusa.com 


CrossRange frame from Oakley

CrossRange frame with PRIZM lens. Oakley

(800) 403-7449, oakley.com


Lowdown sunglasses from Smith Optics

Lowdown sunglasses with ChromaPop lenses. Smith Optics

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(888) 206-2995, smithoptics.com


Coppertone lenses from Vison Ease

Coppertone lenses in an O’Neill frame. Vision Ease

(800) 328-3449, visionease.com


Smart Ways to Sell Rx Sun Lenses

Tyler Andersen 
SportRx, San Diego, CA

“We’re a little unique because in the past four years we’ve primarily become an e-commerce dealer. About 95 percent of our orders come over the phone or our chat system. As a result, we carry over 40 brands. Whatever sport it is, we have something available. We determine the needs of customers based on their daily or preferred use of the eyewear they wish to order. If they’re not looking for an activity-specific pair, I recommend a good polarized lens with a mirror to reduce ambient glare and offer the best all-around protection. Kaenon has a polarizing filter for its lens material that is amazing. Oakley, too, is one of our top providers with its sport-specific lenses and a black iridium polarized lens that is a good all-around lens. If we don’t have specific agreements in place with frame manufacturers then we determine what lab to use based on our customers’ needs.”


Dr. Kirk Smick
Clayton Eye Center, Morrow, GA

“Seven years ago, we had a Luxottica rep do a sunwear presentation. It was very revealing. We had a nice sunglass display at the back of our optical. We learned we needed to put it up front. We re-arranged it and it made a big difference. We also changed our messaging when scheduling appointments. Now we encourage patients to bring all their optical devices with them, including sunglasses. A lot don’t have a prescription in their sunglasses but this plants the seed that perhaps they should.

“Now, each of our nine ODs suggest prescription sunglasses to patients during their exams.

“Many of them have insurance that helps toward the purchase of new glasses. When patients come in for their annuals and don’t need a new prescription, we recommend they use their insurance to get sunglasses. It almost becomes an every other year thing to do.

“We saw a sales increase of 20 to 25 percent from these changes.

“Some patients can’t afford a second pair, so we do a high percentage of Transitions, too.”


This article originally appeared in the May 2017 edition of INVISION.

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Better Vision

Retinal Cameras Are More Efficient, More Effective and Less Expensive Than Ever Before

The latest models available and smart ways to use the latest technology.

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TRADITIONALLY, RETINAL CAMERAS were a large expense and pupils needed to be dilated to capture detailed images of the retina. However, in the past five years, high quality, non-mydriatic cameras that do not require dilation have come on the market costing a fraction of the price. There are also hand-held, wireless options and technology continues to improve. For example, D-EYE is building an artificial intelligence platform to help assess if a patient has a specific disease. Its goal is to provide a mass screening platform using their system and access to an approved database, to deliver an “assessment” (not a diagnosis) of the exam results for specific diseases so the patient can progress to the next level of care.

Hill-Rom Welch Allyn

Hill-Rom Welch Allyn RetinaVue 100 Imager

(800) 535-6663, welchallyn.com

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Topcon Medical Systems

TRC-NW400 fully automated, non-mydriatic retinal camera

(800) 223-1130, topconmedical.com

Coburn Technologies

SK-650 Retinal Camera

(800) 262-8761, coburntechnologies.com

Marco

Marco’s AFC-330 Automated Fundus Camera, SK-650 Retinal Camera

(800) 874-5274, marco.com

Canon USA

Canon CR-2 PLUS AF Digital Non-Mydriatic Retinal Camera

(800) 652-2666, usa.canon.com

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D-EYE

D-EYE Retinal Imaging System

(401) 473-6323, d-eyecare.com

Smart Ways To Use Retinal Cameras

Dr. William Goldstein, Laser Eye Care Center, Shelby Township, MI

I use D-EYE’s fundus camera to document the optic nerve in patients who have glaucoma or suspected glaucoma. I started to use D-EYE three years ago. It’s an attachment for the iPhone that has a lens you pop on when you need it. I used to have a camera mounted to a slit lamp in one exam room. Now I travel from room to room to take pictures and this has improved efficiency. I add the picture to the patient’s record and bill insurance for the office visit in addition to the procedure code for taking the picture. The only disadvantage to the D-EYE system is that its field of view of the retina is small.

Dr. Edward Chaum, Vanderbilt Eye Institute, Nashville, TN

This country needs to make it a scalable paradigm to effectively and efficiently screen patients for evidence of vision threatening eye disease in a primary care setting. There are 30 million diabetics in this country but only about half of them are seen by an eyecare professional. It is estimated that the number of diabetics will grow to 100 million within the next 20 years. Finding people and treating them early is critical. Most get seen by a primary care physician or endocrinologist but many need a second level of care and they’re falling through the cracks. Since the cost of a retinal camera has come down, spending about $5,000 to buy one is not a significant burden. Welch-Allyn’s RetinaVue device helps with eye care compliance among diabetic patients who might not otherwise get a retinal exam with a specialist in a timely manner.

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Better Vision

Lenses Finally Get the Visual Sales Aid They Need

Why tell patients the lenses benefits when several companies now allow you to show them.

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SALES APPS FOR lenses come in many forms, whether a filter on a popular social media site or a freestanding lens display kit. In January, both Essilor and ZEISS came out with new lens apps. Essilor’s LenSelect helps ECPs demonstrate premium lenses to their patients. ZEISS’ interactive lens demo display comes with an iPad, new app and demo lenses . The app makes recommendations based on the patient’s answers and then texts or emails the practice before an exam. Purple Go is finding some success with its lens pricing app for optical retailers. Jeremy Huff, co-founder and CEO, said: “Opticians close sales twice as fast when using Purple Go’s lens pricing worksheet.” Whatever app your lens manufacturer suggests, they all aim to help you sell more lens options.

Signet Armorlite

Kodak lens ids (intelligent dispensing software)

(800) 759-4630 | signetarmorlite.com

Essilor

LenSelect dispensing app

(214) 496-4000 | essilorusa.com

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Zeiss

Interactive lens demo display

(866) 596-5467, www.zeiss.com/lenses

Transitions

Snapchat filter for ECPs that allows patients to virtually try on different frame styles with Transitions Light Intelligent Lenses.

(800) 533-2081 | transitions.com

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Purple Go

(415) 712-1325 | purplego.co/optical

BluTech

The Lens Display Kit to compare BluTech Ultra indoor lens and BluTech polarized polycarbonate lens.

(800) 258- 5902 | blutechlenses.com

Smart Ways To Sell Lenses Using Sales Apps

Venus Sosa, Sears Optical, Miami, FL

The Transitions SnapChat filter is a very creative way to appeal to the younger generation. I think for a long time there was this idea that only the older generation used Transitions lenses but I love the way the attitude is changing. The filter is a smart way to market Transitions lenses and attract people from all walks of life. Using technology and a very popular social media app, it has added a hip and interactive spin to the lenses. In addition to showing our patients how to use it, the SnapChat filter is a fun way to also involve my friends and family. I can introduce them to Transitions in a unique way, by including them in the video with me. It’s great that the filter changes sceneries, background music and even the frames and lenses that appear on our faces.

Dr. Amy Tran, Looksie Optometry, San Francisco, CA

We are one of the first beta test sites for Purple Go. I was doing a lot of paperwork and lens options were low. Using the Purple Go app on an iPad over the past 20 months, we can continually offer customized progressives, high index, Trivex and digital lenses all with top-of-the-line AR coatings. We use Purple Go as a tool to review lens options with our patients while taking their insurance and co-pays into consideration. We select their insurance from a drop-down menu to show patients their out-of-pocket expenses. It streamlines the conversation; side by side on the screen they can see how much their co-pay is along with the price for each lens option such as: type, material, treatment, sun protection and photochromic. We then review these costs with them on the screen.

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Better Vision

In-House Finishing ‘Edges’ Out Profit

While reducing turnaround time and errors for happier patients.

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FINISHING JOBS IN-HOUSE can be a real bonus for many eyecare professionals. Even though there’s an initial upfront cost to buying a machine, savings can be realized soon thereafter. According to The Vision Council, about 53 percent of all ECP locations have some type of finishing equipment on-site with a further 20 percent owning a surfacing system. There are certainly many efficient and reliable machines to choose from since most manufacturers include retail edgers in their line of lens finishing systems.

 

Luneau Technology USA

Briot Perception 2, Briot Attitude, WECO E.3/2

(800) 729-1959, luneautech.com

 

Optek International

E1000-GP Edger, FD-80 Tracer, LS-82 Blocker, DM-1000 Lens Drill, Dia E1000-E920

(727) 522-2301, optekinternational.com

 

MEI System

EzFit No Block

(630) 521 8588 | meisystem.com

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Essilor Instruments USA

Pro-E 700 edging system, KAPPA, Special Edition edger

(855) 393-4647 | essilorinstrumentsusa.com

 

National Optronics

17Ex Edger, QM-X3

(800) 800-1550 | nationaloptronics.com

 

Santinelli International

Me 1200, Lex 1200, LEXCE, Le 1200, Le 700

(800) 644-3343 | santinelli.com

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Coburn Technologies

Excelon HPE-410, Exxpert HPE 8000X, HPE-810

(800) 262-8761 | coburntechnologies.com

 

Smart Ways To Sell In-House Edging

Penn Moody, OD, MOODY EYES, INDIANAPOLIS, IN

In 2011, we decided to add an edging lab for better control over expenses and quality. At Vision Expo we chose the DIA from Optek. We’ve been very pleased with this choice. The vertical orientation allows the pressure on the lens to be adjusted during edging. We purchased a second DIA in 2017. We now process over 80 percent of our glasses, which has added substantially to our profitability and patient satisfaction.

Wendy Salle, SALLE OPTICIANS, ATLANTA, GA

We’ve been edging in-house for the past 30 years. I had to put in a second machine this year because of the volume. We’re up to about 25 jobs a day on two Santinelli machines, the Me1200 and the LEXCE. We do a lot of custom rimless work which can take an inordinate amount of time. But, it’s hard to find a lab that does good finish work and it’s a no-brainer for me to do it in-house. I don’t look at cost savings but I do look at being able to have ultimate control over our products.

Ronald Garbatini, ROYAL VISION ASSOCIATES NEW HAVEN, CT

We were spending between $8,000-$10,000 a month in lab bills before we got the Briot Attitude in 2016. Now we’ve cut that in half. Even though it’s an expensive machine, it’s paid for itself already. We edge about 30-50 jobs a day through this machine: everything from poly to plastic, high index, single vision, progressives to flat top bifocals. Patients like that we do jobs in-house, especially if they use private insurance.

 

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