“The big mistake in the U.S. and Europe, in my opinion, is that people aren’t wearing masks. This virus is transmitted by droplets and close contact. Droplets play a very important role—you’ve got to wear a mask, because when you speak, there are always droplets coming out of your mouth. Many people have asymptomatic or presymptomatic infections. If they are wearing face masks, it can prevent droplets that carry the virus from escaping and infecting others.” George Gao , head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Cases from the Sunny South” a new online course presented by Julie Tyler, OD and Thuy-Lan Nguyen, OD is a rapid-fire, case-based presentation of various clinical conditions focuses on less common ocular conditions with visual risks in various patient populations with a focus on patients more commonly seen in urban and suburban clinics in South Florida. Included will be a discussion of some of the latest recommendations for systemic work-ups when indicated and management of the ocular conditions discussed. It’s two-hours of COPE-approved eduation, currently available in our Subscriber Library.
Article by Andy Tabrizipour / Gazal Eyewear
Tip #3 How to move Luxury Eyewear Products
In the first part of the series we learned how to purchase inventory that will set our practice apart. In the second part of the series we discovered how to monitor our purchases to identify which products are appealing the most to our patients while keeping the books in the black. In part 3 of this series we will learn how to create a marketing strategy to introduce and move the products to our patients.
Step 1 – Training
With a unique product line comes a unique story and design. These little tidbits of information are what sets the eyewear line apart from everything else we showcase. Your patients are now being introduced to your new brand for the first time and they will have tons of questions before they part with their hard earned cash. It is our duty as a partner with the new line to take the time to learn everything possible about the brand. A united and educated staff will be all the difference in the success of the new line.
Your sales rep will be a vital resource to provide training to you and your staff so that you are ready to answer questions and provide background information to your patients. Learning about the history, technical details, and nuances of doing business should be done in 3 stages.
- Before bringing in the new eyewear line. “The Preview”
- Immediately after the products arrive. “Core Training”
- A routine training to keep everyone sharp. “Follow Up Training / New Product Training” (With busy schedules and patients coming and going it is a good idea to keep the training fresh for everyone and we may even pick up on something new along the way).
Learning more about a product line creates enthusiasm amongst the staff and unity. Learning more about a particular brand can also lead to a personal connection. Our patients crave a personal connection to their eyewear, it is something that will get more mileage than any other accessory they own. It is this personal connection that will speak to our staff and patients and create brand loyalty. Once a patient has brand loyalty they will excitedly return year after year to see what is new with the brand and update to the latest style.
Step 2 – Display/Location
Location, location, location… if you have heard this before it’s because it is vital on so many different levels. Just as important as getting traffic into the store is vital to the store location, the location of your eyewear in your boutique can create success or demise. Which part of your boutique gets the most attention? If you are “trying out” a new frame line then give it the best chance of success. Tucking the products away in a location in the boutique that does not get much traffic is not fair to you or the brand. The new eyewear line needs a ton of attention to give you the feedback you need.
The display itself is also vital, if it does not grab the attention of your patients then it will take your staff alone to show these products. If the frames are all on the board with no branding, pictures, models, colors, and/or a fun display case then they will blend with the rest of your product lines. Each line should stand out in its own way and how it stands out will appeal to each consumer differently. Some displays will just look “fun” or “modern” and that will attract a person who is looking for something “New” and “Fun” to take a look. Having a variety in displays also promotes the fact that eyeglasses are not only a medical device but a fun accessory. People love to accessories and with obvious different options they can see the want and need to have at least one more pair.
Step 3 – Dress to Impress
It makes a HUGE difference when every staff member is wearing glasses in the office. It is fun and exciting for the staff and patients to showcase the latest styles. It also conveys the message that “Hey, everybody is doing it, so I need to get some cool glasses too!”. We should strive to create confidence and excitement in our patients.
Each staff member should wear a current frame that is not only something our boutique carries but that is CURRENT and EDGY. Our patients see normal and inconspicuous eyewear everyday in real life, this is the one time to inspire and show them that they can have a little fun, at least with their second pair. Once a patient gets a frame that “Wows” their friends and family then they will be asked “Where did you get THOSE glasses???”. We not only have a very happy patient with a fun pair of glasses but now anyone else who wants something fun and different will be right in your door! Referrals are the best and most effective type of marketing. A referral is already confident and already has in their mind that they will have the same experience that their friend experienced.
Step 4 – Marketing & Trunk Shows
The only way you will ever be able to learn about a product is if you know it actually exists. Some of us watch television, some YouTube, some social media, some of us are professional texters, and some love to sit back and read the newspaper. Whomever you are, we always want to know about the latest news and how it can improve our lives. Now it is time to share the news with all of our patients and there are several ways that will attract each of our patients differently.
Trunk shows are a huge opportunity to not only introduce new eyewear brands to our patients but to put some big sales numbers on the board. If you have been in practice and have never hosted a show, you are missing out on a ton of potential income, plus the additional marketing that comes with it. It is also a fun way to educate your staff and patients further about new and innovative eyewear brands. Trunk shows gives your practice a one time opportunity to show case EVERYTHING the product line has to offer and give your clientele an opportunity to shop through a plethora of frame options.
New marketing software can send email blasts and text messages to all of our patients. A quick message that says, “We got something new!” or “Don’t miss the upcoming Trunk show” is fun and keeps our patients thinking about updating their glasses year round. We should be actively collecting email addresses to quickly let everyone know that there is an upcoming event, or sale that many people would never know about otherwise.
Social media marketing is huge and you should dedicate some time each week to at least 2 – 3 different platforms. It will take time and effort to build a strong following but constant involvement will show more and more promise as time goes on. Try to avoid reposting articles that can be found on every eye care website in the nation. Be different and creative with your post and tell your story. Create unique posts with your own content that shows the latest styles, changes in your boutique, and other news.
We have now completed the last step and it is time to let the brand and staff do the rest of the work. We rehearsed, we set the stage, we dressed the part, and we showcased the new luxury line. For more news and learning tips join me at THE VIEW this year as we host a Q & A style class about luxury eyewear. Check out SECO’s official website at https://attendseco.com/
Thank you for reading and feel free to post your questions and thoughts.
What role do children and teens play in your practice?
97% of optometrists currently fit contact lenses on patients under 18 years of age according to a recent survey conducted by the American Optometric Association Research and Information Center. In fact, 4 million children under the age of 18 are currently wearing soft contact lenses in the United States. While this suggests nearly all optometrists agree that teens can be successfully fit with contact lenses, opinions about the appropriate age to start children in contact lens wear vary widely. As can be seen in Figure 1 below, the majority of optometrists agree that the ages of 10-12 is an appropriate time to introduce children to contact lens wear. However, 1 in 4 optometrists think soft contact lenses should be introduced from age 13 onward, while nearly 1 in 4 optometrists advocate fitting children 9 years of age or younger with soft contact lenses. A recent review of past clinical studies suggests that contact lens wear can be appropriate for children across this entire age range. The review found that the risk of eye inflammation and infection in children is no higher than in adults, and in the youngest age range of 8 to 11 years, it may be even lower.
What wearing modality is best for children?
The AOA survey found that the majority of children under 12 were fit in 1 day disposable lenses.1 Interestingly, the survey found that older children were fit in reusable lenses more often than 1 day lenses.1 This is surprising as numerous studies have found 1 day lenses to have a much lower incidence of corneal infiltrative events and that wearers of 1 day lenses are much more compliant with replacement schedules. Furthermore, 1 day lenses have been promoted for younger wearers due to the greater ease of maintaining compliance as lens cases, solutions, and proper lens cleaning etiquette are taken out of the equation with these lenses that are replaced on a daily basis.
While cost was listed as a barrier to fitting children in 1 day disposable contact lenses, recent estimates have suggested that 1 day lenses are only marginally more expensive than monthly or two weekly lenses, particularly when accounting for solution and lens case costs. CooperVision® has a broad portfolio of 1 day lenses including hydrogel and silicone hydrogel options to fulfill the needs of most young wearers including astigmats, hyperopes and myopes. With competitive pricing for our clariti® 1 day silicone hydrogel lenses, cost doesn’t need to be a reason to avoid fitting the most convenient lens modality for children and teens, 1 day disposable contact lenses.
Figure 1. ECPs Opinions on Appropriate Age to Introduce Soft Contact Lenses from Reference 1.
What about the benefits of contact lens wear for children?
A research group from The Ohio State University developed the Pediatric Refractive Error Profile (PREP), a pediatric quality-of-life survey. These subjects were then refitted into contact lenses and the study concluded that contact lenses significantly improved the quality of life, as reported by children and teens using the PREP, and there was not a difference in improvement between children and teens. The study also found that contact lens wear dramatically improves how children and teens feel about their appearance and participation in activities, leading to greater satisfaction with their refractive error correction. The authors concluded that the improvement in quality of life after contact lens wear indicates that children should be offered contact lenses as a treatment for refractive error as routinely as teens.
What about chair time associated with fitting young children? Doesn’t it take a lot longer to fit pre-teens in contact lenses compared to teenagers and young adults?
In another study, contact lenses in pediatrics or CLIP, the Ohio State team looked at chair time and ocular health differences in pre-teens and teenagers. They found that there were no significant differences in ocular health measures between pre-teens and teenagers fitted in contact lenses. They did find that chair time with fitting younger children was about 15 minutes longer than teens, but that the majority of this increased fitting time was training on insertion and removal of contact lenses, a task that can be performed by contact lens fitting staff. With this taken into account they found that the ECPs time with the patient was no different between children and teens. They also found that neither children nor teens experienced problems related to contact lens wear during the study. This study led the authors to conclude that eye care practitioners should consider routinely offering contact lenses as a treatment option, even for children 8 years old.
The available evidence from the literature suggests that the evaluated risks of wearing contact lenses are no greater in children than in adults, but that the benefits may be numerous. Fitting children in contact lenses can offer you the opportunity to expand your contact lens practice. 1 day lenses can be a good option for children and teens due to increased ease of use and compliance. CooperVision is here to help with a vast 1 day contact lens portfolio. For more information on our 1 day contact lens portfolio talk to your CooperVision sales representative or research our 1 day lenses at https://coopervision.com/practitioner/our-products. For more tips on how to start the 1 day conversation with patients, go to https://coopervision.com/practitioner/clinical-resources/moving-frequent-replacement-contact-lens-wearers-1-day-lenses.
 Bullimore MA. The Safety of Soft Contact Lenses in Children. Optometry and Vision Science, Vol. 94, No. 6, June 2017.
 A) Chalmers RL, Hickson-Curran SB, Keay L, Gleason WJ, Albright R. Rates of adverse events with hydrogel and silicone hydrogel daily disposable lenses in a large postmarket surveillance registry: the TEMPO Registry. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2015 Jan 8;56:654-663. B)Stapleton F, Keay L, Edwards K, et al. The incidence of contact lens-related microbial keratitis in Australia. Ophthalmology. 2008 Oct;115:1655-1662. C) Chalmers RL, Keay L, McNally J, Kern J. Multicenter case‐control study of the role of lens materials and care products on the development of corneal infiltrates. Optom Vision Sci 2012; 89: 316–325.
 Review of Cornea and Contact Lenses, March 2006.
CooperVision contact lens technology was the subject of a recent segment on The Balancing Act, a daily morning show that, according to their web site, “…brings cutting-edge ideas to today’s on-the-go, modern woman to help balance and enrich her life every day.”
The segment covered the features and benefits of both Biofinity Energys® and clariti® 1 day contact lenses from both the patient and practitioner points of view. Watch it here.