"I Buy My Glasses Online", How Dare You Mention These Words to Optometrists and Opticians
Not too long ago, it was considered absolute taboo to ever mention to your Optometrist or Optician that you were going online to buy your glasses. With the growing trends of Online Retailers, more patients are eager to test out online glasses.
First and foremost, as a Licensed Optician, I understand the importance of quality optics and the need to see your Optometrist and Optician. Second, as a Techie, I must learn as much as I possibly can about the process of ordering glasses online, the technology involved, and the different platforms available. Lastly, as an online consumer, I understand wanting to see what the hype is all about, and why not try to save a bit of money while I'm at it? So I've tested out what's trending, and ordered many pairs of glasses and contact lenses online.
So what's the verdict? With my luck, my prescriptions were off by at least 0.25 diopters in my sphere or cylinder, axis was out of tolerance, and therefore I could not wear my online glasses. My contact lenses were defective 50% of the time, which was completely frustrating. As someone who was optimistic about the endless possibilities that could exist, I was let down.
So why would I bother with The Vision Parlor when online glasses seem to be such a hit or miss nowadays. As an Optician, you can't imagine how often I shiver when someone tells me they're going to go online to order their glasses, and then bring their online glasses to me to figure out why they can't see or why their glasses don't fit properly.
We have an Online Store showcasing different Eyewear Collections. It was not designed with the intent to compete with Online Eyeglass Retailers. It was to create convenience for my patients I see in my office, especially when you have patients who love ordering the same thing previously. There's still a personal touch that is desired from patients when they come to your office. Patients want a record of everything they've ordered and my shift towards creating an e-commerce store has enabled my patients to have all that information for their records. All they need to do is log in to their online account profile and they'll have all their purchase orders on their dashboard.
This system works for me, and I can guarantee it would work for any practice that has a well established presence in their community. Patients are loyal to the Practitioners who care for them. I receive service requests from all over California because of my experience and how I care for my patients. When Practitioners relocate, you couldn't imagine how often patients call to find where their Optometrist is practicing at. It's not hard to locate them with a quick License Search on Breeze. Why not just find someone new? Because there's a trust that was established, and Online Retailers will never be able to replace that.
To my fellow ODs and Opticians, use e-commerce platforms as leverage to continue making your practices successful. Don't fight to compete with Online Eyeglass Retailers, fight to continue educating your patients about the importance of maintaining eye health and pairing that with quality optics. Using e-commerce platforms or online portals will create convenience for your existing patient base. In all honesty, if you, at the very least, have a gallery of frames, that would reduce the frame selection process in-office tremendously. Want to learn how I've done it? Contact us to find out!