As businesses are reopening, consumers are still very cautious about shopping inside of stores. In order to not only serve your patients where they are (on the internet) but also to ensure your financial success, you must start moving towards being able to show and sell your products online.
We know that this can seem like a huge switch, especially now that your revenue has likely taken a dip, but an e-commerce plugin will cost less than you think and will allow your practice or optical store to adapt and thrive! It can also be integrated into your current website for a seamless experience.
Why You Should Sell Products Online
People spend money online, now more than ever. Online shopping provides convenience at the best of times, but now as people are navigating the COVID-19 pandemic it may be the only access to products and tele-optometry services they have (or feel comfortable with). Did you know that 85% of people turn to Google for product discovery and shopping? Without an e-commerce platform or e-store, your products have no chance of showing up when a potential customer starts looking for what you sell online.
Our partners at Google tell us that searches for eye care providers, eye health services, and eyewear products have not decreased at all but actually increased during the pandemic! An online presence allows your products to be found in search inquires (when marketed right), allowing you to capture new patients who are looking for eye care and eyewear products.
Setting up your products to be found easily online comes with many benefits from increased revenue to keeping patients away from your competitors. One benefit of moving your current patient base onto online re-ordering is ease of compliance and capture rate of subsequent purchases. You can also cross-promote tele-optometry services thereby start building a patient base that is completely virtual.
But… Be Strategic About it
Online shopping isn’t 100% effortless – but it’s pretty close once you build it properly. What we mean is that you shouldn’t build an online option and just hope people will starting buying from you. Just like when you build a website…you still need to drive traffic to the website to get results! Getting people to your new platform can be done in many ways such as email marketing, text messaging, newsletters, social media, and paid advertising on Google, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Youtube. If you want more information on how to get started with ads click here.
Advertising creates more opportunities for sales. With a well thought out advertising strategy, you can make sure that if there is a potential patient searching for products in your area, they will find you. It’s good for your current patients and prospective patients that you show up and it’s good for the practice bottom line.
What To Consider When Showcasing Your Products Online
We want to stress that there are so many different options available for showcasing your products online that it’s important to do your homework. They are all so different! There isn’t a one size fits all version, so we really recommend taking a look at all of your options to see what will work best for your practice or optical store. We did most of the homework for you…check out the e-guide at the bottom of this blog for the full selection of options available in our industry.
There are a few important questions to consider before looking into exactly what your e-commerce strategy will look like:
- What exactly are you looking to offer online? Will it just be contacts and eye drops or include frames and sunglasses?
- Are you looking for just an online catalogue or a full e-commerce website?
- Do you want to include advanced features such as virtual try-on? At home try-on option?
Your Next Steps
Once you have taken the time to answer these questions, investigate each option to learn more information that will help you determine what is best for your practice. Don’t rush due to the current situation. Choose well.
We also recommend that you take a look at your current practice website. Don’t build a great new e-store and attach it to an outdated website. Use this opportunity to create an online presence that will sustain your practice digitally. If you’re not sure what creates a great eyecare website click here.
The other thing to consider is your overall digital marketing strategy. Don’t build an e-commerce platform without a plan to make it work! Yes, you can start by driving your entire patient base to your new e-commerce store but the key to success is driving new people to your website and converting them into new patients. Talk to your marketing agency to help with a strategy to get more traffic. Or click here for some ideas.
Get Ready To Win Some Sales
Online vendors are not going away regardless of the situation! Applaud yourself for realizing having a robust online presence that includes an updated, modern website, social media, digital advertising and e-commerce will set you above your competitors. To get all the details on the options available for e-commerce for eye care practitioners download our complete guide for FREE!