CooperVision has launched its ProClear 1 day multifocal contact lens with a series of informative dinner events for optometrists in Australia and New Zealand.
At his launch presentation in Sydney, Cooper Vision’s General Manager, Wayne Rueben spoke to attendees about the perceived threat of online contact lens sales and recommended strategies to protect and build a practice in the face of this threat. He proposed optometrists look to the strategies of war authored by the Chinese Warrior Sun Tzu 2,000 years ago:
- Know your own strengths and weaknesses;
- Know your enemy’s strengths and weaknesses and be more conscious of your enemy’s strengths and weaknesses than your own;
- When all else is equal the winner of the war will be the army that best adapts to the environment in which the battle takes place.
Mr. Rueben said despite increased online purchasing across all product categories CooperVision research indicates online sales of contact lenses had in fact plateaued in the past 12 months. Additionally, he said, from a sample of 400 contact lens wearers, 82 per cent said they had seen their optometrist at least once in the past 12 months, providing an opportunity for fees, contact lens sales and sales of other products as well.
Mr. Rueben said the research highlighted that service is important to optical customers.
..the market for multifocal contact lenses in Australia is large and growing..
He urged optometrists to be more marketing focussed in their business and said that while online companies are winning business through sales promotions and price promises, optometrists appear to be reluctant to take advantage of the offers some contact lens distributors make available to them.
A Gap Exists
In presenting Proclear 1 day multifocal contact lenses to attendees, CooperVision’s Professional Services Manager, Joe Tanner said a large number of presbyopes would benefit from at least occasional use of contact lenses. However, he noted, there is currently a gap between those who could benefit from the lenses and those who wear them.
Citing results from a small survey conducted among attending optometrists at the dinner, Mr. Tanner said 77 per cent of the attendees had fewer than 100 presbyopes wearing contact lenses. According to those surveyed, the major barrier to entry was difficulties with lens wear such as handling, dryness etc.
However he said, 2010 research undertaken by Contact Lens Spectrum Magazine in America indicates optometrists believe the greatest growth potential in the contact lens business will be multifocal lenses with innovative materials. Mr. Tanner said he hopes the new CooperVision lenses have the technology required to do that.
He said the market for multifocal contact lenses in Australia is large and growing. “Over 5.5million Australians are in the 45-64 years bracket – the fastest growing demographic and the wealthiest, which is recognised as leading a more active lifestyle and investing in looking younger. Yet with only one in 100 Australians in this age group wearing contact lenses – there are plenty of reasons to promote them and grow your practice,” he said. Mr. Tanner told the audience, “If you got just 5 per cent of this group using a couple of 90 packs per year the contact lens market would grow by 30 per cent.”