A highly competitive eyewear market demands a business savvy approach to retailing prescription glasses. Fortunately there are plenty of eyewear distributors out there that have their own lens laboratory or have partnered with independent labs to offer practices the advantages of competitively priced frame and lens packages.
Frame and lens packages reduce paperwork, freight cost and time and ensure you can keep selling stock from frame samples on display while efficiently meeting customer orders.
It’s a simple four-step process and it works like this:
1. A customer chooses a frame from
Another significant advantage of the frame and lens packages available is that many companies with this offering will allow you to purchase sample frames on consignment, facilitating a risk-free strategy that guarantees you won’t be left out of pocket if stock doesn’t sell
2. You send the distributor or laboratory
an order for the frame fitted with the required prescription lens to meet the customer’s needs
3. The distributor or laboratory does all
the work and sends the complete product back to your practice
4. You fit the frames to the customer’s face.
Companies like Rodenstock, General Optical, Shaan, JuzVision, Optique Line, Opticare and Bonastar all offer frame and lens packages, each with a wide variety of frames to choose from and lenses that range from the most basic through to freeform digital progressives with tinting and world class superhydrophobic and oleophobic AR coatings.
For customers who require eye protection while playing sport or in the workplace, Eyres has cost effective quality frame and lens packages that offer a broad choice in frame style and lenses to suit different environments.
Because the lenses and frames on offer have been expertly bundled together by the frame and lens manufacturer, you can be sure the lenses you recommend will be successfully fitted into the frames.
And, because you don’t have to send the frame from your practice to the lab for fitting, you’ll save days and dollars in freighting. Even companies like Rodenstock, which has its lenses manufactured at its lab in Thailand, before fitting them to frames in Australia, can supply a complete lens and frame package within five days. Other companies like Shaan offer a totally Australian made product with frames manufactured locally and sophisticated freeform progressive lenses produced to order at the company’s Brisbane lab. Shaan frame and lens packages come with an ‘Australian made’ swing tag, providing a powerful point of difference that can be marketed to your customers.
Risk-Free Stock Management
Another significant advantage of the frame and lens packages available is that many companies with this offering will allow you to purchase sample frames on consignment, facilitating a risk-free strategy that guarantees you won’t be left out of pocket if stock doesn’t sell.
Of course that’s no reason to overload your practice with a huge variety of frames. A cluttered practice filled with uninviting frames will quickly send new and existing customers out the door. As always, it’s important to consider your target market carefully, consult with your well-informed sales reps to ensure you’re not selling the same as the practice down the road and be prepared to quickly turn over slow moving stock.
As Colette Kinsella from Rodenstock says, “a well-managed stock position within your practice will deliver increased sales, cash-flow and profitability”.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of frame and lens packages is that they can usually be accessed via your distributor or lab’s online business-to-business (B2B) ordering system. That means you can get the order moving as soon as you’ve finalised the sale with your customer. Additionally, because you’re punching the order details directly into the system, there’s far less room for mistakes once caused by emailed orders being processed by a third party, misinterpreted handwriting on fax orders or misheard
orders taken over the phone.
The 3D tracing capabilities that come with some B2B online ordering systems help eye health professionals choose the optimum lens for the selected frame and help you explain to the customer why you are recommending one index lens over another higher index lens.
Importantly for your practice profitability and your customer’s satisfaction, by accessing your distributor or lab’s online ordering system you’ll have immediate access to their very latest product offerings and promotions. The ability to upload the latest product information is one of the key advantages of an online B2B ordering system, another is the ability to search for specific shapes, colours or styles your customer wants but you may not necessarily be carrying in-store. This is something Optique Line focused on when developing its online portal. “Whether customers are ordering through a sales rep or online, our research tells us that the most important thing is to have the most up-to-date information online and ready to see, so we’ve built an online store with extensive search options,” said a spokesperson at the company.
At General Optical, Peter Lewis has invested in a site loaded with the entire range and each product is supported with specifications. Mr. Lewis said while some customers continue to order by phone, fax and email, or wait to see their GenOp sales reps, others browse the frame library then order via email through the Optomate system, via Sunix or by fax direct to the lab.
Finally, practices that take advantage of online ordering systems can track their jobs in real-time, which helps with administrative management and keeping customers up to date on their eyewear delivery.
When combined with complete frame and lens packages, B2B online ordering provides the perfect solution to help independents survive and grow in a competitive retail environment.