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Myonlineoptical Practices Report Increased Revenue And In-Office Patient Foot Traffic

By Essilor News

03/18/2011

DALLAS – (March 18, 2011) – Since its launch in 2010, MyOnlineOptical® practice management services continue to support practices with incremental revenue as well as additional in-office, patient foot traffic. Essilor of America, Inc., the nation’s leading manufacturer of optical lenses, has built more than 700 MyOnlineOptical stores for independent eyecare professionals (ECPs) and through customer research, has gathered best practices and surprising insights on running a successful online optical store for these practices.

“The response to the website has been directly proportional to our doctors’ enthusiasm in the exam room, just like in every other aspect of the practice,” said Dr. Kim Castleberry, O.D. president and CEO of Plano Eye Associates. “We have implemented information about our online store in every area of our office. Interestingly, our in-store revenues are up double digits since we implemented the online optical store.”

The most successful MyOnlineOptical practices, those who are are actively marketing their online stores, have expressed excitement and even surprise over the achievements of their individual online stores. Additionally, patients report 87 percent customer satisfaction with online eyeglass purchases, according to a Jobson survey.

In 2010, Essilor gathered the following additional insights from its MyOnlineOptical customers, many of which speak to early misconceptions about online optical retailing:

Online optical stores drive brick-and-mortar sales: Similar to how brick-and-mortar banks and department stores have benefitted from the existence of their online sites, MyOnlineOptical stores provide a cross-channel experience for the patient that supports brick-and-mortar efforts and drives foot traffic to the practice.

The best results are seen from ECPs who design their online stores as an extension of their practices:ECPs who offered their online stores as an extension of their practices have far exceeded the sales of the ECPs who did not connect their online store to their practices. These ECPs are also seeing an unexpected increase in foot traffic in their practices as a result of their online stores.

MyOnlineOptical stores are simple to set up and manage: MyOnlineOptical makes it possible to set up an online store in approximately five minutes. ECPs can complete a custom set-up and be in business in less than an hour, even as an inexperienced user. MyOnlineOptical customers who have successfully completed the setup have been pleased with the efficient process.

 

Online return rates are less than brick-and-mortar returns: While many ECPs have expressed concerns about returns of eyeglasses purchased online, the actual MyOnlineOptical results show a return rate of 4.8 percent, which is significantly less than the average brick-and-mortar return rate.


In addition, the most active MyOnlineOptical practices aggressively market their stores using tactics such as search engine optimization, linking their stores to their main practice websites and equipping their websites with compelling verbiage about the online stores. These ECPs also discuss the online stores in their practices and follow up with patients after appointments with an email or marketing piece to serve as a reminder. ECPs have found this to be a successful touch- point to reengage patients shortly after a visit.

“MyOnlineOptical makes it simple and cost effective for ECPs to participate in the online space,” said John Walborn, who leads the MyOnlineOptical team for Essilor. “A MyOnlineOptical store is the ECP’s online store from beginning to end and offers independents an opportunity to grow their practices.”

Essilor’s MyOnlineOptical program allows ECPs to add a turnkey e-commerce engine that extends their reach beyond office walls and office hours to 24/7 accessibility. Each participating ECP has a unique website and can customize it by adding logos and images, selecting products and setting their own retail pricing. ECPs can provide patients with up to 100,000 eyeglass options, offering them a secure, convenient and robust online purchasing tool with minimal staff involvement and reduced inventory costs.

For more information, visit MyOnlineOptical.com. For comments or questions about this initiative, contact MyOnlineOptical@essilorusa.com. View updates about MyOnlineOptical by bookmarking http://mobile.essilorusa.com on any smartphone browser.

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About Essilor
Essilor is the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the United States and is the market leader in progressive,
high-index and anti-reflective coated lenses. A pioneer in the development and production of ophthalmic lenses, Essilor employs more than 9,000 people throughout North America. Essilor manufactures optical lenses under the Varilux®, Crizal®, Thin&Lite®, Xperio® and DEFINITY® and other Essilor brand names. Essilor Laboratories of America (ELOA) is the largest, and most trusted, optical lab network in the U.S. and offers a wide choice of services and lens brands, including Essilor premium lenses, to eyecare professionals across the nation. Essilor of America, Inc. (Essilor) is a subsidiary of Paris-based Essilor International, S.A., a publicly held company traded on the Euronext Paris stock exchange (Reuters: ESSI.PA).

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Essilor, Varilux, Crizal and Xperio, and DEFINITY are registered trademarks of Essilor International. Thin&Lite is a registered trademark and MyOnlineOptical is a registered service mark of Essilor of America, Inc.

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