VSP Global's Eyefinity to Launch eStores by Eyeconic


Steve Baker, president
of Eyefinity.

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.—Later this month, Eyefinity, a division of VSP Global, will unveil eStores by Eyeconic, which will be available free to VSP practices with an eWebExtra website.

The company, which has been beta-testing the eStores with some practices, will launch them officially at 2012 International Vision Expo East show.

eStores by Eyeconic offer practices a way to create an online optical store, connected to their eWebExtra site and customized to their practice, the company said. "An online extension of the private practice’s brick-and-mortar dispensary, an eStore allows both VSP and non-VSP members to shop online 24/7 for contact lenses, prescription eyewear, and sunwear that can be delivered right to the patient’s front door," said the announcement.

Steve Baker, president of Eyefinity, told VMail, "Consumers are voting every day with their keyboard and their mouse that they want to shop this way, and this gives our doctors a new way to satisfy the patient and a new channel for revenue."

The eStores by Eyeconic are designed "to help private practice doctors retain or attract patients inclined to browse or buy online," the company said, adding that the eStores would be a practice's own optical store, giving the practice the ability to control the pricing of products and choose what contact lens brands and Marchon/Altair frame brands to include. The company told VMail that additional brands may be added in the future.

Baker added, "Our first step was eyeconic.com and now we’re launching eStores by Eyeconic to give practices the option to create their own online dispensary and compete with online optical retailers. They will give VSP doctors an extra competitive edge and an opportunity to grow their revenue by offering their patients a virtual dispensary to shop whenever it’s convenient for them.”

Patients using the eStores can browse through their VSP provider’s selection of products and explore how different eyewear will look on them by using virtual frame try-on technology. Once a product is selected, they must enter their prescription to place the order, unless the order is for plano sunwear, in which case no prescription entry is required. Eyeconic then contacts the prescribing doctor to verify the prescription to complete the order.

Donald W. Boyd, OD, a VSP provider based in Downey, Calif. who has been part of a group of doctors beta testing their own eStores for the past two months, said, "Our eStore is the perfect place to send patients who ask to take their prescription with them after their exam so they can shop at a later time. It is simple to set up and has been an effortless way to earn additional revenue for my practice.”

Orders are shipped by Eyeconic and practices can also rely on Eyeconic customer service to assist them and their patients with purchases made on their eStore. Providers collect payment 30 days from the date the order ships and can track activity and make adjustments through a user-friendly automated dashboard. Payment is determined by deducting the cost of the goods and an administrative fee from the final transaction. Practices will also be provided with free electronic marketing tools to help them market their eStores to patients, Eyefinity said.