Fabrizio Uguzzoni, president, Luxottica Wholesale, N.A. (l) and Rick Gadd, president, Essilor North America
DALLAS and NEW YORK—Essilor and Luxottica, subsidiaries of EssilorLuxottica (Reuters: ESLX.P), and Luxottica’s EyeMed, are announcing today EssilorLuxottica 360, a new joint commercial program that will drive growth for independent eyecare professionals across the U.S, the companies said, adding, "Created at a time when independent ECPs are in need of greater support from the industry, EssilorLuxottica 360 will help increase their traffic, visibility and capture rate, deliver added support around an enhanced patient experience and improve practice profitability. ECPs working to build back their business in a tough environment will have the full power of Essilor and Luxottica behind them. Because patient traffic is the lifeblood of every practice, EssilorLuxottica 360 members will receive prioritized positioning across locators, as well as incremental patient traffic and visibility driven by advertising and preferred placement with EyeMed through its Plus Provider program."

With the ECPs’ virtual and social footprint growing in importance, executives said that EssilorLuxottica 360 will give members access to EssilorLuxottica’s digital tools such as the Smart Shopper, which enhances the shopping experience, creates an "endless aisle" of products and styles to showcase and offers virtual try-on tools. Members will also have access to product customization tools for Ray-Ban and Oakley as well as Luxottica’s digital windows. EssilorLuxottica has also invested in tools to help ECPs manage and amplify their own social media channels with branded content to drive consumers to their practice, the announcement said.

Giving independents a full picture view of their practice opportunities, executives said the program will come with a dashboard including frame and lens analytics. Members will also have access to an extensive training program, including product and category in-office and virtual training.

EssilorLuxottica 360 will be available to Essilor Experts and Essilor Partners that wish to strengthen their practice through Luxottica’s brands and to Luxottica Gold and Diamond customers that wish to strengthen their practice through Essilor lenses. Members of EssilorLuxottica 360 will have access to special commercial terms on their Luxottica frame and Essilor lens purchases, the company said.

“EssilorLuxottica 360 is the first EssilorLuxottica commercial program, the first common program, and we want to emphasize that it’s exclusive to independent doctors and opticians—delivering on the power of a combined company that can only be felt through a fully integrated approach to eyewear and eyecare,” said. Rick Gadd, president of Essilor North America.

Gadd told VMAIL, "This works in four key areas. First, the patient experience—we know how much patients are craving a more high touch, omni channel experience. EssilorLuxottica 360 helps with all the digital tools of our companies. The second is traffic and visibility. This is where EyeMed's Plus Provider program, which launched last week, comes through, Every EssilorLuxottica 360 account will automatically become an EyeMed Plus provider, and be able to offer patients a higher frame allowance, a zero co-pay, and enhanced visibility on the EyeMed member site. In terms of virtual, as we are all living in a more virtual, online environment, EssilorLuxottica 360 will amplify ECPs' social media pages with branded content to drive consumers in. And, profitability will be enhanced here. It's not the first priority, but an important component for ECPs, There will be special commercial conditions, payment terms for participants, too."

He noted, "This is the culmination of months and months worth of work, really about bringing together all all our tools and capabilities at the practice level. By becoming a bigger part of our family, ECPs have access to tools they don’t already have access to today, plus the best fashion, innovation, and the best lens technology, all with the objective of helping our customers succeed."

Fabrizio Uguzzoni, president, Luxottica Wholesale North America, stated, “Now more than ever, independent eyecare professionals are looking to the industry for support and innovation. High-quality frames and lenses, better service, higher patient satisfaction, increasing sales, visibility and profitability—these are the avenues we focused on when building EssilorLuxottica 360 together,” said Uguzzoni.

He told VMAIL, "This is an exciting moment for us because it marks the first time we’re using the EssilorLuxottica name in the market—actually in the world. This program has been in the pipeline since 2019 as our capable teams began to identify our priorities together. We’re delivering value through one joint program with the best of all our resources, designed exclusively for the independent."

Both executives said that Essilor and Luxottica ECP customers will be able to learn more from their respective reps and sales consultants, starting this week. "Simplicity for the practice is our mantra, we don’t want them to have to learn how to work with us in a new way—there won’t be a change in behavior in terms of how they get information from us. Our teams have been training on this intensively. They won’t have to ask ‘who should I call for this?’ We want to make it easy," stated Gadd, who noted, "We want to give the doctors as much time to spend with their patients as possible. A world class supply chain can simplify the doctor’s practice and make it seamless for them."

Uguzzoni added, "Some of the trends we were seeing in terms of digital and patient experience accelerated further during the crisis. We’re in a much more virtual environment today—this trend was already there but now we’re seeing it become more important. We’re going to help ECPs build their social presence to be able to be more visible on places like Facebook and to compete virtually. What I would say to an ECP is that with EL 360, you will have the full power of Essilor and Luxottica behind you. We could not think of a better time to help ECPs with their business than during this period. And this is just the beginning. We are working on other programs in the pipeline to support independents in the near future."

Both executives emphasized the serious challenges of the past few months. Said Gadd, "We have seen a very robust recovery through the summer—it started in June. The demand is high and it’s coming from independents. It says a lot about the independents and their commitment to their patients and the industry. For the future, they’re learning how to change their protocols to adjust to the new environment."

Uguzzoni concurred. "The second half of June we saw the business come back. In June, I visited 20 practices in NYC, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, all around. They adapted in how they work, the flow of the practice, the patient interaction. And they are seeing the business on a par or even growing from last year. So independents are in a position to come out stronger."

For more information, ECPs can visit EssilorLuxottica360.com or contact their Essilor account executive or Luxottica sales consultant.