SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—With the rise of online eyewear and an interest on the part of certain patients to seek more accessibly-priced eyeglass choices, a new service, offered with several partnership options by GSRx, Inc., an optical lab, is enabling eyecare professionals to capture more optical sales and keep profits from those sales.
GSRx has launched ProperOptics.com, an optical e-commerce site created to provide independent practices the opportunity to sell to patients who might otherwise leave the office without buying eyewear, as well as online shoppers in their market. Practices will make the same profit as they would from an in-office sale, minus a small processing fee, points out Dave Jochims, founder and CEO, who talked to CLICK about the program.
Mike Korthals, OD“GSRx believes that optical patients are best served when they purchase eyewear from an independent practice. However, it’s undeniable that over 30 percent of independent practice patients are buying their eyewear somewhere else, often from an online retailer. As a supplier dedicated to supporting independents, we have created an online option where the practice retains control over the quality of the product and captures the profits.”
ProperOptics.com is an extension of GSRx’s Proper Optics in-store dispensing brand, which offers complete eyewear packages designed to help keep independent practices competitive with brick-and-mortar and online retailers. Featuring 280 frame styles and a full range of lenses, coatings and treatments using today’s best technology, Proper Optics’ recommended list prices are up to 50 perecent lower than equivalent branded product, while providing comparable profits to the practice.
ECPs around the country are seeing the benefits. Mike Korthals, OD of Dr. Korthals and Associates in Mason City, Iowa, stated, “From the time that I have started using Proper Optics for my lab, I have experienced a dramatic decrease in my cost of goods while maintaining a high level of quality. I am excited that the advent of Properoptics.com will give us an opportunity to remain competitive in an area that we previously wouldn't stand a chance in.
“I am directing my patients, that I know are going to shop online, to visit ProperOptics.com, knowing that if they place an order from there, they are receiving a high quality pair of glasses and I still have a level of involvement in the care of the patient. Proper Optics has always strived to help the private practice OD remain competitive in our difficult marketplace, and now ProperOptics.com has taken that message to a whole new level.”
Jennifer Keller, OD of Park Rapids Eye Clinic in Park Rapids, Minn. is another practitioner who has taken part. She noted, “We want our patients in well fit quality frames and accurate prescriptions. When patients walk, these are not guaranteed.”
Jennifer Keller, ODShe added, “Proper Optics is a win-win solution for our patients and our clinic. It allows our patients to get their eyewear at an affordable price, and we are confident in the product they are wearing.”
Jochims said there are approximately 175 practices working with ProperOptics.com now, including about 60-70 practices already set up with the program’s in-storing concept. Training videos are part of the program and available to ECPS and their office staff. “We also offer guarantees in a geographic region. The goal is to help independents keep their patients, give them the benefit of the value of working with trained optical professionals to get their glasses. We also help drive the brand and help the practices via social media and some Google and Facebook ads to assist as well.”
Jochims emphasized that ProperOptics.com is only intended as a supplement to in-office dispensing. “We believe that patients will always get the best vision from eyewear that is measured, fit and dispensed by the expert staff of an independent practice. But if a patient does wish to shop online, ProperOptics.com gives practices the opportunity to maintain control and assure the best outcome.”