All on board for online sales? Not so fast. Respondents to Optometric Office’s survey on online optical sales shared some interesting views on patients buying their eyewear online. While more than half (69%) see online retailers as a threat, and a large percentage (95%) believe the sales will continue to grow, only 22% said they are considering an online sales presence in the future. Many expressed concern and frustration with the lack of public knowledge on “the intricacies of prescription eyewear fitting.” And one OD stated, “There needs to be an all-out campaign to educate the public as to the pro’s and con’s of online purchases of ophthalmic eyewear.”  Here’s what other respondents had to say about the impact Internet optical sales will have in their office in the near future.—

“It is already forcing us to compete on pricing, price matching to the online retailers, and forcing all of us to educate our patients to the concerns we have on quality and services received when one purchases eyewear online.”

“More people will seek us out for care, less for eyewear.”

“Reduced sales in optical, overall gross revenue, and profits unless it’s made up elsewhere.”

“Some reduction of gross optical sales. However, people who are looking not to spend money on eyecare and eyewear, would never be one of my patients. Kind of like getting your dentures online.”

“Some prescriptions will be taken out of the office. Once the quality is discovered, we will recover the patients.”
“Probably will reduce in-office sales, especially with contact lens wearers.”

“Shift to structuring office to run on professional fees instead of product sales.”

“Lower sales and profits for those patients not using vision insurance plans.”

“It will improve our income and make our office more user-friendly for our patients.”

“I hope it won’t have a big impact but ODs face threats to our revenue on a regular basis and we must always be changing to stay attuned to the marketplace to keep our business viable.”

“Not a lot. Our patients come to us because they have come to expect superior service. They can’t get that online.”


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