E-COMMERCE AND NON-PROFITS FOR THE INDEPENDENT

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ECPs can benefit from Vision Expo West’s online retailing launches and announcements by vision care non-profits.

Even in the face of consolidation and corporatization, the independent eyecare professional (ECP) remains the base of the optical profession. Business solutions supporting the independent ECP at Vision Expo West came in the form of launches in the e-commerce sector and non-profits driving traffic to their practices while ultimately supporting the patients they serve.

GOING DIGITAL
ProperOptics.com, a new optical e-commerce site created to provide independent practices with an online presence to capture more optical sales, was launched by lens and coating technology provider GSRx. ProperOptics.com is an extension of GSRx’s Proper Optics in-store dispensing brand, featuring 280 frame styles and a full range of lenses, coatings and treatments.

Another website at PupilBox.com was launched with the intent of taking the hype out of blue light protection. Promoting itself as “an online destination delivering education and personalized protection for young professionals and their children from harmful blue light with comprehensive solutions for all visual lifestyles,” the PupilBox website features tips to combat digital eye strain, lenses designed to block the majority of blue light at 450 nanometers and “The PupilBox,” complete with blue light filtering lenses, a low blue light PupilBulb for bedtime, a choice of 11 frames, artificial tears, lens wipes and a microfiber cloth all in a magnetic collapsible case.

RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology was in use in at least two of the major eyewear companies’ booths. Both Luxottica and Marchon allowed visitors to pick up a frame on display and hold its attached tag to a screen that would then display the details of that frame for review. Luxottica also promoted its MyLux Academy (MyLuxAcademy.Luxottica.com), where ECPs can go for training.

 

PROFIT FROM NON-PROFITS
Think About Your Eyes (TAYE), the nationwide public awareness initiative, shared news of its continued success promoting the importance of an annual eye exam and overall health and announced several new industry partners, including Johnson & Johnson Vision, plus increased contributions from its current partners. To further drive awareness of its campaign, the organization significantly grew its television advertising to reach a larger portion of the American public. For the first time, TAYE is being featured on broadcast and high impact programming such as The Voice, This Is Us and NBA and MLB. In addition to corporate sponsors, independent practitioners who partner with the organization are listed on its website’s doctor locator. (For more on TAYE, see page 18.)

During the show, the Essilor Vision Foundation announced that it had launched a pilot program for its “Essilor Experts” that will become available for all independent ECPs starting in 2018. The turnkey awareness campaign includes a no-cost kit designed to encourage patients/customers to start the conversation about vision. Supported by a new website launching by the end of this year, campaign participants will receive a new marketing kit every quarter. At showtime, the Essilor Vision Foundation also announced that it had already raised more than $500,000 from its upcoming golf tournament to support the organization’s commitment to “eliminate poor vision and its lifelong consequences.” Supporting donations help millions of children in the U.S. receive an eye exam and a pair of glasses.

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