It can be tricky to convey the merits of add-on features such as anti-reflection, photochomic lenses, digital technology and even progressives to patients in a quick and clear manner. In-office demonstrators can help you make more sales by showing— in a very tangible way—the various options you have in mind for a wearer’s next pair of glasses.
For the ultimate in technology that transports the old-school looking glass into the cyberworld, OWIZ from Fitting Box is an iTunes-downloadable, Wi-Fi-based virtual mirror application. It allows your patient to virtually try on nearly 50,000 ultra-realistic frames in a 3D simulation. Wearers can see themselves in HD from a direct face and three-quarter viewing angle, with a wide variety of frames, colors and brands, allowing you to truly satisfy their needs. The best part is that you do not have to stock all of these frames and you can pick and choose which brands you would like to load, all without having to pre-purchase the loaded inventory.
The program allows for quick selection between men’s and women’s, both in ophthalmic and sunwear. Users can take selfies in their new potential frames and email them to their friends and family for voting options. The program can be loaded onto any iPad Air 1 and 2 and iPad Pro and requires software licensing. A recent version update now allows for a lens simulation that can demonstrate virtual farsighted and nearsighted corrections in a variety of lens thicknesses.
From the patient’s point of view, there’s nothing better than being able to experience a new, perhaps more expensive lens before they fully commit to it. From the ECP’s angle, trying before buying will actually help with overall sales and create more repeat customers. The OptikamPad allows you to show how premium lens options can improve vision in a true augmented reality experience. The wearer can experience viewing situations at a desktop, on the golf course, on the patio at home and even while driving. The lens simulation demos can change from bright sunlight to show off photochromic and polarization options, it can show nighttime driving as well as highlight AR coatings; it can even light AR coatings; it can even display the difference in corridor widths and image jump with bifocals and progressives.
When it comes to lens materials and being able to readily show the differences, the Visioffice 2 and m’eyeFit mirror, both by Essilor of America, Inc., demonstrate the simulated scale of a heavier lens in comparison to a thinner, lighter lens. By manipulating the approximate Rx power and material type, the weight scale and thickness images will change in front of the patient’s eyes.
Another simulation is showing the patient what to expect when looking through photochromic lenses in clear, dark and in-between light levels. Patients can also compare their field of vision with polarized versus non-polarized lenses. The iPad-based systems, i.Demo by ZEISS and Smart Mirror from ABS, Inc., fit the bill for this purpose.
Today, there are demonstrators that allow you to show several benefits in one unit. The compact, comprehensive ZEISS Demonstration Tool (available to qualified customers) is an all-in-one interactive tool that’s suitable for the smallest dispensing tables. It plays videos that show the benefits of quality optical products. It demonstrates the wider fields of view available with customized progressives, benefits of anti-reflective coatings and the quick-changing properties of the brand’s PhotoFusion photochromic lenses. The ZEISS Demonstration Tool also gives patients the ability to feel and see the differences between eyeglass lens materials as well as experience the glare reduction made possible by polarized lenses.
MAKE WAITING MORE FUN
Advertisement and educational loops played in the waiting area are an effective way to convey information in addition to highlighting particular brands of frames, lenses and options. Moreover, this provides a modern feel for your office. Patients are passively waiting for their appointment with the optician, so it only makes sense to take advantage of this time and help to build product awareness for their next purchase.
So here is where a device such as the ABS Smart Mirror shines. It is available in tablet-form only for the U.S. market, and it can stream ads, take photos of patient frame choices and share them via email. It also has digital lens measurement capability. The Smart Mirror, in many ways, can act as another “employee” interacting with waiting patients.
Many frame and lens vendors allocate a budget for these types of practice building tools, and they can help you set up a loop. Some may even pay for the digital device (flat screen) that is broadcasting the message. Don’t be afraid to ask every vendor if they offer such a service—doing so can help you align your mutual goals. Plus, adding this modern touch might give you that well deserved leg up on your competition and highlight your optical as the it place to patron.
Frank Gimbel, BA, ABO-AC, FNAO, HFOAA, is an advanced certified optician and owner of Gimbel Opticians in Plymouth Meeting, PA.