Expand Your Dispensary with eStores

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO July 19, 2012

Well, we have officially set a record in our office. We ordered 18 frames for a single patient before she selected one. Unfortunately, we did it the old fashioned way: ordered them, paid for postage to get them in, and had to deal with frame returns and delays. The process took six weeks and everyone was frustrated. The net result was a “satisfied patient” who, as she was leaving, promised to consider other options for her next selection. Grrrrr!

Enter eStores, a useful online tool developed by VSP. eStores allows us to use technology to enhance our patient’s shopping experience with an expanded virtual dispensary featuring Marchon and Altair frames. New technologies including virtual try-on now make it possible for patients to choose frames in the online environment and significantly speed the frame selection process. Further, it allows us to move information rather than materials, which reduces cost and helps the bottom line. And probably most importantly, it helps cement the patient’s connection to our practice with improved service.

Now don’t get me wrong—there is no substitute for professional measurement and dispensing. That is why eStores seeks to reconnect the online-shopping patient with the practice at every opportunity. But it is clear that the shopping experience and resulting perceived value can be improved with innovative use of online technology. I believe that it is the combination of high tech and high touch that can distinguish our practices and set us apart. My office needs the improved efficiencies made possible by eStores and I suspect your office might benefit too.

As I see it, independent optometry is the very best choice for vision care. However, in today’s consumer-conscious world, we must embrace technology if we are to surpass the expectations of our tech-savvy patients. eStores is an effective online tool that can be used to expand our dispensaries and improve the shopping experience.

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