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Questions About Eyeconic Marketing?
VSP Global’s recent announcement that it plans to open three brick-and-mortar Eyeconic® locations has sparked questions, and even some misinformation out in the marketplace, specifically around how Eyeconic is marketing to VSP members, our patients. As a doctor and VSP Global Board member, part of my job is to ensure VSP is making decisions and executing on the company strategy with the doctor in mind. It’s also my role to answer questions from my peers and help provide clarification when I see misinformation out in the industry.
Some doctors believe that a VSP authorization triggers Eyeconic marketing to the patient. Not so. The fact is, Eyeconic markets directly to members in two ways: one, if they have agreed to receive weekly Eyeconic emails and, two, if they are searching online for eyewear. Any timing between a patient’s visit and Eyeconic marketing is coincidental.
For a little context, 65% of consumers look online when making a purchase. This research triggers relevant advertising. Think about something you’ve recently searched for—maybe luggage. After researching different suitcases, have you noticed that you’re suddenly seeing ads for a luggage sale at Macy’s or a new product from Samsonite? Similarly, think about what someone does after making an eye exam appointment: they start looking at glasses. If a patient searches for a certain brand of frames prior to their annual exam, they’ll likely get targeted advertising for similar products. Eyeconic is no different, targeting consumers in the market for glasses or lenses—and directing them to VSP network doctors.
Why have Eyeconic at all, some would say? It’s a great question, and it really boils down to consumer demand. As consumers, most of us are no strangers to online shopping for everything from cars to luggage. So it’s no surprise that eyewear represents another online shopping category with Eyeconic being just one in a sea of online sites competing for a share of the market.
More importantly, the integration of online shopping and brick-and-mortar retail have influenced the benefits manager to ask for sustainable retail options like the new Eyeconic store launching in Chicago this summer.
Eyeconic levels the playing field for VSP when it competes against others in the market with larger, more robust online/offline assets at their disposal. How much larger? Consider this: today, Eyeconic represents less than 1% of the industry’s online sales. Yet, it’s the only site that connects patients to doctors for their eye care needs.
As eye see it, Eyeconic is a necessary component in growing the patient flow to our practices. Not only does it offer a solution that reinforces the importance of eye care and connects patients to optometry, but it also meets a critical contracting need for VSP that ultimately helps deliver millions of patients to our practices each year.