3 Strategies that Will Help You Beat Contact Lens Inflation

by | Aug 15, 2022 | Business Management, Merchandising

Did you know you’re spending too much money on your contact lenses? It’s easy to go through the motions, stock some lenses, and not think twice about your processes—but if you’re not proactive about evaluating your costs, your bottom line is going to suffer. These three simple strategies will help you beat contact lens inflation and improve the success of your practice.

1. Consolidate from 3-4 Brands to 2-3 Brands

The most obvious benefit of consolidating brands is the simplicity it offers by reducing the number of different lenses your team has to keep track of. However, the real advantage is the money it saves you.

When you increase your business with a contact lens manufacturer, you’re able to negotiate a lower cost of goods. In fact, you shouldn’t even have to negotiate. When you tell your contact lens rep you’d like to fit substantially more of their lenses, they should jump at the chance to work with you. Once you’ve proven you’re on track to fitting more of their lenses, you are better able to negotiate your cost of goods. 

Additionally, most manufacturers have multiple rewards programs you can qualify for depending on the size of your practice and the amount of business you do with them. When your business is split among several manufacturers, you never do enough to make it worth their while. However, if you sell only two or three different brands, you can reach a level of business that can result in several thousands of dollars in quarterly rebate checks—and sometimes more.

2. Bank or Stock Lenses

When you consolidate your brands, you have more room in your office to stock lenses—which is another opportunity for long-term cost savings. The most direct impact is the reduced cost of goods. Committing money to a bank program up-front or stocking more lenses typically results in lower costs and a higher return across a portfolio of lenses from a manufacturer.

As a side benefit, stocking lenses also motivates you to upgrade your patients and fit more lenses. This boosts your in-office annual supply sales because patients are motivated to get their contacts now rather than waiting for them to come in the mail. You can offer same-day delivery, a convenience that online sellers can’t match. Stocking lenses will increase your chances of making sales.

3. Leverage Price Changes to Upgrade Patients to Daily Replacement Lenses

During this inflationary time, switching more patients to daily replacement lenses might sound counterintuitive. But if you’re strategic in presenting the options to your patients, you can help them see how dailies are a better option. 

To start, raise your prices on your monthly lenses; patients expect this due to inflation. However, keep your daily lens prices the same. Your competition has been steadily raising their prices, so your daily lenses will look more affordable by comparison—and when inflation is high, your patients are definitely reviewing their options. 

When patients buy daily lenses, your bottom line benefits. There’s only so much profitability for monthly lenses, but if you switch that same patient into a daily lens, you can double your profitability.

Inflation causes frustration because people get tired of having to pay more to get the same thing they’ve always had. You can appeal to this dissatisfaction by offering your patients something new: daily lenses. This takes their focus away from rising prices and diverts it instead to an excitement for something new. 

To encourage your patients to try daily lenses, emphasize the deal they’re getting. Patients are used to paying as much as $10 for a lens they have to wear for an entire month—but daily lenses cost less than a dollar per day. Plus, they get fresh lenses every morning. When you walk through the cost-effectiveness and the advantages, it will be hard for anyone to say no to daily lenses.

Stay Profitable Amid Inflation

Everyone is trying to cut costs in today’s economy—but that can work to your advantage. Using the strategies above, you can build a profitable foundation for your practice. Then, you can entice your patients by offering better deals than your competition can offer. It all starts with being a little more strategic in your approach to contact lenses. Consider a tool like Profit Assist that helps build those strategies and maintain your profitability.

By Ryan Gustus, OD

Driving contact lens sales with a smart approach.


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