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Poll Respondents Say Explaining Value of Buying In-house to Patients is Worth the Time

There’s no shortage of online and retail options for patients looking for more convenient and affordable ways to get their eyeglasses and contact lenses. A recent WO Poll asked if online retailers are affecting the bottom line of the practice.

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being most impact, more than 80% of respondents said that online sellers of contact lenses have a 4/5 or 5/5 impact on their bottom line.

70% of respondents also said that competition from online sellers of eyeglasses is impacting their bottom line 4/5 or 5/5.


A graph showing responses
WO Pop-up Poll 2024

When it comes to how effective staff members are at explaining the value of buying eyewear or contact lenses in the office, almost a third (28%) of poll respondents said that it’s hit or miss or that they seriously need help. Almost half of respondents (43%) said they have been working on training staff to explain the value to patients in the exam lane or optical and are getting better at doing so.

One respondent said, “We have made the decision to not make adjustments [for people who bought their eyewear elsewhere] or figure out what went wrong when they placed the online order.”


Just under half of respondents (46%) said that they actively train staff on the value and benefit of buying from them, and also that they focus more on professional services than the products themselves. Other common steps taken to minimize the impact of online sellers included increasing specialty or unique products that are not readily available online (31%), becoming more transparent with pricing (31%) and offering or preparing to offer contact lens reordering and frame shopping in-store (23%). Another respondent said that they are “short-staffed and doing the best I can.”

The majority of respondents (79%) were owner or co-owners of a business with product sales. The remainder of respondents (21%) were employees who benefit from product sales. An equal amount of respondents– 43% each– said they were either male or female ODs. Another 14% said they were non-OD females.


Have a poll idea? Curious about something? Email us here.

Read other WO Pop-up Poll results here.

Featured photo credit: Getty Images, Aleksei Naumov

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