“Continued innovation is the best way to beat the competition.”
These words, credited to American inventor Thomas Edison, are inspirational in today’s eye care market. With growing competition from online contact lens vendors, eye care professionals around the world are actively seeking guidance for how to reach their digitally savvy customers and retain contact lens sales within their practices. And CooperVision subsidiary EyeCare Prime is poised to help.
Two years ago, in the United States, EyeCare Prime had the foresight to introduce LensFerry® S—a first-of-its-kind contact lens subscription service specifically developed for eye care professionals. Participating practices can enroll contact lens wearers in the service, which divides the annual cost of contact lenses into automatic monthly payments and quarterly lens deliveries. It’s a win-win for patients and practices. Patients enjoy the convenience of affordable monthly payments and contact lenses automatically shipped to their door while the practitioner benefits from predictable, recurring revenues and keeping patients connected to the practice.
Eye care practices in the U.S. and some countries in Europe have reaped the benefits, including savings in staff time, increased patient satisfaction, and growing contact lens revenue, helping them to go head-to-head with online competitors. Now, EyeCare Prime is leading the way by bringing these advantages to eye care professionals in additional regions, expanding its global footprint.
In Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), EyeCarePrime has initiated a pilot testing period with LensFerry® S. Due to higher retail pricing of contact lenses in this region, there is an increased tendency for wearers to purchase discounted contact lenses online or via corporate practices, making it difficult for independent practitioners to retain sales.
“Aussies and Kiwis are no strangers to subscription services,” said Michelle North, Marketing Manager, ANZ. “In fact, the average consumer spends AUD$660 per month on subscriptions and recurring services. We believe LensFerry® S provides a substantial opportunity for CooperVision by helping practitioners in Australia and New Zealand offer value and convenience to their contact lens patients.”
LensFerry® S has been added to ANZ’s “CooperVision First” suite of services, and for the time being, includes only CooperVision products.
In Canada, EyeCare Prime is in the early stages of rolling out LensFerry® S to customers. The team worked toward the launch for more than a year, and preliminary feedback has been positive, as eye care professionals there are excited to adopt the subscription service. Initially, LensFerry® S will only include CooperVision products in Canada, and EyeCare Prime will be focused on presenting the service to a targeted list of 100 accounts.
“LensFerry® S offers practitioners a way to combat the current disruptive technologies in the marketplace,” said Tiffanie Song, Marketing Manager, FRP, Canada. “It will provide our customers a tool to better serve their patients while also differentiating themselves from others.”
EyeCare Prime will work closely with the ANZ and Canadian teams as they roll out LensFerry® S to a broader base of customers in the coming months. In addition, the EyeCare Prime team is working toward a launch in Spain this year.
“Our experiences with thousands of consumers and eye care professionals have led to the development of digital services, like LensFerry®, that benefit everyone involved,” said Shaun Schooley, Vice President, Digital Marketing Technology. “LensFerry® S is good for competition, giving eye care professionals a straight-forward way to participate in e-commerce. In today’s digital age, simple, quick and streamlined is expected. LensFerry® S helps by providing practitioners with a contact lens purchasing option for their patients built on convenience while also positioning CooperVision as an innovator in the industry. We look forward to continuing to expand this service to practitioners across the globe.”
EyeCare Prime delivers a range of digital services and solutions to nearly 6,000 offices across nine countries.