At a recent meeting I co-facilitated a roundtable discussion regarding new opportunities in the practice. One opportunity that fits with our theme was creation of a branded area in the practice that focuses on cosmetic contact lenses as well as other products that might be complimentary. Among the names suggested to brand this area were: “Cosmetic Center”, “Beauty Bar”, “Beauty and Wellness Center” as well as “Contacts and More”. The consensus of the group was that combining multiple complimentary products in this area and branding it makes the opportunity to sell all of them even greater. Several doctors in the group have already implemented this concept and are excited about their success thus far. Here are some of the specifics we discussed.
1. What products can be included in this “Beauty and Wellness Center”?
The sky is the limit on products and the future will be fun as new products are developed. The products that received the most attention included neutraceuticals specifically Omegas, Multivitamins, Carotenoids, AREDS formulations, resveratrol and probiotics. Cosmetics made specifically for the eye area such as eye serums, creams and fine line reducers made the list as well. Most patients are already buying facial cleansers, lid scrubs, eye makeup remover, mascara, lash thickening products and moisturizers somewhere. Why not buy them from their eye doctor who knows that the products are safe for the eye area? Suncare is a natural partner to skincare, which explains why sunscreen made the list as well. Specifically, patients appreciate sunscreen that doesn’t burn when it gets in your eyes. Cold and warm compresses, professionally made and packaged, as opposed to the hot washcloth wrapped around a boiled egg that we all recommended in the “old days” are attractive to patients who come in with MGD or other eyelid disorders.
2. What procedures or services can be offered in this area?
There are optometry practices that have a relationship with local MDs or DOs that come in to their practice to do oculoplastic procedures including Botox and cosmetic injectables. Other services discussed were waxing, peels, facials and acupuncture. Always check with your state laws and rules to see what options you have in this area in your state.
3. How do you train your team to market this area of your practice?
Train everyone on your team regarding the services and products you offer and make certain you allow them to experience it for themselves when applicable. The excitement you create in your team will spill over quickly to your patients. To help market your new Center, plan at least four beauty events in the upcoming year where you have a local makeup artist and/or hair stylist. You can also include a stylist to discuss the latest fashion trends and give style tips to your audience. Another option is to have a contact lens fitting experience and combine teaching with marketing and sales.
The beauty market is bigger and better than ever before. Combine beauty with wellness and the opportunity is even greater.
April Jasper, OD, FAAO has a private practice in West Palm Beach, Florida. She serves on several Advisory boards including VSP, Vision Source, Allergan and Alcon. Dr. Jasper is Benedict Professor in practice management at Houston College of Optometry. Her passion is sharing with her colleagues in areas of practice management and technology in an effort to help them become more successful in patient care and personal growth.