Independents urged to make themselves more visible online

Practices need to adapt to compete with online retailers, warns Ocuco

Fergus Murphy

Practice management software company Ocuco has emphasised that the landscape of the optical industry is changing dramatically with the emergence of online-only retailers.

“These web-based businesses are not going away and are in direct competition with independent practices, leaving High Street opticians fighting for footfall and dispense income,” warned Ocuco’s UK sales manager, Fergus Murphy.

“Independent opticians need to adapt in order to stay relevant and they have two major advantages on their side – their patient database and their patient relationship,” he added.

“The High Street optician has to make itself visible online, reflecting its professionalism and gaining more exposure.

“It is not enough to have a pretty website – patients expect to be able to interact and avail themselves of services online from the practitioner that they know and trust,” Mr Murphy emphasised.

Ocuco believes that its omni-channel software solutions can help independent practices compete with online retailers.

The company’s solutions are provided in partnership with OptiCommerce and enable web appointment bookings and online purchases by current and new patients, integrated with the Acuitas, Focus and See2020 practice management solutions.

“We provide web solutions that allow our users to book appointments, supply spectacles and renew contact lenses to their existing patient base,” Mr Murphy highlighted.

The practice management software company has invested over £20m in research and development and its software is now installed in more than 1400 independent UK opticians, as well as more than 500 UK retail chain sites.

“More and more of our users are utilising our omni-channel solutions to convert online traffic into in-practice footfall,” said Mr Murphy.

“We can see from the data that patients are making appointments outside of practice hours and reviewing spectacles and sunglasses prior to their practice visit,” he concluded.

For more information, visit the Ocuco website or call 0800 912 1004.