Pandemic Forced Customer Online

1 June 2021

Adding an online store to your services has never been more urgent and needed to grow and even survive your business. It’s mind-blowing, but I still find myself explaining the benefits of having an online store. Ten years ago, it was a novel service and not well received by optical stores, suppliers, and regulators. But in 2021, it is the only tool to remain afloat. In 2023 your online store will be a tremendous tool to grow your business to new heights. Why 2023? Because the pandemic will not end until then, not at least in Canada. Your online store will help you survive in 2021. By 2023 it will be a well-established website that will set your store far apart from your lingering competition.

We are still living through a small business nightmare, and no one would ever imagine that the core and soul of the commercial world - small business, will be forced to the brinks of survival. Many US states and all Canadian provinces forced businesses to close without warning nor fair explanation. Optical stores were not spared. It took the Canadian government three months in 2020 to realize that eyeglasses and contact lenses are essential and that online wasn't a viable option for emergency repairs. 

But online was and still is the most viable option to sell eyeglasses and contact lenses in Canada because of the ongoing lockdown with no end in sight. LiveOptical Consulting reached the Tipping Point as per the definition of Malcolm Gladwell. We never expected to get so much interest due to unforeseen events. We enabled many stores to do business online by selling eyeglasses, contact lenses, communication, online book appointments, and more.

Pandemic made many governments re-evaluate old discouraging online policies, and even glasses suppliers who didn't allow online trading have eased up over the last year. In addition, barriers that prevented optical stores from selling glasses and contact lenses online were removed. As a result, as of 2021, online is a must-have or die retail option for optical stores.

American and Canadian online stores gained a fair competitive advantage when the   American government made US online shopping more attractive by imposing tariffs on goods imported from China. Customers need to pay more duties and taxes for overseas purchases, and why would they if they can conveniently shop directly from you and receive fantastic service from their favorite optician.

The good news is that many stores wanted to sell online but were hesitant, worried that they disclose too much information to their customers regarding prices by having an online store. This myth was pushed even further down because customers actually want to know the costs and cannot shop around anymore by visiting a store to strike a deal. Instead, the customer is happy to see all the prices upfront. So having an online store is a considerable tool to attract new business that was not yours before. 

With the help of our customers, we adjusted our software to make your chosen brands not display the price. In addition, we developed a hybrid model for catalog only and online store websites.

We also added an online booking feature, which became very popular over the year. Customers can book an eye exam, order pickup, repair, shopping consultation, or any other type of appointment.

On the LiveOptical website, customers can now pre-pay for the eye exam or purchase an eye exam voucher. All thanks to our beloved customers who feed us the ideas that we gladly implement to make your store a success.

Turn the problem into opportunity and open your own online optical store!