Consumers and Patients Respond to Incentives


giftcertificatecentercomI used to wait every year to buy my cosmetics when Lancome came out with their Lancome bag. My once a year splurge was dependant upon getting a cheap new bag with overpriced cosmetics that I didn’t even use. (how sick is that!) We have become an incentive and reward based society. You probably have a credit card that is attached with some type of reward system, you may be purchasing from Staples with a Reward card, you have attended some event for a free gift, even your grocery store has some type of rebate card.

For some reason, the optical community is resistant to offer incentives or reward programs. About 5 or 6 years ago, I was involved in a high end eyewear company and we decided to provide a ‘Gift With Purchase’ program to the consumer. Signage was developed and gifts were ordered (MP3 players). All the eyecare professional had to do was order 12 frames, put up the sign and display the product and the gift. 95% of the eyecare offices would not do it.  The main reason- they thought it was unprofessional. I was shocked- it didn’t cost the office money- if merchandised and promoted effectively- they could have increased sales.

Which brings about the question do incentives work? Yes!

Eye Bogglers

  • Promotional incentives for travel and merchandise are about $29 Billion business. (2005)
  • Plus add the  Promotional Products industry =$18 Billion (2005)
  • $30 Billion is spent on consumer incentives
  • 37% of consumers will respond to a text message advertisement when an incentive for a retail coupon is offered.

68% of companies use Motivational and Incentive programs to:

  • Increase sales
  • Encourage ‘Pantry Loading’
  • Promote loyalty
  • Promote permission
  • Break through marketing clutter
  • Target key audiences

Why would you the optical professional use an incentive or reward program?

  • To compete against optical retailers in your area and online sellers.
  • Increase or maintain sales
  • Create new audience and acquire new customers
  • Build your patient loyalty and trust
  • Build market share.

After reviewing the above numbers- the consumer and you too very obviously respond to incentives- about $40 Billion dollar industry. Incentives can lead to long term loyal customers and encourage people to buy. Your optical competition is offering incentives especially the online stores (see below listed incentives from Frames Direct: Weekly Eyewear & News Updates for 2009-09-12 Posted by Richard Burckhardt on September 12, 2009

What incentives or Gift With Purchases can you use to inspire and motivate patients and customers?

  • Eyeglass Retainers
  • Micro-Fiber and Cleaning Solutions
  • T-shirts (you can usually get these through your vendors)
  • Eyeglass Repair Kits
  • Clip on
  • Eyeglass charms
  • Or you can go to any promotional or even your local optical accessory company and order your own customized Gift with Purchase  items such as towels,  reusable bags, visors, hats, totes, water bottles and more.

Bottom line- the consumer and your patients like free stuff- it is part of our value system today. Take a chance, speak with your suppliers, come up with a budget and try it.


VEW Mid-Page 19