3 Reasons Why Your Patients Aren’t Buying Annual Supplies
If you’re in the business of fitting and selling contact lenses, you likely work to maximize annual supply rate.
In terms of their CL business, most ECPs balance two primary goals:
- Give patients access to the contact lens product that will fit their health needs and lifestyle comfortably and effectively
- Sell a whole year supply of contact lenses to each patient
A higher annual supply rate means less worry about patient compliance in the future and a higher contact lens capture rate, which means more revenue for your practice.
Do You Know Your True Annual Supply Rate?
Over the years, we’ve talked to a large number of ECPs, and many are surprised to learn that for most practices, annual supplies make up less than 30% of their contact lens revenue.
According to the latest research, 60% of the CL revenue in the industry comes from reorders, but only 10% of these reorders are captured by a patient’s prescribing OD. The other 90% goes to competitors: online retailers, big box stores, and subscription services.
These numbers add up to a missed opportunity for your practice. If only 30% of your patients are buying a year’s supply of their contact lenses from your practice after their exam, you’re almost certainly losing at least some of those reorders to the competition.
Why is the Average Annual Supply Rate So Low
When we surveyed ECPs who ask their patients why they aren’t buying a year’s supply when they get their prescription, their answers broke down into three main categories. Here are 3 reasons why patients avoid buying annual supplies:
Reason 1: Budget
Contact lenses are medical devices that make people’s lives easier in most cases, so patients are usually more than willing to pay 30 dollars for a single box of their preferred brand. But multiply that by 12 and it adds up quickly. Not everyone has an extra $360 lying around.
Reason 2: Fear of Commitment
Often, patients don’t buy an annual supply, not because they can’t afford it, but because they aren’t ready to make the commitment to 12 months of the same contact lenses. This is most likely to happen when a patient changes to a new contact lens. Even if they’ve done a 10-day trial period, they may still worry about discomfort or an imperfect fit for their lifestyle after a few months of wear.
It’s reasonable to have fears about wasting money on a year’s supply of lenses that may not work out. If this happens, they’ll return to your practice to get a contact lens product that works better for them. In many cases, however, those contact lenses do work out, and the patient buys the balance of their supply elsewhere.
Reason 3: Lack of Compliance
Although they are often slow to admit it to their eye doctors, many patients may stretch out their contact lens prescription in a way that’s not medically recommended. One clinical study found that over half of contact lens wearers may not be in complete compliance with the directed use of their contact lenses.
Many patients may be resistant to buying a year’s supply of their contact lenses simply because they plan on using them incorrectly, for example by wearing a daily disposable product for more than a day. This is not only cutting into your annual supply rate, it also raises a concern for the safety of your patients.
How Can You Address These Objections?
Let’s face it: patients who aren’t willing to buy annual supplies aren’t always going to change their mind because of something you show them. What you can do is give them more options that better fit their preferences.
This is where CLX comes in. The CLX System is a multi-functional contact lens software that helps your practice become better at increasing contact lens capture rate. CLX also helps you offer more convenient options to your patients regardless of when they decide to purchase from you.
Patients often have a preconceived notion of how much they are willing to spend on contacts, and while you may not be able to change it, with CLX Price Compare, you can show patients the benefit of buying an annual supply up front. Price Compare positions your prices compared against your largest competitors, after rebates and insurance. This allows a patient to do their comparison shopping in your office, and when they know what alternatives are out there, they may be more willing to lock in a year’s supply at the lowest price.
If they’re still unwilling to pull the trigger on an annual supply, CLX helps you offer them other options, like CLX Subscriptions. This is a white-label subscription service that gives your patients the option to pay monthly for the length of their entire prescription, while getting their contact lenses delivered direct to their homes before they ever run out.
It’s not unique to have a patient who is unsure about the product you give them, and it would be negligent to persuade them to make a decision they aren’t 100% confident with. That’s why CLX helps capture reorders with the CLX Convenient Reordering feature. The CLX System automatically tracks a patient’s prescription and the supply that they purchased from your office when they receive that prescription, and sends patients reminders to reorder with a personalized link when their supply is running low.
This is more difficult to address, and a large part of it comes down to your staff’s ability to communicate the risks associated with non-compliance. One added benefit of CLX, however, is the ability to get patients contacts before they run out. Stretching can often be prevented by simply making contacts more accessible. By making it easier for patients to order their next supply, the likelihood of noncompliance goes down.
CLX Is a Resource Throughout the Patient Lifecycle
From helping ECPs optimize annual supply to robust reporting features that allow ECPs to analyze growth opportunities in their practices, the CLX System can be a crucial resource across the patient lifecycle.