By Bill Gerber, Founder and CEO OMG! Optical Marketing Group/Contentlinq.

Natalie, a friend of mine, was wowed by a recent experience with her OD and the high-tech equipment in the exam room. However, the optical experience left her cold. She said, “The space was outdated and the selection was weak.” A few weeks later, she spent more than $1,300 on two pairs of eyeglasses — somewhere else.

Although Natalie would have preferred to buy her eyewear from her doctor, perception is reality. How are your patients perceiving your offerings? If your capture rate is under 75 percent, then it may be time to look at updating your space. Here are some key problems and solutions in optical dispensaries today.

Lack of brand identification: Patients and customers should be able to tell what brands are being offered just by looking into the optical space. It’s critical that patients can tell the key brands a practice offers within three seconds.

Lack of signage: In addition to brand identification, signage can provide a clear way to let patients know where the men’s, women’s, kids’ and sunwear sections are.

Lack of digital engagement: We’re living in a hyper connected digital world, so does your space say modern and connected or outdated?

Inadequate lighting: Most lighting in practices is subpar, making people look older than they are. Why would anyone want to try on frames in an environment that is less than flattering?

Dull displays: Frame boards as we know them are mostly an antiquated concept that needs to be reimagined. Modern eyewear has no place being displayed in monotonous rows lined up like little soldiers on a wall.

Let’s work to give patients every reason to stay and buy. By assessing your dispensary on these key points with candor, you can implement smart tactics to update your dispensary and convert more of your patients into customers. Furthermore, existing patients will end up staying longer and buying more if your optical dispensary is engaging and amazing. The time is now to make the changes that will help to elevate the buying experience.

Bill Gerber welcomes comments at [email protected], or visit or