, the leading doctor-owned provider of ophthalmic products and services, has launched an e-commerce platform that the firm believes integrates effectively with the brick-and-mortar offices within the group while enhancing and supporting communication with patients. The new online site has the URL shop.FYidoctors.com
, and it launched across the company in May after a pilot project that involved about eight FYidoctors practices. “E-commerce for us is just part of our overall omnichannel strategy, which we have made a significant investment in,” Dr. Alan Ulsifer, founder and chief executive officer, told dba
in an interview late last month.
“Our goal in the omnichannel platform is to improve the overall experience. Choosing eyewear and getting your eyes checked is an experience that hasn’t changed for some time. Our goal is to leverage technology to improve the overall patient experience and to make it more convenient to get your eyes checked and purchase eyewear.”
The new website includes an assortment of frames that will only be available online, as well as some frames that are sold in FYidoctors locations. It also features the most recent version of virtual try-on software developed by Fitting Box
The online site is integrated with FYidoctors’ practice management platform in a way that allows patients to pull up their prescription information while shopping online, Ulsifer said. “This makes the experience much more user friendly for [patients] in terms of buying products, and we’re happy with that,” Ulsifer said. “What we’ve done with the site is to try to mix in the in-office experience with the online experience.” Consumers who are not current FYidoctors patients can upload their eyeglass prescription to the site.
Patients can purchase contact lenses, sunglasses and eyeglasses, with both branded and private label frames. “We kind of consider [the new site] our outlet concept,” Ulsifer said. “In our clinics, we offer very competitive pricing on specific products and this just really expands that.
The other key feature of the e-commerce site is that it provides an opportunity to communicate with patients in between visits and entice them to make more purchases in between visits, he noted. Orders can be delivered to a clinic for pickup or directly to the patient’s home, except in provinces where this is not allowed.
Ulsifer also noted that FYidoctors will launch new aspects of the new e-commerce platform throughout this year and into 2019. “It’s been a huge focus in our organization in the past couple of years to create a strategic advantage with technology,” he said. “And then to use technology as a way to create a relationship with the consumer that goes beyond coming in every two years or every three years for an eye examination.”
The online store is offering free shipping on orders over $100, and free returns and exchanges, according to an announcement this week. FYidoctors will launch a fully-functional French site later this year, making the unique online shopping experience available to patients across FYidoctors’ 181 Canadian locations, the company noted.