Maintaining Lab Service in the COVID-19 Era

By Sarah McGoldrick
Sunday, April 25, 2021 10:00 AM It’s been a tough year for the optical industry, especially optical labs. Soon after COVID hit regional lockdowns began, and many eyecare practices closed or reduced their patient hours. Labs felt the impact almost immediately. A Vision Council Member Survey conducted in Spring, 2020 found that the majority of labs had reduced their production and service hours in response to decreased demand due to COVID-19. (see Fig. 1) As the volume of Rx orders fell, many labs reduced staff or staff hours. However, the decrease in sales from brick-and-mortar optical locations was partly offset by an increase in online optical sales, as homebound consumers increasingly turned to eyeglass e-tailers. Labs had to quickly adapt to these shifting market dynamics by adjusting their service and delivery strategies.

Pandemic Prompts Labs to Embrace New Marketing Approaches

By Sarah McGoldrick
Sunday, April 25, 2021 9:59 AM More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, optical labs are still adjusting to the disruptions the pandemic has caused to the eyecare practices and optical retailers they service. With many lab customers operating on limited hours and under strict health restrictions that prevent making in-person sales calls, labs have had to develop new approaches to educating ECPs and staff about new products and services. In particular, many labs are shifting from face-to-face product demonstrations and traditional marketing materials and embracing virtual consultations.