Purchasing prescription eyeglasses can be an overwhelming process especially with the large amount of options potentially involved: frames, lenses, coatings, tints, quality of materials, warranties, and return policies. Price, in-office wait time and turnaround time also come into play.
One of the most important decisions involved in this process is decidingwhere to purchase eyewear. Will an online optical retailer or a traditional, brick-and-mortar optical retailer provide you with the best eyewear purchasing experience?
Here’s an infographic to assist you and/or your employees with deciding which type of optical retailer may be the best choice. Enlarge the infographic for easier viewing.
Based on the results from using the infographic or in a quest to save time and money, you may decide to purchase eyewear online. If so, you are not alone, U.S. eyewear consumers purchased 2.3 million pairs of prescribed eyewear online between September 2012 and September 2013.
The ease of being able to shop 24/7 from home, a tablet or even a smart phone is alluring. And there’s even the added bonus of being able to comparison shop in just a few clicks to get the item you are interested in at the lowest price available.
Purchasing eyewear through an online optical retailer works well for individuals who require minimal assistance. You can select lenses, coatings and tints. Although you will not be in an optical retailer’s brick-and- mortar location, you can still enjoy the key step of trying on frames to determine which will look good on your face, fit your individual lifestyle and meet your prescription lens needs. Depending on the online optical retailer, you can:
- select from frames recommended based on the shape of your face,
- virtually try on different frames by uploading a photo or using a webcam to see frames superimposed onto your image, or
- select frames for the online retailer to ship to you to try on at home.
As with other online purchases, you should be aware of online optical retailers’ warranty and return policies. Some online optical retailers do not accept vision insurance, so you should be prepared to submit a claim for out-of-network benefits reimbursement. You should also verify the online optical retailer’s process for using a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for payment.
Brick and Mortar
Based on the results from using the infographic or in an effort to make the decision-making process more simplified, you may decide to purchase eyewear from a traditional, brick and mortar optical retailer. This approach may work well for individuals who prefer face-to-face interaction and guidance to assist them throughout the eyewear-purchasing process.
You are able to try on frames at the optical retailer’s brick-and-mortar location. An experienced eyecare professional can help you select the right frames and lenses that will look good and fit correctly on your face, fit your individual lifestyle and meet your prescription lens needs.
These eyecare professionals provide advice and make recommendations on the spot, while an online retailer may not provide access to someone who can answer questions as quickly. Eyecare professionals can alsoprovide additional insight on specific eyewear concerns and product updates.
Once your eyeglasses are ready, you will be able to have adjustments made right in the office to ensure proper fit and comfort along with being able to confirm you are able to see clearly prior to leaving the office. You can also return to the eyecare professional’s office to resolve any issues you may experience with your eyewear. Many common issues can be resolved in the office in a matter of minutes.
With vision insurance, you may enjoy greater cost savings on materials when using an in-network provider. You can also enjoy the convenience of using your FSA for your exam and/or purchase(s).
Although it may be easy to get caught up in the numerous options, it is important to remember that eyewear is a medical device. Using the infographic and the information in this post, you and/or your employees will be able to potentially identify which type of eyewear retailer will work best for you. Whether you choose to purchase eyewear online or at a brick-and-mortar retailer, it is possible to have a less overwhelming, more positive experience and, ultimately, improved vision.
Which type of optical retailer is right for you–online or a traditional, brick-and-mortar location? And what tips do you provide your employees to encourage vision benefits utilization?
Translated from http://blog.alwayscarebenefits.com/purchasing-eyewear-retailer-infographic/