Business Talk: Can My Web Site Serve Patients While Selling Products?
It's quite common for practices to customize their web sites in an attempt to simultaneously achieve two primary goals: 1) to serve existing patients and capture new ones, and 2) to sell optical products such as frames and contact lenses online. The question is, can a practice successfully achieve both goals with a single web site?
If properly built, a web site can certainly achieve the first goal of serving existing as well as new patients by including background information about the staff, the practice's location, and contact details, along with self-service tools such as questionnaires, appointment scheduling, and insurance forms.
Achieve One Goal at a Time
Non-patients who are actively seeking to buy a pair of eyeglasses, sunglasses, or to refill their contact lenses, are not interested in the background information about your practice that is most prominent if your web site is designed to serve patients. They will not see a web site that is geared toward purchasing optical products online. Therefore, it would seem that the two primary goals of an optical practice's web site - 1) serving patients and 2) selling products - are at odds with each other.
Two web Sites are Better than One
If you try to force your web site to make everybody happy, you're likely to end up making nobody happy. The solution for achieving both goals is now fairly obvious, build yourself a second and separate web site that is 100% e-commerce focused. In this manner, you can better achieve your two primary goals: 1) Your first site can serve existing patients and capture new ones, and 2) Your second site is a perfect sales tool to sell optical products such as frames and contact lenses online.
Reprinted with permission of Vision Care Venture, First Vision Media Group.
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