Redefining How America Shops - Taking a Look at Online Eyewear Sales

Posted by Eric Jaqua on Sep 20, 2016 3:08:05 PM

Online ordering with IcareLabsOnline Shopping on the Wild Wild Web

In the past few newsletters, we’ve included articles on how to better understand and appeal to Millennials. The hope is to provide some ideas that will help you capture some of this unique, new generation of consumers. One aspect that is important to understand is the online shopping habits of Millennials.

There’s a great article in the newest Eyecare Business Magazine that gives the latest statistics about online eyewear sales, and how Millennials have helped propel online Rx eyewear. In addition, the article gives some great advice on how to make your brick and mortar business better compete with the online eywear providers.

This post is simply an overview of the article, but I recommend you head over to Eyecare Business Magazine’s website and read the entire article for yourself.

First, the statistics. It should come as no surprise – online retail continues to grow! Shocker! According to Forrester, e-commerce generated a whopping $335 billion last year, of which the frame category racked up $211.7 million (up from $161.3 million in 2013). Prescription lenses accounted for $320.5 million in online sales and Rx eyeglasses comprised almost 4% of all Rx eyewear sales (up from 3.2% in 2013).

It’s true that web-savvy Millennials have helped create the online sales swell. However, 18- to 34-year olds made up only 48.9% of the Rx frames sold online. The appeal of online convenience and discount pricing cuts across all demographic groups.

Set Your Business Apart

So, how can you compete with the growing popularity of online eyewear sales? In the article, ECPs shared their ideas with readers. I’ve summarized them below (read the article on Eyecare Business for more details on each):

  1. Take Your Time. Spend more time with patients and offer them one-on-one service consumers cannot get online.
  2. Offer Personalized Service. Provide a personal-stylist feel to the eyewear fitting experience.
  3. Curate Your Mix. Partner with designer lines that don’t sell online.
  4. Sell Online Yourself. Some ECPs are already working on ways to provide online sales to their patients.
  5. Hold Fashion Events. Set yourself apart by putting on runway shows that feature the latest styles.

It should be obvious that the major players are going to continue to exploit this market and grow their online business. It makes sense to make some noise in your local market to help maintain traffic in your eyecare business. And, it might be time to explore ways to hop on the wave and expand into online sales.

Find the entire Eyecare Business article here.

Topics: Optical Sales Coach

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