Optical Retailers Eye New Consumer Behaviors & Post-Pandemic Shifts with Confidence
By Multidev Technologies · PUBLISHED December 7, 2020
According to the latest market research reports, the eyewear market size is expected to reach USD 178.95 Billion by 2026; owing to increasing cases of deteriorating eye health and trend-setting launch of eyewear products by the manufacturers across the globe. Furthermore, Fortune Business Insights, in its latest report, titled “Eyewear Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis ‘’ observes that the market [which] was worth USD 115.90 Billion in 2018 and is likely to exhibit a promising CAGR of 5.7% between 2019 and 2026.
In fact, the Eyewear market landscape has seen significant changes and shifts in consumer behavior since the coronavirus breakout, but the industry now appears more optimistic about the growth prospects. With people exercising outdoors and spending more time in front of their smartphones, tablets, gaming monitors than ever before, consumers are investing in new protective eyewear to help them cope with computer glare side-effects, acquire new smart devices or synchronize their wireless-ready wearables with their smart apps or accounts, etc. Eyewear’s main players said even though sales plummeted at the onset of the initial lock-downs, business has bounced back to reach new heights.
“The spending cycle for prescription glasses is slightly different, toward the end of the year we have a rush of people who haven’t used their [insurance] benefits. We are hearing from the market that this will happen a little earlier than in years past, so the outlook for us is positive,” said Nicola Zotta, president of Marchon Eyewear. The executive added that some retail partners say they are booked for the next month or so, indicating a certain level of pent-up demand following lockdowns.
The United States’ retail optical segment supplies consumers with prescription eyewear through an extensive network of retail outlets which exceeds 14000. IBISWorld’s analysts which constantly monitor the industry trends and statistics are bullish about current growth perspectives. Prescription eyewear is on the rise in North America, with single-store businesses accounting for 90 percent of aggregate sales.
Changing Consumer Trends & Social Behaviors
Advances in wireless Internet and mobile communications devices have driven significant development in the Internet of Things (IoT) , bringing an unprecedented flow of innovative breakthroughs and services to many areas of our daily lives including eyewear technologies. As result, consumers across the globe started to value functionalities which help them monitor motion tracking, improve eye state condition, obtain higher resolutions, or stay interconnected, etc. Wearable technologies are geared towards satisfying the pent-up demand for interactive solutions including eyewear, streaming, etc.
Thus, embedding nano sensors directly into contact lenses to monitor user physiological data or enhancing the user experience at large are shaping the eyewear market industry. According to market research firm Technavio, wearables are expected to see a compound annual growth rate of around 15 percent between 2019 and 2023.
A key factor driving that level of growth, according to Technavio, will be the increasing digitization of the global economy. In layman’s terms, the proliferation of things like artificial intelligence, VR, and contactless payments into wearable devices will help to drive their growth.
Thus, the expanding ecosystem of Internet of Things devices—buoyed by the launch of 5G—will help push wearables into more homes and onto more consumer’s wrists. Technavio also predicted further development in the mobile app ecosystem, which could play a role in the segment’s growth as well.
Digital Protection Glasses for the Digital Age
Digital protection lenses are meant to help reduce exposure to Blue Light transmitted by digital devices. Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum and is emitted by the sun and artificial light sources such as LEDs, computers, and smart phones.
While some types of blue light can be beneficial and help regulate our bodies’ inner biological clocks; blue-violet light, or Blue Light, can also have a downside on the retina. The extensive use digital devices and exposure to high energy lights seem to increase macular degeneration, and therefore weaken the retina which is responsible for our clear vision. According to a recent report by the Vision Council, 61% of adults experience digital eye strain due to the extensive use of electronic devices. Fluorescent lighting and UV rays contain blue light, which adds to eye strain including headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision, etc.
Anti Glare Technology & Innovative Glasses
Sport enthusiasts and outdoor lovers who enjoy taking their fitness outside can attest to how uncomfortable it is to have the sun’s glare beaming into your eyes, making running sunglasses a must have item.
Unlike traditional sunglasses that could be prone to breaking or made from fragile material, the new generation of eyewear products are made to be more resistant and shatter-free. The glasses are made from sweat-resistant frames, rubberized nose pads for better grip, come with high-quality lenses and adjustable sport straps to stay secured on the wearer’s head through all sorts of activities including extreme sports.
Action Camcorder Glasses for The Streaming Fans
Eye Fatigue Detectors: Smart Eyewear Sensors & Wearables
The latest fatigue glasses are designed not just to track how tired you are, but your driving posture as well. Thanks to their hidden sensors, the smart glasses can detect any signs of drowsiness, somnolence or lack of concentration on the road. Instant alerts or notifications are sent immediately to warn car or truck drivers who wish to stay alert during their long travels. The smart spectacles come also in many attractive and functional designs to meet all fashion tastes and designs.
If we take into account the shifting consumer trends, the impact of digitization and technology disruptors, the eyewear market is bound to blur the distance between traditional glasses and the newly enhanced generation of smart spectacles, let alone bridging the gap between interactive devices and data driven wearables.
In an effort to stay competitive in the era of direct-to-consumer optical services, traditional retail concepts are being remodeled to reflect the changing consumer landscape, store designs and business models. As result, retailers have to keep an eye on the rising consumer trends by putting further emphasis on the customer journey and reintroducing genuine excitement into the process of shopping for eyewear. If traditional retailers expect to compete with e-commerce, they must reinvent the in-store experience.
Here are few takeaways from the latest emerging consumer trends and technologies:
1.Focus on the Customer Journey experience
Many start-ups and retailers are starting to rely on AR Glasses, virtual reality technologies and AI driven solutions like Syte (Israel) and Schnap to reinvent the browsing, shopping and fitting experiences .Just like Shazam, these AI driven solutions for visual search discovery are reshaping the entire consumer experience in the post-COVID era by making visual search an essential component of the customer journey in the digital space. Using augmented reality apps for instance let’s prospects sample any pair of glasses from interactive catalogs by simply pointing the iPhone to the face. All you have to do is pick a model you like from the digital catalog which will appear as if you are actually trying it. Ask for your friend’s opinion by sharing it on Instagram or buy it directly from the eyewear unless it’s a prescription model which requires a professional opinion and a physical diagnosis.
2.Stay in Synch with the Tech Fashion Industry
Knowing the emerging trends and ensuring that the stores have the right mix of styles, colors and sizes of eye glasses is essential to beat your competitors, and connect with your audience; in other words the right inventory management tools or OTB solutions like ChainDrive Optical Store software to meet customer needs and expectations. Social media have become the new market places where shoppers, influencers, designers, celebrities and ecommerce players fight to attract more followers, visitors and influence consumer behaviors along the way.
3.Focus on Online growth & Metrics
Online retailers are likely to encroach upon industry revenue in 2020 as brick-and-mortar retailers experience much lower store traffic due to the recurrent lowdowns and distancing measures imposed on shopping malls and high traffic zones. Hence the importance of search engine optimization conversion metrics, predictive tools which help retailers track their website visitors, remote shopping behaviors etc.
4.Manage Staffing Challenges for Online and Off-line services
Retail eyewear providers face a two-headed staffing dilemma, technically proficient staff to craft and fit prescription eyewear who are licensed or authorized to practice in this regulated field. While employees with technical background are essential, some of them might lack the commercial which may lead to a less-than-satisfactory consumer experience.
In addition to HR staffing challenges, many companies are starting to rely on automated Chatbots to harness customer-service, appointment bookings. The good news is that chatbot applications are very easy to implement and to monitor; other added values such as letting community managers and customer service agents interact with your website visitors in real time.
5.Keep Track of Changing Business Models & Practices
Market research firm IRIS world projected in May 2011 that a big chunk of the aging population in North America is expecting to work longer before retirement. This demographic factor alone will eventually boost prescription eyewear market. Competing eyewear retailers will complete for market share by offering on-site optometric exams. Retailers hope this added service will discourage consumers from switching their business to discount or online eyewear retailers.
In order to stay ahead of the curve and make informed decisions, eyewear retailers must upgrade their existing POS systems by acquiring smart and data-driven ERPs like ChainDrive Optical Store software for Eyewear retailers. Why?
Because Multidev Technologies is at the forefront of custom-tailored solutions has an extensive expertise in smart fashion apparel, jewelry, sporting goods and many verticals which have a huge influence on the eyewear market and diversification.
6.From Customer Relationship Management to Preemptive CJMP
Managing customer relationships is so much easier, when you have a fully-integrated CRM with the rest of the ERP components. You can update each customer’s information on the spot from anywhere. If you are using kiosks, your customers can update their own information on ChainDrive CRM with ease like never before.
Being able to anticipate and understand your customer/client buying preferences, spending patterns nowadays is mission critical in the fast-changing consumer experience economy; let alone being able to implement smart, seamless and predictive tools like Multidev Technolgies does for many optical store chains and leading brands across Canada, USA and Caribbean countries.
7.Harness Agile Management Processes & Mindset
Being a fully-integrated and capable of tracking cross-channel operations, orders, inventories and business data from anywhere and everywhere is mission-critical nowadays. Modern retailing entails and requires sophisticated ERPs which could fuel overall efficiency, boost your collective intelligence, collaborative processes and organizational agility.
ChainDrive Optical Store software is the type of end-to-end system which powers and empowers optical retail store owners who are looking for a unified environment to manage all their KPIs, reports, operations under one unified platform.
Unlike many pre-packaged tools sold by third party vendors or resellers, ChainDrive Optical Store Software for eyewear retailers and wholesalers has been specifically designed to help retailers streamline their inter-operational processes in the most user-friendly fashion and capture the rise of new retailing trends like BOPIS, direct-to-consumer, or remote shopping during or after the post-COVID 19 lockdowns.
In addition to being a leading mobile point of sale software in the mid-market segment, ChainDrive Optical Store software was designed to help retailers deliver a seamless, personalized and engaging experience across the spectrum. Sales associates can obtain detailed product and customer information in real time across value-chain on-time, on-budget and on-target.
Moreover, ChainDrive Optical Store software is available in various modules and bundles to fit your Optical Store needs and budgets. As a customized system, every point of sale software is scalable enough to help you cope with the most daunting challenges most make informed decisions across the value-chain.
Last but not least, when it comes to retailing in the disruptive age, you need more than a plug and play Optical Store software that you can download in few seconds, you need a strategic partner who can help you accelerate your digital transformation, translate your business model or culture in simple codes, processes and tools.
If you are looking to step-up your retail operations and digital transformation at the same time, you no longer need to hop from one retail show to another to find the right fit, you can book a remote demo at the comfort of your own showroom. So, stop looking for prepackaged products to boost your retail operations and start looking for a reliable omni-channel partner like Multidev Technologies who could help you fend-off any disruptive trends and harness your overall efficiency. To schedule a free consulting session or demo with a retail management expert, please log on https://chaindrive.com/free-live-demo/to book a live simulation.