Online Purchases Represent a Dynamic Segment of Eyewear Purchasers

The Vision Council has released Focused inSights: Online vs. In-Person Buyers 2022. The report provides information on the differences and similarities between online and in-person eyewear buyers, including demographic data, managed vision care use, eye exams, prescription eyeglasses/sunglasses, contact lenses, plano sunglasses, and reading glasses.

The report examines the results of two recent surveys, including The Vision Council’s monthly consumer survey and a survey focused on how consumers make decisions about their eyewear and eyecare. The polls were conducted by The Vision Council between April and June 2022 among a combined sample of more than 17,000 U.S. adults.

The report is available in The Vision Council’s Research Download Center as a complimentary download for members of The Vision Council and a paid report for non-members. In addition to complimentary access to the report, members of The Vision Council also have access to a complimentary one-page summary of the report.

“While in-person prescription glasses buyers tend to spend more out-of-pocket per purchase, online buyers have made purchases more recently and intend to do so again sooner. Online buyers are also more likely to buy multiple pairs of glasses.” said Alysse Henkel, Senior Director of Market Research and Analytics at The Vision Council. “Moreover, online buyers tend to have higher household incomes, but are more likely to be focused on affordability when shopping for prescription glasses.”

Some key takeaways from the report are highlighted below:

  • Demographics: Online eyewear buyers are younger, have higher household incomes, and have higher education levels compared to in-person buyers.
  • Purchase drivers: Online prescription glasses buyers (37 percent) are more than twice as likely than in-person buyers (17 percent) to cite affordability as the most important factor when purchasing glasses and online buyers (25 percent) were more likely to cite style as the most important factor compared to in-person buyers (7 percent)
  • Managed vision care use: Among prescription eyeglasses purchasers and contact lens purchasers, in-person buyers were more likely to use managed vision care with their recent purchase.
  • Spending differences: Among prescription eyeglasses/sunglasses purchasers, in-person buyers tend to spend more out-of-pocket, on average, than those who purchase eyeglasses online. However, among those who purchased plano sunglasses or reading glasses in the prior three months, online buyers spent more, on average, than in-person buyers.

More about the inSights Research Program

The Vision Council launched its new inSights Research Program in May 2022. Built on a foundation of rigorous methodology and cutting-edge technology, the inSights Research Program provides a comprehensive perspective on the state of the optical industry through quarterly consumer survey reports; quarterly in-depth special reports on eyewear and eyecare products and topics; and an end-of-year market estimate and industry forecast.

Focused inSights: Online vs. In-Person Buyers 2022 is the fifth of The Vision Council’s Focused inSights reports to be released in 2022, following the Sunglass Snapshot, Consumer Choices report, Digital Habits report, and the Blue Light Snapshot.

For more information on the program, including an overview of the new report categories and release timing, click here.