Around 6 in 10 Americans wear eyeglasses or contact lenses. At $35 billion, the market for vision care is huge and spans frames, lenses, contact lenses, eye exams, certain eye surgery, and more. Frames and lenses account for roughly half of the market, and fast growth is occurring particularly in online sales, with consumers enjoying the ability to purchase their eyewear products from the comfort of their own home.
B2B International recently conducted two research projects for JINS, a leading Japanese eyeglass manufacturer. Key objectives of the research included a needs assessment of eyeglass wearers and their shopping behaviour online and in the store.
Across the two surveys, over 1,200 consumers were interviewed online, with a particular focus on eyeglass wearers in the New York and San Francisco metro areas.
The research revealed that a typical consumer spends on average 5 hours a day in front of a computer or laptop screen. The biggest eye problems faced with computer use are tired and irritated eyes, vision becoming blurry and eyes getting dry. Tested in the research was JINS’ solution to these eye issues—its “JINS SCREEN” glasses range which protects eyes from the blue light emitted from computers, TVs, smartphones, and other electronic devices and which can cause health complaints. The glasses were considered appealing by all consumers, and especially among the younger generation (those under age 40) who spend longer than average in front of a computer.
The research also examined purchase behaviors and found that half of consumers have used the internet to browse for new pairs of eyeglasses. While only 6% said they purchased their most recent pair of eyeglasses online, online purchases are set to grow as 43% of respondents said they would consider buying a pair of eyeglasses online in the future.
The average spend on recent eyeglass purchases was around $225 with retail stores and boutique optical shops the top purchase locations.
Americans perceive Japanese-manufactured products as being high quality, trendy, well-made, reliable and innovative.
Since conducting the research, JINS has opened up its first retail store in San Francisco, California and plans on opening another 100 stores across the US over the next 5 years. Look out for a JINS store near you soon, or take advantage of free shipping on all orders from JINS’ website, www.jins.com.