L&T: Special Report

Sep
2012

Annual Lab Usage Survey

The results of L&T’s 2012 Wholesale Lab Usage MarketPulse Survey underscore the symbiotic relationship between labs and their customers. Not only do labs play an indispensable role as suppliers of spectacle lenses, contact lenses, frames and other products, but they often go far beyond the basics to become true business partners for independent eyecare professionals. It’s no exaggeration to say that labs can be a lifeline for an eyecare practice or optical retail store.

Although ECPs rely on their primary lab for supplying them with products on a timely basis, the lab’s greatest asset may be its knowledge. In every facet of the lab, from sales to customer service to production, shipping and administration, the collective knowledge of the lab’s staff often makes a crucial difference in the success of an Rx order. The results of our survey indicate lens product information was the service cited by most respondents as being provided by their lab; 91 percent in fact. Eighty-eight percent cited technical support.

I’m sure you’ll find many interesting facts about the lab-ECP relationship as you review the highlights of the survey, in which we polled 174 independent ECPs to find out how they are utilizing the products and services offered by their labs.
—Andrew Karp

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Wholesale Lab Usuage Survey 2012

Wholesale Lab Usuage Survey 2012

Wholesale Lab Usuage Survey 2012

Wholesale Lab Usuage Survey 2012

Wholesale Lab Usuage Survey 2012

Wholesale Lab Usuage Survey 2012

Wholesale Lab Usuage Survey 2012



Topline Analysis

  • About three-quarters of the independent eyecare locations surveyed use more than one wholesale lab.
  • Forty-five percent expect to do more business with wholesale labs in the coming year.
  • The factors that were rated “very important” in selecting a wholesale lab are based on the quality of services more so than the characteristics of the labs themselves (e.g., ownership). The factors in selecting a lab considered very important by most are lens finishing quality (89 percent) and lens surfacing quality (89 percent) followed closely by product turnaround time (86 percent) and lens coating quality (85 percent).
  • The products and services provided most often by the respondent’s primary lab were spectacle lenses (93 percent), lens product information (91 percent), technical support (88 percent) and online ordering (86 percent).
  • Most labs that sell spectacle lenses offer online ordering; however, 67 percent of respondents have never sent in frame tracing data with an online order.
  • Only 33 percent of respondents have ever sent in frame tracing data with an online order.


Methodology

20/20’s Wholesale Lab Usage Survey 2012 was conducted during June/July 2012 by Jobson Optical Research’s in-house research staff. The sample of 174 respondents was derived from the proprietary Jobson Optical Research Database.

The 2012 survey was conducted online, and only eyecare professionals at independent locations (one, two or three affiliated practices) who use a wholesale lab for processing lenses or providing other eyewear products and services were qualified to complete the survey. Respondents to the survey were entered in a sweepstakes to win a $200 Amazon.com gift card.

Three years of data is shown for trending purposes. The 2010 survey was conducted online in August 2010. 272 respondents at optical retail locations completed the survey and were offered a chance to win a $300 American Express gift card as an incentive. The 2011 survey was conducted online in June 2011. 148 respondents at optical retail locations completed the survey and were offered a chance to win a $200 American Express gift card as an incentive.

For more information or to purchase the complete wholesale labs MarketPulse report visit jobsonresearch.com.

—Jennifer Zupnick
Senior Research Analyst
Jobson Optical Research

 

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