L&T: Special Report

May
2013

Lenses by the Numbers

Metrics can make a clear difference when it comes to the lens factor in optical

20/20’s annual Premium Lens MarketPulse Survey is a quantitative study that provides valuable feedback from independent eyecare practitioners about sales of the spectacle lens designs, materials and treatments they prescribe and dispense. The data, culled from 202 ECPs from across the country at independent optical locations, reveals which types of products are generating the most sales, and how well they are selling in comparison to past years. This unique statistical snapshot illuminates key trends and provides a benchmark for gauging lens sales in your own dispensary.    —Andrew Karp


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2013 Premium Lens MarketPulse Survey

2013 Premium Lens MarketPulse Survey

2013 Premium Lens MarketPulse Survey

2013 Premium Lens MarketPulse Survey

2013 Premium Lens MarketPulse Survey

2013 Premium Lens MarketPulse Survey

2013 Premium Lens MarketPulse Survey



TOTAL SALES
Compared to three years ago, 51 percent of retailers said that spectacle lenses and treatments made up a larger percentage of their location’s total gross dollar sales in 2012. This percent has increased from last year when 46 percent of retailers reported an increase.
In 2012, 51 percent said pricing on spectacle lenses and treatments has increased compared to three years ago as well, and 39 percent said that Rx sun lenses as a percentage of total dollar sales increased over the same period. Fifty percent said pricing on premium sun lenses has increased.

LENS SALES
When asked to rank lens design by popularity, standard or aspheric single vision was ranked most popular by 47 percent of retailers. Customized or personalized progressives were ranked most popular by 24 percent, and standard progressives were ranked most popular by 22 percent. 

Half of retailers (50 percent) said less than 3 percent of single vision Rxs sold are digitally enhanced.

Two-thirds (66 percent) of retailers said that customized or personalized progressive lenses made up a greater proportion of their total lens sales in 2012 than they had versus three years ago. Comparatively, 33 percent said standard progressive sales had increased over the last three years, while 52 percent and 50 percent said that sales of computer/variable focus and bifocals and trifocals had decreased as a percentage of total lens sales over the last three years, respectively.

Seventy-two percent prefer lab brands (i.e., name brand products) over lab private labels. This is an increase from 64 percent last year.
Seventy-three percent of retailers said quality is extremely important to them regarding their decision as to which lenses to carry. Forty-nine percent said brand name and doctor/office/optician recommendations are very important.

Fifty-nine percent of retailers said quality is extremely important to their patients regarding their decision as to which lenses to purchase, and that price was extremely important to 50 percent.

PROGRESSIVES
Seventy percent of retailers agree with the statement, “I promote the use of customized progressive lenses to all my presbyopic patients, including those who currently wear bifocals or trifocals.”

When asked about familiarity regarding new progressive lens technologies, 88 percent of respondents were aware of the term “customized.” Eighty-three percent were aware of the terms “personalized” and “free-form,” and only 55 percent were aware of the term “contrast enhancing.”

Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they are very or extremely satisfied with the personalized progressive lenses they dispense.

COMPUTER/OFFICE LENSES

Most retailers surveyed (66 percent) say that computer/office lenses make up an insignificant percentage (10 percent or less) of their total lens pair sales.

LENS MATERIALS

When asked to rank lens material by popularity, polycarbonate was ranked most popular by 52 percent of the retailers. This is an increase from 43 percent last year. Standard plastic was ranked most popular by 29 percent. Glass was ranked least popular by the most retailers (72 percent).

Forty-five percent of retailers said their 2012 super high-index lens sales increased as a proportion of total lens pair sales compared to 2011. Forty-four percent said the same about their polycarbonate lenses.

Sixty-one percent said their mid-index lens sales had stayed flat. Glass was the worst performer, with 49 percent saying that glass made up a smaller proportion of their total lens sales in 2012 than in 2011. 

HIGH-INDEX LENSES
When asked to rank high-index lenses based on popularity, 63 percent ranked 1.67 as most popular, and 26 percent ranked 1.6 as most popular. Comparatively, 1.74 was ranked least popular by 42 percent of retailers.

LENS TREATMENTS
An impressive 78 percent of retailers surveyed said they had experienced an increase in AR lens sales as a proportion of total lens sales in 2012 versus 2011. Sixty-six percent saw an increase in polarized lenses, and 58 percent saw an increase in photochromic sales over the same period.

For 42 percent of retailers surveyed, tinted lens sales stayed about the same versus the year before.

Seventy-three percent of retailers said they offer two different price points for AR lenses—one being standard, the other being premium.

IMPACT OF REFRACTIVE SURGERY
Thirty-eight percent of retailers agree that because of the increase in patients having refractive surgery, their sales of reading glasses have increased while 24 percent say specifically high-powered lens sales have decreased. Fifty-five percent, however, say sales have not been affected at all.


READING GLASSES

For some retailers (38 percent), reading glass unit sales stayed about the same in 2012 compared to three years ago. Forty percent of respondents experienced an increase in reader sales over this time period. Among those who sell readers, 35 percent said their OTC/ready-made reader sales had increased in 2012, and custom-made reader sales increased at 43 percent of retailers selling readers.

Methodology

This sample was derived from the proprietary Jobson Optical Research database. This survey was conducted by Jobson Optical Research’s in-house research staff. Data collection was conducted in February 2013. Only the responses of independent optical retailers who dispense premium lenses are included in the report. The 2012 sample consists of 202 independent optical retailers. All participants were recruited by e-mail, and the questionnaire was completed online. Three years of data is provided for comparisons where possible.

—Jennifer Zupnick, Senior Research Analyst, Jobson Optical Research

LENS PACKAGES
Forty-four percent of retailers said they use package pricing. The average price of a lens-only package was $286.60 in 2012, up from $262.46 in 2011.

OUTDOOR EYEWEAR
Fifty percent said they have increased discussions with their patients on the importance of UV and HEV-absorbing eyewear for outdoor use, and 40 percent have actually written more Rxs for them in the last three years.

Fifty-three percent said they have increased discussions with their patients on the importance of children's outdoor eyewear/sunwear, and 31 percent have actually written more Rxs for them in the last three years. ■

 

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