Through My Lens

Missed Opportunities

Missed Opportunities

Recently, I saw an analysis of ophthalmic lens sales statistics that should interest L&T readers. The statistics, produced by Jobson Optical Research from a consumer survey called VisionWatch, show how independent eyecare professionals are missing valuable opportunities to dispense lenses, particularly premium products.

One of the most interesting findings is that the optical retail chains generally dispense a higher percentage of lenses to patients who have refractions than independent eyecare professionals. That fact alone may not be surprising.

But if you probe the data, a more complex picture emerges. Consider the following scenario. There are 7.4 million U.S. consumers in the 18 to 44 age category who have had refractions but have not purchased lenses and 9.9 million in the 45-plus age category.

Consumers were asked if they purchased lenses when they had their eyes refracted; 65 percent said they did. Let’s do the math. Sixty-five percent of 7.4 million is 4,810,000 in the 18 to 44 age group. Then multiply that number by $75, the average retail price for a pair of single-vision lenses, the major design sold in this age category. According to this calculation, $360,500,000 in potential lens revenues walks out the door in the independent sector.

Now let’s look at the 45 and over age group. Sixty-five percent of 9.9 million is 6,435,000. If you multiply that by $215, the average retail price for a pair of progressive lenses, it appears that more than 1.3 billion dollars walks out the door. In total, more than 1.7 billion dollars are lost in the independent sector. That’s big bucks, any way you look at it.

As if that’s not enough, independent ECPs are also missing out on opportunities to dispense AR lenses. A similar analysis of the data shows that independent ECPs are losing $472,290,000 in potential revenues from patients 18 and older who have refractions but do not purchase AR lenses. Add these statistics up and you get more than 2.2 billion dollars of lost sales for the independent retail segment.

If you’re an independent, ask yourself how you can capture some of that lost revenue. Are you doing everything you can to make your patients aware of the lens options available to them?

Independent ECPs will need to work hard to reverse this trend, but being aware of it is the first step toward making a change.

—Andrew Karp
Group Editor, Lenses and Technology