When it comes to purchasing eyeglasses, cost, style and a variety of options are key factors among all generations. According to a survey from TRANSITIONS OPTICAL and the Center for Generational Kinetics, almost half (48 percent) of Millennials enjoy the experience of shopping for eyeglasses—and being transparent about cost, offering a variety of lens options and emphasizing the convenience of eyewear options can make the shopping experience easier and more enjoyable. These survey results were released during a presentation from Jason Dorsey, Millennials and Gen Z speaker and researcher, at the 2018 Transitions Academy. Dorsey returned to the Transitions Academy stage after delivering the hit keynote in 2017 on Millennials in the workplace.

When making a purchase—eyeglasses or any other product—people often consult family, friends or online forums for their opinion. When it comes to purchasing eyeglasses, consumers are most likely to be influenced by others on the topic of style, with 70 percent of people saying this. Style was the highest feature among all generations, followed by cost at 51 percent.

When it comes to recommendations, the survey found that eyeglass wearers are the most influenced by eyecare professionals when making purchasing decisions—with 61 percent of all generations feeling this way. This provides an opportunity to bring style—as well as cost—into the conversation when assisting consumers with their purchase.

According to the survey, 51 percent of consumers say that clear and up-front costs would help make their shopping experience better. Gen X was the most likely to feel this way at 56 percent, followed by Boomers at 52 percent and Millennials at 45 percent. As a result, helping consumers understand the value of eyeglasses and being transparent about the factors that contribute to the overall cost of a pair of eyeglasses can help make the shopping experience better. When asked how the eyewear purchasing process could be better, almost half (48 percent) of consumers said that having a good selection of frames would improve their experience, with little differences across generations. While offering a large frame selection is important, lenses should not be overlooked. In fact, almost 4 in 10 eyeglass wearers say others influence their purchasing decision by offering opinions on lens features.

Photochromic lenses are a popular lens feature among eyeglass wearers, with almost all (98 percent) having heard of them before and 4 in 10 (38 percent) willing to try them. Gen X is the most likely to be willing to try photochromic lenses at 42 percent. Overall, about half (49 percent) of all eyeglass wearers are willing to try Transitions brand photochromic lenses, with Millennials the most likely at 56 percent, followed by Gen X at 47 percent and Boomers at 46 percent. As a result, eyeglass wearers are interested in trying photochromic lenses—but they are even more interested in trying Transitions lenses.

“It’s no surprise that eyeglass wearers want affordable and stylish frames—however, bringing lenses into the conversation about style and price has become even more important when speaking to patients about purchasing eyewear,” says Patience Cook, director, North America marketing. “The research-based claim that patients are not only interested in photochromic lens options, but Transitions brand lenses, provides an opportunity for ECPs to bring lenses into the conversation about not just eye health and convenience, but style as well.”

–Andrew Karp