We all wonder at times what is in the mind of the eyewear consumer and how to understand them. A new report is here that may tweak our intuition. In March, The Vision Council released new research from its Focused inSights 2024 Frame Trends, providing insights into U.S. consumers’ experiences and preferences when purchasing eyewear. The research, a January poll of 2,200 adults, revealed a diversity in eyewear preferences and purchase behaviors both online and in store for prescription and non-prescription wearers. The report included data based on purchase history and frame preferences to identify characteristics that impact consumers’ eyewear preferences and purchasing behaviors.

What may be surprising is that the poll found that sustainability, fashion trends and brand recognition matter more for non-prescription wearers than prescription glasses wearers. For prescription wearers, however, sustainability-minded consumers value optician recommendations, technology, current fashion trends and brand/designer labels higher than those who do not consider sustainability important when buying frames. Also, brand and fashion trends carry greater importance for consumers who find shopping for frames fun, as opposed to consumers who often struggle to find frames that fit well, deprioritize fashion and brands compared to those with no fit issues.

What’s more, the report showed a preference for frame shapes and styles based on several other traits. For example, individuals who regularly use multiple pairs of glasses show a greater inclination toward curvier shapes like oval, CatEye, round and wraparound than those who just use one pair. Those who consider themselves fashion conscious buyers are more likely to prefer rimless, brow line, CatEye, aviator, geometric, round and wraparound frame shapes than those who are not fashion conscious. Consumers who appreciate frame technology, such as new materials and innovative hinge and mounting designs, show a stronger preference for rimless/semi-rimless and aviator frame shapes than those who don’t consider technology an important factor in their frames purchase. Online purchasers of prescription glasses showed preferences, too, for square, brow line and CatEye shapes over those who shop in person.

According to Alysse Henkel, vice president, Research and inSights at The Vision Council, “This report offers a unique analysis of evolving eyewear trends and provides the optical industry with crucial data to enhance their understanding of the U.S. consumer, as well as the key factors influencing their frames buying decisions today.” The results of the research identify opportunities for the optical industry to tailor product offerings and marketing strategies to meet consumer preferences. A summary, along with the full research report, is available in The Vision Council’s Research Download Center as a complimentary download for members of The Vision Council, with a paid option for non-members.

Linda Conlin
Pro to Pro Managing Editor
[email protected]