20 EyeCare Retail Trends 2014


I don’t care what they say, the recession is NOT over and with the advent of ObamaCare, it can be quite confusing as to what direction eyecare professionals should go? If


you have been reading our annual Eyecare Trend Report, you will know that the trends we discussed in 2009 are no longer a trend. They are a fact of life. Business as usual. It is NOT TO LATE to make some changes in how you will market to the consumer. We have pulled together the Top Retail and Eyecare trends for 2014 to help you grow in 2014.


I think we know by now that tech rules. In 2014, you will see more apps, more use of wearable technology in the medical field. That includes smart glasses and watches, fitness wristbands, smart eyelashes and wigs. Most of the wearable tech will be utilized in fitness and in health. More so in 2015 than in 2014 will the point and click technology will become mainstream. What does that mean to Eyecare professionals.

1.) You better have your website mobile friendly. Have your locators set up. Those smart phones will influence over 870 Billion dollars worth of shopping. This is the year that mobile will become the norm. Mobile shopping accounted for 17 % of Cyber Monday shopping, a 55% increase over last year

2.) Increase in Show-rooming. With more smart phones and tablets, it is a shop and click world. (See Overcoming Showrooming)

3.) Increase in online Shopping- you think you have it bad now.. wait… see our ongoing series on The Great Online Debate

4.) The electronic companies will be focussing on the 55+ age group.. that is the eyecare professionals premium market. Previously they went for the early adaptors and youth.. but the demographics for the 55+ crowd is very good.

5.) 3D Printing is revolutionizing the manufacture of all products. From Eyeballs to houses, coupled with lowered pricing, the average joe can purchase a printer and make their own eyewear at home. (See 3D Printed Retina Cells)

6.) Technology means Virtual Trunk Shows or Try On Technology is affordable to every company.

7.) Adjustable Vision- Companies such as Adlens, Zoom Lens, Eyejusters and a few more will become more popular as alternative and second- third pair sales.

Crowdsourcing google-glass-augmented-reality-wearable-device

8.) Every Monday on our sister site Optical Vision Resources we run a Kickstarting Monday which features new eyewear, sunwear or accessory products on crowd-sourcing sites such as Indiegogo,Kickstarter and others.   Most of these companies are already established. What this means? Online eyewear has just gotten more competitive.


9.) The consumer will be using technology and search to monitor their health. This is the time to set up your Wellness Marketing Model. As eye care professionals you have many options available as we are the fattest nation in the world….well we all know the health issues of obesity. Eyecare professionals should marketing and offering wellness products such as Nutraceuticals, Eye Healthy recipes, Low Vision, Specialty markets, computer lenses and sunglasses

Tracking Purchases 

10.) In The old days, you tracked customer purchases by what they actually bought. Today, retail will be dominated by 3 things, 1.) what the customer SEARCHED for online and 2.) What THEY PINNED on Pinterest. 3.) Eye Tracking in store. Yes, Big Brother is watching and tracking where your eyes go first.  For Eyecare professionals that means, you better be tracking your sales and inventory mix. Companies like The Edge will become increasingly more important to titrate down your inventory mix.


11.) Included in this is shoppertainment. Shoppers want to be entertained. We have blogged on this for the last two years and it is still a growing trends. With this merchandising is increasing more important to enhance consumers to come in and purchase. Included with this in the interactive customer engagement such as Virtual Try Ons, Trunk Shows and other events to interact with patients. Events, Events and more Events is the primary way to engage your paints and overcome show rooming.

More than 80% of consumers said they’d pay more for a product if they had a great experience with it, according to a study by branding agency Jack Morton.

Giving Back- Social Good

12.) This is the time to set up your Social Good Section in the office. About 50% of the companies on our Kickstarting Monday have a Give Back Model. In addition many other companies that are established, such as MODO, Penn Avenue Eyewear, Adlens, John Lennon Eyewear (one 4 one business model) Wileyx, ClearVision, Hilci (Breast Cancer and others), Modern Optical, VisionEase Lens, Transitions, HOYA  all have a corporate Sustainable program



13.) One of the trends we are seeing is the custom market. The Custom Eyewear (Bespoke) Market will be getting stronger due to technology and sales. Switchable lenses (Switch Vision),  changeable temples, personalized engraving, custom lenses (Free Form lenses), 3D Eyewear and DIY decor on lenses- frames all add up to a strong opportunity for eyecare professions to ‘personalize’ their marketing and their inventory mix. Many online companies including Warby Parker are offering custom options with color and engraving.

Social Media   Social Media is NoT Dead,

14.) It is migrating to sites such Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat, Vine, Google+, Linked IN. Facebook is still king, but you might ask in the chair and in the dispensing room, what Social Media they are active in.. Because that is where you need to be. Not convinced check out some of these stats: (Source)

  •  Average e-commerce order placed by a Pinterest user is $179. Compare that to $80 for Facebook and $69 for Twitter
  • 47% of online shoppers in the U.S. have made a purchase based on a recommendation via Pinterest.
  • Pinterest grabs about 41% of e-commerce traffic, Facebook is at 37%.
  • Pinterest now generates over 400% more revenue per click over Twitter and 27% more than Facebook.


15.) Affordable health care Act is frustrating, scary confusing and.. well we won’t go on.. and on.. about this. but it does open many opportunities for eyecare professionals.

  • Pediatrics- you are either in the kids business or not. Beef up your kids eyewear and sunwear selection and advertise to parents via social media, schools and networking events.
  • Safety Frames, Eyewear and Lenses are a huge opportunity for eyecare professionals to get the 2nd pair sales
  • Sunglasses as a preventive device

Shopping Trends

16.) Free Shipping.. every online company is offering FREE Shipping, which has become the norm.. so now the consumer is expecting it.

17.) Short Delivery Times- Consumers do not want to wait for their merchandise.

18.) Discount- The consumer continues to look for discounts, so much in fact, Nordstroms and Saks are both planning on opening up more outlet centers. In fact research says that 51% of consumers are using coupons. Companies such as  Coupons at Checkout, will automatically scans the Web to give a relevant discount code before a purchase, or Shopular, a mobile app that automatically sends phone coupons when you walk into a store.

19.) No more Cash.. Cash.. PayPal, Google are all the means of paying for your goods. You might consider adding PayPal and Google to your list of purchase options.

20.) We are HUGE BELIEVERS in Shopping Local. This is such a key area of marketing for eyecare providers. More than a third of consumers in the holidays planned to shop at small, local businesses, up from about a quarter in 2012, according to Deluxe Corp. This is a strong growing demand for unique products and personalized service, as well as an awareness that shopping local can boost one’s home economy.

Over the course of the next few months we will be writing about all of the above and how to to overcome and market. Stay tuned.




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