Today we want to take a look at the current situation of optical stores, eyewear market and optometric revisions in the time of social distance and hydro-alcoholic gel.
The global eyewear market size was valued at $138.7 billion in 2019 and was expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.1% from 2020 to 2027. According to the report published at the end of last year by Grand View Research, sales budgets for this year were $147.59 billion with a forecast revenue for 2027 of $255.28 billion.
These projections were based, among other reasons, on the aging of the world’s population and the increase in age-related vision problems as well as eye stress due to prolonged exposure to digital devices and displays.
However, all these figures and all these forecasts are no longer valid yet.
The global Covid-19 pandemic has forced all budgets to change.
And it has also forced to accelerate processes of digital innovation and technological disruption that allow to increase sales and reduce costs.
Having overcome this stage of isolation and wishing that it would not happen again, we now have the question: how to renew your lenses or change your prescription glasses without breaching current safety standards?
How do the opticians minimize the risk of infection in indoor spaces as small as prescription eye areas?
According to Eva Ivars, CEO of Allain Afflelou: “It is not only necessary to have external safety measures, but also to bet on technology and digitalization to improve the customer experience, always guaranteeing the health of consumers and employees”.
Based on this commitment to technological development, all the opticians of the French brand Afflelou have installed virtual 3D glasses fitting rooms as well as moving towards greater digitalization of in-store processes to facilitate a more satisfying shopping experience. This optician company has also chosen to start implementing a new team management based on the redistribution of employees’ schedules according to the number of customers.
Another clear example of technological innovation is provided by eyewear’s world-leading brand, EssilorLuxottica, which, as it claims in its half-yearly report:”...now focused on pursuing the restart of its operations everywhere in the world through enhanced customer interactions, innovation, digitalisation and integration.“
Also, the company that owns Ray-Ban glasses, clearly explains that “the COVID-19 environment boosted digitalisation across the business and led to its continued transformation, from remote working to product development, global operations, omnichannel and the overall consumer journey”.
In such a situation, and considering that glasses and contact lenses are specific products of first necessity, the optimization of the client in the physical store becomes a key factor.
Even more, if the optical market is one of the sectors where online sales do not cut distances with physical sales.
The target audience still needs to try on the glasses.
They still need to look in the mirror to see how good these sunglasses fit.
And because of that demand, the many players competing in this industry need to predict, analyze and plan as accurately and effectively as possible.
Imagine you own an eyewear company.
Imagine that you have one of your retail establishments in a suburban shopping center in a large city where just two places away one of your rivals has recently opened a flagship.
Imagine that you have an employee attending a customer’s graduation while the store is full of young people anxious to touch and wear the latest model of glasses. You have to disinfect and clean each and every product your customers have touched. You have to do this while giving advice, attending to and collecting payment for potential sales before these demanding customers turn their attention to your competitor’s store.
And now imagine that you do all this with the automatic schedule and task planning provided by ORQUEST‘s staff management software. You can relax knowing that you have the right employees at the right time thanks to the forecasting capability of artificial intelligence and mathematical optimization solution algorithm by ORQUEST.
C007/20-ED. 2020 call for proposals on technological development based on artificial intelligence and other digital enabling technologies within the framework of the strategic action of digital economy and society of the state R&D&I program