Online Eyeglasses and Contact Lens Sales in Australia Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld

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Seeing strong growth, the Online Eyeglasses and Contact Lens Sales industry in Australia has benefited from operating in a rapidly growing retail space. The internet's ability to provide a plethora of choices at varying price points led consumers to migrate online en masse in their quest for a bargain. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Online Eyeglasses and Contact Lens Sales industry in Australia to its growing industry report collection.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

Website improvements and growing internet access will lead to high industry sales

Far from being glassy eyed, the Online Eyeglasses and Contact Lens Sales industry in Australia has benefited from operating in a rapidly growing retail space. The internet's ability to provide a plethora of choices at varying price points led consumers to migrate online en masse in their quest for a bargain. According to IBISWorld industry analyst Naren Sivasailam, “Online eyeglasses retailers have reaped the rewards of having low operating cost structures and have been able to aggressively discount their products compared with their bricks-and-mortar counterparts that were faced with high labour and utility costs.” Australia's ageing population, whilst boding well for eyeglasses sales in general, account for only a small portion of online sales due to their lack of technological prowess and comfort with transacting electronically. Retailers have attempted to address this issue by improving their websites to include higher levels of interactivity, such as virtual fitting rooms and other customisation options. In the five years through 2012-13, industry revenue is estimated to increase by an annualised 5.6% to total $65 million. In 2012-13, revenue is expected to increase by 7.4%.

The future of the Online Eyeglasses and Contact Lens Sales industry looks promising, with increasing demand, greater internet access and new customer segments. The continued growth in the online retail sector will drive new consumers to explore the online space, as electronic commerce becomes a mainstay of Australian consumerism. “Improved functionality on websites will particularly benefit eyeglass retailers, as greater interactivity reduces any fears of purchasing frames and lenses prior to physically trying them on,” says Sivasailam. Improving consumer confidence over the next five years will also drive sales of high-margin products such as branded sunglasses and contact lenses as the line between functionality and fashion gets increasing blurred. Potential changes in the Medicare legislation could lead to the removal of optometry services from the scheme, although it is dependent on political changes and budgetary concerns.

Market share concentration is low as the industry has only one major player, Coastal Contacts. However, as the Australian industry is still in its infancy, new companies have the opportunity to gain first mover advantage. Incumbent operators' large networks and reputation increases entry barriers for prospective industry participants. Thus, over the next five years, the landscape is expected to change substantially, with one firm to capture a large share of the revenue as companies further refine their strategy.

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