Retailers have improved their websites to include features such as virtual fitting rooms and other customisation options.
Melbourne, Australia (PRWEB) November 13, 2013
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 has led consumers to migrate online en masse in their quest for a bargain. According to IBISWorld industry analyst Arna Richardson, "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, which are faced with high labour and utility costs." Australia's ageing population, while 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 2013-14, industry revenue is estimated to increase by an annualised 7.7% to total $71.0 million. In 2013-14, revenue is expected to increase by 7.3%.
The future of the 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 and electronic commerce will become 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. "Retailers are also likely to include more specialised services such as lens fitting and optometry, but will be faced with stiff competition from bricks-and-mortar stores that have comparable advantages in those segments," says Richardson.
Despite the relatively small number of players, market share concentration for the Online Eyeglasses and Contact Lens Sales industry is low, with no one player commanding a significant market share. Improving consumer confidence over the next five years will 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 this is dependent on political changes and budgetary concerns.