• Eyewear becomes ever more digitalization

The process of industrial transformation is nowadays moving towards digitalization. The pandemic has speeded up this trend, literally spring boarding us into the future in a way no-one could have expected.

The race towards digitalization in the eyewear industry has included a series of structural changes in companies (as in other industries) but has also brought innovation in terms of products.

Changes in optical companies and stores

The new models, the fruit of digitalization, share a leitmotiv in the creation of unusual dialogue tools between manufacturer and opticians, designed to aid the latter right up to post-sales assistance. These include the restyling of company websites, designed with a view to simplification, the introduction of business-to-business platforms and the strengthening of chat support services for customers.

Within this process, the importance of CRM software (Customer Relationship Management) has risen, in order to create ongoing relationships with the end user thanks to engaging customer experiences that activate drive-to-store results.

In the last year and a half, we have also seen the development of tools for the laboratory, which remove the need for up-close contact with customers, as well as software to create custom-made virtual glasses.

As regards the digital services adopted in-store, it goes without saying that the internet and social media have been transformed in these months into vital tools for opticians’ stores.

Many communication campaigns today concentrate on online shopping (without neglecting other formats), and these are linked to local/social media marketing projects, supplying ad hoc content. Again in synergy with the campaigns, some businesses have developed digital communications material within interactive Corners, where they continue to tell their story inside the shop.

New vision needs

New lifestyles – with the use of smart working and remote teaching, alongside a general increase in the use of devices – now represent an important platform for eye care professionals because awareness has been raised about protecting the eyes and new optical needs.

For example, the issue of protecting our eyes from harmful blue light rays is now fundamental. Proof of this arrives with data from Google Trend: if we look at online searches for the topic ‘blue light’ over the last five years, we can see a marked growth in the last year, reaching a peak between 29 November and 5 December 2020.

In this last year, ophthalmic companies have in fact focused on this issue, proposing specific solutions to optimize visual performance when working and to reduce eye stress and fatigue caused by over-exposure to harmful blue light.

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