While consumer habits have shifted in recent years, the onset of the pandemic habitually created a new wave of online shoppers and eCommerce platforms. For example, eyewear manufacturers see soaring demand for luxury and high-quality products from all corners of the globe.
The global eyewear and vision correction industry has stood through an immense increase in consumer demand as aging populations and younger consumers take more interest in eye health and sustainable fashion trends. Additionally, a Millions Insight report estimates that the luxury eyewear market is set to grow by an average of 3.5% between 2021 and 2028.
Rapid adoption of technologies is making it easier for consumers to access a range of products and eye-related services. Additionally, growing awareness regarding proper eye care among various generations increases, presenting new opportunities for retailers, manufacturers, and now more recently, investors as well.
eCommerce growth will accelerate in 2022
Online shopping is nothing new, and more consumers find it convenient to purchase even more goods and services through the internet. It provides faster, safer, and more seamless access to a range of products and goods that were once available only in a store.
According to Grand View Research, eCommerce accounted for more than 21% of the total eyewear industry revenue in 2020 alone. Since the pandemic caused most people to isolate in place, and extended lockdowns meant that most retail shopping stores and outlets were temporarily closed – consumer needs remained high throughout the first few months of the pandemic.
While it is possible to measure whether these growing numbers were caused by the outbreak of the pandemic or simply because consumers found online shopping more convenient, it shows that even the simplest of fashion accessories and eye care services remained a priority for many people.
With more than four billion people globally wearing glasses and the rapid digitization of the retail experience, the internet offers many new opportunities for the eyewear industry.
What Else Is Driving This Change?
Expert on the topic and an enthusiast who enjoys helping to connect consumers with affordable eyewear products, Aron Ekstein from Designer Optics commented on how consumer habits have changed in recent years.
“We can see how both older and younger shoppers (generations) are shifting their focus from outdated consumer habits towards sustainable and progressive purchasing. Whether it’s buying glasses that are in trend right now or simply looking to have a sustainable, high-quality product, consumer habits are not what they were 10 or 15 years ago.”
But change is good on both sides of the retail spectrum. Consumers want products that are in fashion or currently trending but are also looking to have better reliability on sustainable or eco-friendly options.
A research study published in Forbes found that 60% of surveyed shoppers are open to changing their shopping habits to help reduce their carbon footprint on the environment. More so, roughly 70% thereof are willing to pay a premium of up to 35% on average to have access to greener and more sustainable products and services.
This research points toward how serious some consumers are about their shopping rituals. Whether it’s supporting a small business, a local merchant, or simply buying online to reduce driving, the internet is now making it easier for all to value the importance of sustainable shopping and high-quality eyewear.
What Do Investors Think?
Like with many other industries, from Electric Vehicles (EVs) and cryptocurrency to Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs), if consumer interest soars, market sentiment starts to shift towards a more positive outlook as well.
While it’s not as common that one would overhear an investor mention that they have eyewear stocks or shares in their portfolio or currently looking to perhaps purchase in the near future, stock performance, even yet small, is growing attractive interest for the right buyers.
Stock market analysis platform Swing Trade Bot follows the best performing eyewear brands that are traded on different indexes.
What Brands Are Doing Well In The Space?
From Oxford Industries, Inc., Guess?, Inc. and National Vision Holdings, Inc., these companies have maintained overall significant growth throughout the years, both in retail and on the stock market.
The biggest name in the eyewear market, EssilorLuxottica has seen shares increase by 8% since the start of 2022 after the company acquired Dutch eyewear company GrandVision in 2021. Revenue adjustments for the eyewear giant have also increased to 19% and 20%, more than the reported 17% in 2021.
According to co-founder Dave Gilboa, in the United States, Warby Parker, which has roughly 160 locations in the U.S. and Canada, is now looking to expand to more than 900 stores in the coming years.
The company also made headlines with its IPO in 2021, which saw shares soar 30% above the reference price on the first day of trading. But although share prices have tumbled somewhat in 2022, the company is experiencing a sort of growth spurt and is willing to take on eyewear giant EssilorLuxottica.
How Does the Future Look?
But the remaining question many are pondering is whether eyewear stocks are worth purchasing in the coming year or not?
Ekstein from Designer Optics mentioned that “nothing on the stock market comes without risk, and while investors or traders must do their homework before the time, eyewear stocks are, in my opinion, probably in for a positive growth year.” He continued by saying, “there’s still so much potential for these companies, especially those already on the stock market index – whether it’s new designs, better glasses for prescriptions, or even opening new retail spaces, we still have a lot of growth to encounter.”
Looking at the data provided by Nasdaq, we see how EssilorLuxottica is still well priced below $200, with its highest price at $216 in November 2021, the company is placing a lot of potential on its ability to grow into newer markets in developing economies.
Even if one isn’t committed to the potential growth of these stocks, one should consider how future endeavors can make a changing impact on the shares market for these companies.
Like Ekstein said, “it’s worth the consideration, and if you’re not ready to invest in shares, invest in a proper pair of reading or sunglasses.”
It’s impossible to mention industry prospects and growth without looking at the technologies that have helped this industry morph into a billion-dollar global consumer market. Yes, technology, the internet, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) of all kinds are making it easier for us to adapt and create innovative market segments.
Looking at the spectrum of vision enhancement, it’s not surprising how technology is now completely transforming what traditional ideas and concepts we have left and leaving us with new revolutionary technology that can pivot the industry into the future.
Laser treatment for vision enhancement is still one of the primary methods to help repair poor eyesight. There’s a big interest in femtosecond lasers at the moment, which LASIK procedures have partially offered since 2001. Femtosecond laser procedures make it easier for specialists to trace damaging effects caused by cataracts. This will enable them to diagnose both long-term and short-term effects.
On the software front, WaveScan WaveFront now allows surgeons and practitioners a better look at the eye and how eyesight can be improved using 3D maps. Ophthalmologists commonly use this software as a way to establish an accurate diagnosis and what the patient treatment procedure will entail.
“There’s no denying that a visit to your local optometrist or an eye specialist is not the same as what it was about five years ago. We are now more equipped, informed, and modernized than ever, and that’s all thanks to the aid of technology and how the internet provides us with accessible big data and machine learning,” shared Ekstein.
The Future Looks Bright
Yes, there’s no denying that the future of the eyewear industry, whether it’s luxury eyewear brands or vision enhancement, there’s already a host of profitable opportunities presenting themselves.
Nearly every link in the chain, from manufacturers, and researchers, to consumers, retailers, and now more so, investors can tap into the endless possibilities that are allowing the industry to remain progressive and digital.
In the coming months and years, we’ll be able to witness how newer technologies consistently connect the consumer with the market and the investor with expanding potential.
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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
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