Focused approach: Operators have improved their services and continued to record growth

Over the five years through 2019-20, revenue in the Online Glasses and Contact Lens Retailing industry is expected to increase at a compound annual rate of 6%, reaching £280.2 million. This includes growth of 5.3% in 2019-20 This rapid expansion has been made possible by a relaxation in the laws governing the sale of glasses and contact lenses in 2005. Opticians writing eye prescriptions cannot require their patients to purchase contact lenses, glasses or other industry products at the end of a consultation. Greater awareness of this has encouraged more consumers to fulfil their prescriptions more cheaply online.However, the industry has faced strong competition from large, well-established bricks-and-mortar retailers, which are not included in the more.

Industry Statistics & Market Size
Annual Growth 15-20
Forecast Growth 20-25
Market Share of Companies

Industry Threats & Opportunities

  • Operators have undertaken technological innovations to improve their service offerings
  • Tesco and Marks & Spencer have both ceased selling industry products, reducing competition
  • Online-only operators are expected to develop partnerships with smaller bricks-and-mortar retailers
  • Industry Report - Industry Products Chapter

    Contact lensesContact lenses are expected to account for the largest share of industry revenue, at an estimated 58.4%. Selling contact lenses is more suited to online retailing than selling glasses, because the former is more standardised. Once a consumer has been given a prescription from an optician, they can purchase the appropriate lenses online, often at a lower price than they would be able to at a bricks-and-mortar outlet. Contact lenses are cheaper than glasses on average, so they generate less revenue per sale, but they offer the opportunity of attracting repeat customers. Alt...purchase to read more.

    Additional Insights for the Online Glasses & Contact Lens Retailing Industry

    IBISWorld identifies 250 Key Success Factors for a business.The most important for the Online Glasses & Contact Lens Retailing Industry are

  • Having links with suppliers
  • Ability to control stock on hand
  • Having a loyal customer base
  • IBISWorld analysts also discuss how external factors such as Demand from opticians and Total online expenditure in the Online Glasses & Contact Lens Retailing industry impact industry performance..

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    What's in this report

    What is the Online Glasses & Contact Lens Retailing Industry?

    Companies in this industry sell optical and eyewear goods over the internet. Merchandise is generally purchased from manufacturers and wholesalers and is sold to the public. The industry excludes the sale of normal sunglasses, but prescription sunglasses are included. The industry only covers firms that retail exclusively online.

    Industry Products
  • Glasses
  • Contact lenses
  • Industry Activities
  • Selling contact lenses
  • Selling glasses
  • Selling prescription sunglasses
  • Selling related accessories
  • Table of Contents

    Industry Definition
    Main Activities
    Similar Industries
    Additional Resources
    Industry Statistics Snapshot
    Industry Structure
    Executive Summary
    Executive Summary
    Key External Drivers
  • Demand from opticians
  • Total online expenditure
  • Demand from supermarkets
  • Total health expenditure
  • Population aged 65 years and over
  • Real household disposable income
  • Health consciousness

  • Current Performance
  • In focus
  • The high street hits back
  • Supermarket price wars
  • Eyes on the prize
  • Spot the changes
  • Margins contract
  • Chart: Revenue Growth

  • Industry Outlook
  • Competitive advantages
  • Demand boost
  • Table: Online Glasses & Contact Lens Retailing Industry Revenue Outlook

  • Industry Life Cycle
  • Life cycle reasons
  • Chart: Benchmarking - Online Glasses & Contact Lens Retailing Industry Lifecycle vs The Economy

  • Supply Chains
    Key Buying Industries
  • Consumers

  • Key Selling Industries
  • Basic Pharmaceutical Product Manufacturing
  • Cardboard Packaging & Paper Bag Manufacturing
  • Medical & Dental Instrument Manufacturing
  • Postal & Courier Activities

  • Products & Services
  • Contact lenses
  • Glasses
  • Other
  • Chart: Online Glasses & Contact Lens Retailing Industry Products and Services Segmentation

  • Demand Determinants
    Major Markets
  • People aged between 18 and 34
  • People aged between 35 and 50
  • People aged over 50
  • People aged under 18
  • Chart: Major Market Segmentation for the Online Glasses & Contact Lens Retailing Industry

  • International Trade
    Business Locations
    Chart: Business Locations by State
    Market Share Concentration
    Key Success Factors
    Cost Structure Benchmarks
  • Chart: Cost Structure Benchmarking – Sector vs Online Glasses & Contact Lens Retailing

  • Basis of Competition
  • Internal competition
  • External competition

  • Barriers to Entry
  • Table: Barrier to Entry Checklist for the Online Glasses & Contact Lens Retailing Industry

  • Industry Globalization
    Essilor International SA,
  • Table: Essilor International SA - financial performance

  • Capital Intensity
  • Chart: Level of Capital Intensity for the Online Glasses & Contact Lens Retailing Industry
  • Chart: Tools of the Trade: Growth Strategies for Success

  • Technology & Systems
    Revenue Volatility
  • Chart: Volatility vs Industry Growth

  • Regulation & Policy
    Industry Assistance
    Table: Industry Data for the Online Glasses & Contact Lens Retailing Industry
  • Industry Revenue (2011-2025)
  • Industry Gross Product (2011-2025)
  • Establishments (2011-2025)
  • Businesses (2011-2025)
  • Employment (2011-2025)
  • Wages (2011-2025)

  • Table: Annual Percentage Change for Key Industry Data
    Table: Key Ratios for Industry Key Data
  • A defect of vision caused by an imperfection in the eye. Also known as long-sightedness.
  • Myopia
  • A defect of the eye that causes an object to be out of focus when it is observed from a distance. This is commonly known as short-sightedness.
  • Pupillary Distance
  • The distance between the centres of the pupils in each eye. Pupillary distance is especially important when fitting for varifocal glasses.
  • What Our Customers Say

    Why buy this report?

    IBISWorld’s Online Glasses & Contact Lens Retailing market research report is a comprehensive guide to market size and growth prospects. Our industry reports offer strategic industry analysis of the factors influencing companies, including new product developments, economic, lifestyle and demographic influences, distribution and supply chain factors and pricing issues. Full analysis accompanies our data forecasts to illustrate how the market responds to emerging industry trends.

    IBISWorld industry market research reports enable you to:
    • Find out about key industry trends
    • Identify threats and opportunities
    • Inform your decisions for marketing, strategy and planning
    • Quickly build competitive intelligence
    This report on Online Glasses & Contact Lens Retailing:
    • Provides Market Size information to assist with planning and strategic decisions.
    • Includes the necessary information to perform SWOT, PEST and STEER analysis.
    • Helps you understand market dynamics to give you a deeper understanding industry competition and the supply chain.
    • Analyses key performance and operational metrics so that you can benchmark against your own business, that of your customers’ businesses, or your competitors’ businesses.
    The Online Glasses & Contact Lens Retailing market research report includes:
    • Historical data and analysis for the key drivers of this industry
    • A five-year forecast of the market and noted trends
    • Detailed research and segmentation for the main products and markets
    • An assessment of the competitive landscape and market shares for major companies
    • And of course, much more

    IBISWorld reports on thousands of industries around the world. Our clients rely on our information and data to stay up-to-date on industry trends across all industries. With this IBISWorld Industry Research Report on Online Glasses & Contact Lens Retailing, you can expect thoroughly researched, reliable and current information that will help you to make faster, better business decisions.

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