What You Need to Know
- People still buy eyewear at brick-and-mortar shops.
- The pandemic increased Versant’s monthly online retail claims volume 133% between March 2020 and December 2020.
- One selling point for online retailers is the reviews.
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered an e-commerce turning point and accelerated the use of online retail tools. The ability to purchase essential items from home has been critical to sustaining everyday life throughout the pandemic, and its popularity is likely to be sustained in the future.
This increase in online shopping is not strictly related to consumer-packaged goods — it has become more common for people to take advantage of online retail to conveniently purchase care items they regularly need, including eyewear.
In fact, Versant Health saw a 133% increase in online retail claims from March 2020 to December 2020. This rise is an important trend of which health plans and advisors must be aware — they are in prime position to increase awareness and utilization of vision benefits by helping clients understand why, when and how online retail is offered by vision plans and useful for their personal needs.
To understand why online eyewear retail has grown so quickly, we must recognize the large impact convenience has on consumers’ choices. With only a prescription, consumers can choose from hundreds of eyewear options and can also curate delivery timing of contact lenses at the desired time interval.
Although not a replacement for in-person care, access to an online retailer within network helps meet the eyewear needs of many members with varied tastes, needs, time and budgets. It’s important to start building a baseline education with clients on the online eyewear retail factors that may influence their benefits decisions.