Eyewear retailers lose over US$26 billion due to poor fitting frames

A new report by Fuel3D, provider of 3D capture and measurement solutions, reveals that poor fitting eyewear is costing opticians and eyewear retailers more than US$26 billion a year. 

Fuel3D’s study, which looks at the importance of fit on buyer experience in the UK and US markets, shows that more than one in four adults (28%) struggle to find eyewear that fits and as a result more than half (55%) end up leaving eyewear stores empty handed. In addition, the study shows nearly half of eyewear purchases are returned or have to be adjusted due to poor fit, resulting in further financial loss. 

Fuel3D’s ‘Delivering a Fitted Experience in Eyewear’ report is based on an independent online survey of 4,536 adults in the UK and America who wear glasses or eyewear and is the largest study of its kind to look at the relationship between fit and buyer experience through the lens of the consumer. 

George Thaw, CEO of Fuel3D said: “Buying eyewear should be easy and fun yet people struggle to find the right fit and don’t enjoy the experience. The eyewear industry is treating every face as the same size and shape, resulting in ill-fitting eyewear which is costing retailers, opticians and brands lost customers and sales. It’s time for a more personalised approach.” 

Despite eyewear’s increasing prominence in fashion, when buying glasses or sunglasses fit is the most important factor. 44% of respondents said they prioritise fit, 33% price and 23% style.

Fit impacts brand loyalty and purchasing decisions 

Fit impacts brand choice and how people shop. The study shows that more than a third (37%) of people always seek out the same styles or brand, yet 88% would happily try something different if they could find the right fit. 66% of people would purchase eyewear more often if they were shown designs which actually fit their face and 78% would buy their eyewear online instead if they could be guaranteed the perfect fit. 

Customers want a better experience 

Customers are faced with a bewildering choice of frames, both online and in-store, making it hard to find the perfect fit and style. As a result, one in three adults (33%) don’t like visiting the optician or shopping for eyewear and one in five (20%) don’t like having to try on different frames, highlighting the need to improve the customer experience. 

Fuel3D has developed FitsYou, an innovative 3D capture and fitting platform that harnesses the power of AR and AI to empower opticians and retailers to provide a superior personalised service through best-fit recommendations and fully customised eyewear, in-store and online. 

Reflecting today’s ‘selfie-culture’ the study shows that the large majority of people (77%) are comfortable with the concept of a personal 3D facial scan to deliver a more accurate and better fitting experience and if they had a guarantee of a good fit, would buy more frames, from more brands, more often, and more frequently online and in-store. 

Karl Turley, Chief Marketing Officer of Fuel3D said: “People are crying out for a better fit and a better buying experience. FitsYou delivers perfectly measured 3D fitting, personalises the selection of glasses, guarantees the perfect fit, encourages customer loyalty and gives opticians and retailers a compelling competitive advantage in a retail landscape where the new size is custom.”

In addition to struggling to find the right fit, the biggest bugbears when buying eyewear are: 

  • Waiting for glasses/sunglasses to be produced – disliked by 64% of adults
  • Having to revisit the optician to collect or check the fit – disliked by 59% of adults
  • Having to take a prescription to another store – disliked by 58% of adults

Fuel3D will be unveiling its FitsYou platform at Vision Expo East, 21-24 March, 2019 in New York, and will be piloting the technology in-store and online with selected partners over the coming months.

To produce this report, an independent online survey was carried out amongst 4,536 adults, across the UK and USA. Individuals were all wearers of glasses or sunglasses and were recruited through an independent research panel and surveyed during January 2019, using Fuel3D’s chatbot, Fitz.

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