2020 was predicted to be a milestone year whereby technology use would further accelerate, as would artificial intelligence, and the world would put significant effort into long term sustainability initiatives.
2020 has not turned out as expected. It has been a year of dramatic change, but not as it was imagined. Firstly, devastating bushfires ravaged much of Australia – both literally and emotionally, followed in March by COVID-19, which has reshaped our daily lives in ways we could never have foreseen. All of this proves how unpredictable the world is.
As of March, consumers’ purchasing habits have changed with significant reductions in travel, hospitality, sports and events. Other areas, including health/ wellbeing, eCommerce and home delivery, have seen high growth.
Fortunately, optical is a hybrid of both medical and retail so recovery has been rapid. Many practices are experiencing full appointment books with patients willing to purchase premium products – particularly quality, proven brands.
Proven brands serve many purposes for consumers: they shortcut decision making time, provide peace of mind, create difference to better fulfil needs, and offer reassurance and confidence. In times of uncertainty and fear, consumers turn to trusted brands; the antithesis to fear being trust.
While trust is hard won over time, it can be destroyed quickly. Therefore, it’s important to consider which brands you align your own practice brand with.
Let’s consider optical practices and their patients. Since March this year, many people have felt a loss of freedom and quality of life. People take comfort in controlling what they can. Vision and how people experience their world through it is something they can control. They also want to have more control over their health and wellbeing.
That’s why patients are prepared to pay more for optical solutions that are higher quality, have longer lasting performance and safeguard eye health. Think high quality lenses with additional benefits that truly enhance the wearers’ vision and provide protection. Consider the finest progressive technology, blue light protection, photochromic lenses, high index lenses, anti-reflective coatings and polarised lenses. Leaders in these categories are brands you know and can recommend with confidence.
Transitions is a perfect example of a brand consumers have confidence in. Recommending a trusted brand such as Transitions lenses gives patients the reassurance and peace of mind they seek, whether the reassurance relates to product performance, value for money, eye health needs, or all three.
With a 96% satisfaction rating and a 95% repurchase rate, Transitions is trusted to deliver a positive experience and long-lasting satisfaction. With consumers more risk averse in unpredictable times, a brand such as Transitions is a safe and calculable choice to avoid disappointment and buyer’s remorse.
The power of a brand is also to create difference. Transitions’ wide range of technologies and lens colours cater for a multitude of wearer needs, lifestyles and preferences. All lenses filter blue light, block UV rays and automatically reduce glare outdoors, delivering on health needs, comfort and convenience.
Transitions XTRActive provides extra protection for those seeking additional safeguards; it is the darkest lens outdoors – even in hotter temperatures, it darkens in the car, filters the highest amount of blue light and provides a hint of tint indoors. Transitions XTRActive is also available in style mirrors, with a choice of six mirror colours to create a bold mirrored look outdoors.
Transitions Vantage provides additional protection outdoors by polarising as it darkens to reduce bright glare, while a hint of tint indoors provides comfort in harsh indoor lighting, along with additional blue light filtering.
The sun lens Transitions Drivewear is for those that spend a lot of time driving or outdoors. This polarised outdoor lens changes to three different colours to perfectly match each condition wearers encounter.
Transitions Signature GEN 8 is a breakthrough innovation that appeals to those who want a fast lens with indoor clarity. Transitions GEN 8 appeals to both younger and more style conscious patients. Available in seven lens colours, wearers can create their own unique look, pairing lens colours with different frame styles.
SHIFT IN PATIENT SPEND
Transitions Signature GEN 8 was launched in April this year, during the height of the COVID-19 crisis. For a lesser known and trusted brand, the launch timing would have likely been disastrous. This is where the power of the Transitions is demonstrated.
Not only are patients enthusiastically adopting the new GEN 8 technology, many practices have increased the consumer price of Transitions. Eyebiz on the Gold Coast is one such practice. “With optical being uniquely a blend of both health and fashion, we’ve seen a shift in patient spending. Patients have not been as financially conservative as we expected following COVID-19,” said Brett, Eyebiz owner.
“In patients’ search for both value and quality, average sell price for us has actually gone up since COVID-19 with a focus on convenience. Although we have increased the price of Transitions GEN 8, we have seen an increase in our patients choosing to add Transitions to their eyewear. The key to this is actually showing the products and talking about light management.”
The Eyebiz example verifies that consumers not only turn to trusted brands in uncertain times, they are also willing to pay a premium for products that meet their needs in an unpredictable world.
Stuart Cannon is the General Manager Asia Pacific at Transitions Optical.