New research has found 56 per cent of eye care professionals expect an increase in sales of occupational lenses over the next 12 months.
The findings were part of a Seiko-sponsored study carried out by Optician into the use of optical lenses by practitioners. The wide-reaching survey covered topics such as practices' lens buying intentions and online selling behaviours and feedback.
The positive results for lifestyle specific lenses were reinforced by strong forecasts for polarised lens treatments. Fifty-five per cent of practitioners said they expected to specify more polarised lens coatings, a 10 per cent increase on last year's figures.
The average lens retail order was £8 higher at £128, and 60 per cent expected this to increase. In the year of London 2012, 25 per cent of practitioners also expected sales of sports lenses to increase over the course of the next year.
Despite encouraging lens purchasing forecasts, research into how practitioners obtain feedback from patients yielded some worrying statistics for independent practices. Only 8 per cent said they obtained feedback from patients via email or the internet, compared to 35 per cent for multiples and 52 per cent of franchises. At 43 per cent, face to face feedback for independents was only 2 per cent higher than that of the 41 per cent of both multiples and franchises. The number of independents who said they sought any feedback was behind multiples and franchises - 61 per cent compared to 75 per cent of multiples and 87 per cent of franchises.