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Alcon survey finds contact lens business shows “resilience”

A survey of 1,500 contact lens wearers found the majority expect to return to their normal wearing schedule in the next few months and will remain loyal to their current brand

contacts case
Marco Verch

A new survey from Alcon, exploring the impact of COVID-19 on contact lens wear, has highlighted the “resiliency” of the contact lens segment as well as pointing to opportunities for eye care professionals (ECPs) to build patient loyalty and discuss new innovations.

Designed to understand the impact of COVID-19 on contact lens usage, care and consumer expectations, the survey was conducted by MarketVision with 1,511 adults from Australia, France, Germany, Italy, and South Korea.

The survey found that 90% of contact lens wearers expect to return to their normal wearing schedule, with 70% of respondents suggesting they planned to do so within the next two to three months, or sooner.

Alcon Infographic

Data also revealed that the majority (94%) of contact lens wearers have remained loyal to their current brand, though many respondents also expressed an interest in enhancements or new technologies. Approximately 75% of those surveyed were open to discussing upgrading and more than 70% of wearers are willing to pay more for an “innovative” lens.

Alcon suggested that this offers a good opportunity for professionals to inform and educate their customers about “new technology and how eye care needs may have changed during the pandemic.”

Commenting on the findings, Antoine Delgrange, vice-president, Vision Care International Marketing Group at Alcon, said: “As ECPs reopen their practices, they can be confident that contact lenses provide an excellent opportunity to build loyalty and trust with existing patients, bring new patients to the clinic and create resiliency within their business.”

Those surveyed confirmed they view their ECP as a “trusted authority” when it comes to eye care, Alcon explained.

Respondents expressed an interest in ordering lenses through their local practice, as well as receiving information and tips from a practice website, email, virtual newsletters, apps or text messages. Interest was found to be particularly high amongst younger to middle-aged audiences.

Alcon also found that contact lens hygiene has improved over the past few months, finding that nearly 80% of those surveyed have improved their contact lens hygiene habits during COVID-19. This includes increasing their diligence over washing their hands before inserting and removing contacts, as well as changing their lenses as directed.

“This provides an opportunity for ECPs to encourage wearers to sustain these habits to protect their sight,” the company suggested.

Image Credit: Sealed contact lenses and contact lens case by Marco Verch under Creative Commons 2.0