A new report by FUEL3D, a provider of 3D capture and measurement technology, estimates that poor fitting eyewear is costing opticians and eyewear retailers in the U.S. and U.K. more than $26 billion a year. The total revenue generated by the vision care industry during 2018 was $41 billion, up 2.5 percent from 2017, according to The Vision Council’s VisionWatch report.

Fuel3D’s study, which looks at the importance of fit on buyer experience in the U.K. and U.S. markets, shows that more than 1 in 4 adults (28 percent) struggle to find eyewear that fits, and as a result more than half (55 percent) 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 U.K. 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.

“Buying eyewear should be easy and fun, yet people struggle to find the right fit and don’t enjoy the experience,” says George Thaw, CEO of Fuel3D, an Oxford University spin-off that has offices here and in Greenville, N.C. “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 personalized approach.”

The survey also found that despite eyewear’s increasing prominence in fashion, fit is the most important factor when buying glasses. Forty-four percent of respondents said they prioritize fit, 33 percent said price and 23 percent said style.
A snapshot of the survey is available as an infographic, and the full report can be downloaded from fitsyou.fuel3d.com.
Fuel3D has developed FitsYou, a 3D capture and fitting platform that allows opticians and optical retailers to provide personalized service through best-fit recommendations and fully customized eyewear both in-store and online.

–Andrew Karp