Eyewear: consumers call for customization and new couture

Increasingly greater use of e-commerce and more sensitivity nuances worldwide. Two surveys presented at MIDO focus on key drivers behind eyewear purchases

Milan, February 26th 2018 – Values, places and trends inform the styles for wearing eyeglasses; in the marketplace, the two key trends underlying consumers’ buying patterns are e-commerce and customization. These are the findings of two surveys presented at the 48th MIDO, the world’s leading eyewear expo that closed yesterday in Milan.


The latest survey by Future Concept Lab focuses on future consumer types and analyzes the world’s scenario with the aim of helping creatives and businesses identify their expectations and desires. Francesco Morace, sociologist, conceded that structural and economic changes are modifying consumption patterns and, above all, geographical areas influence purchase approaches. The North, South, East and West show different nuances of sensitivity, based on historic-cultural backgrounds.

For instance, environmental-friendliness and a minimalist aesthetic are key drivers in the North, whereas emotion and sensory aspects prevail in the South. In the East, everything revolves around a spiritual dimension in daily life, while the West focuses on experimentation. Looking at the pilot cities, London exhibits a design approach and an affinity for revisited interpretations based on exploration. Barcelona expresses great vitality fueled by new generations with a clear preference for the iconic. In Beijing, a very strong sense of symbolism prevails that is driven by innovation and discipline governs change. San Francisco is a hotbed of alternative ideas and strictly inclusive freedom of expression.

As for trends, the keywords are repetition and new couture: all economic industries now revolve around the themes of bespoke design and customization that have stimulated the desire for feeling unique. And the survey shows that this is the reason why the industry is leveraging craftsmanship skills and showing a desire for finely-crafted products.


The semi-annual OMO – Optical Monitor study, conducted by GFK on behalf of MIDO and SILMO in 2018, explores buying patterns and eyewear use, with a special focus on the United States, China, Russia and Japan.

The study confirmed the growing importance consumers attach to eyewear customization, with 81% of respondents interested in eyewear emphasizing their unique personality and tailored to their needs. Moreover, the study reveals  a generalized growth in e-commerce (26% of US consumers aged below 25 purchase sunglasses online), whereas optical stores still hold the lion’s share in prescription eyewear, although there’s no lack of online opportunities as well (8% of online sales in USA and China are made directly on Optical Retail websites).

The experience is a new kind of shopping that integrates products and services: 72% of consumers maintain that retail channels are their primary go-to source. As for sunglasses, 44% of sales go through fashion channels.

When it comes to trends, design takes priority for more than one-third of respondents and, according to study results, the Cosmopolitan Trendy is expected to be the style bound to drive sales in the next 12 months.

MIDO PRESS OFFICE – Mailander srl – Via Cavour 21, Torino; Via Monte di Pietà 21, Milano +39 011 5527311

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