Worldwide Ecommerce Is on the Rise, Despite Retail Downturn

By Staff
Monday, January 25, 2021 6:18 PM Ecommerce managed to perform above pre-pandemic expectations in 2020, despite a 3 percent downturn in total worldwide retail sales. Worldwide retail ecommerce sales posted a 27.6 percent growth rate for the year, with sales reaching well over $4 trillion, according to new analysis by eMarketer. This represents a substantial uptick from eMarketer’s mid-pandemic assessment that global ecommerce would decelerate to 16.5 percent growth and demonstrates the remarkable extent to which consumers transitioned to ecommerce last year.

In Times of Crisis, Americans Binged 'Comfort Food TV'

By Staff
Thursday, January 21, 2021 12:03 PM As people have been confined to their own homes for large parts of 2020, with restaurants, gyms and movie theaters closed and professional sports halted for months, video streaming has emerged as one of the most popular pastimes during the pandemic, according to a recent feature from Statista.com.

And while new, original formats such as Tiger King, The Mandalorian or Ozark tend to make the most waves, both on social media and in streaming platforms’ marketing efforts, consumers were drawn to the familiar in 2020, as real life was already nerve-wrecking enough for many people’s taste. Shows like The Office, Friends or Grey’s Anatomy offer a timeless blend of escapism in stressful times, which is why many people rewatch their favorite TV shows over and over again.

NRF Says 2020 Holiday Sales Grew 8.3 Percent Despite Pandemic

By Staff
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 11:00 AM WASHINGTON—Retail sales during 2020’s November-December holiday season grew an unexpectedly high 8.3 percent over the same period in 2019 to $789.4 billion, exceeding the National Retail Federation’s holiday forecast despite the economic challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, NRF said last week. The numbers include online and other non-stores sales, which were up 23.9 percent at $209 billion.

Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments in 2020 Were Highest in 10 Years

By Staff
Tuesday, January 19, 2021 1:00 PM Worldwide PC shipments totaled 79.4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2020, a 10.7 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2019, according to preliminary results by Gartner. The research firm said that PC shipments reached 275 million units in 2020, a 4.8 percent increase from 2019 and the highest growth in ten years.

The accompanying chart by Statista illustrates Gartner’s findings.

Investment in U.S. Digital Health Companies Hit All-Time High in 2020

By Staff
Friday, January 15, 2021 12:05 AM Rock Health, a venture fund dedicated to digital health, reported that venture capital funding for U.S. digital health companies hit an all-time high of $14.1 billion in 2020, a 72 percent increase from the previous high water mark set in 2018.

In a post on its website. Rock Health noted that $5.9B was raised in the first half of 2020, with the second half delivering the most funding in a half-year ever with $8.2 billion.

B2B Buyers of Medical Products Expect a Quick and Easy Digital Experience

By Staff
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 8:00 AM B2B buyers of health care and medical supplies value the speed and ease of purchasing online, according to research from e-commerce credit services company Apruve Inc. A new survey finds that 76 percent of buyers rate ease of finding information as a top priority. Just over three-fourths of B2B buyers of medical products also conduct extensive product research before placing a digital order, according to Apruve.

QR Code Payment Users to Reach 2.2 Billion Globally by 2025

By Staff
Tuesday, January 12, 2021 9:00 AM A new study from Juniper Research has found that the total number of QR code payment users will exceed 2.2 billion in 2025, up from 1.5 billion in 2020; equating to 29 percent of all mobile phone users across the world in 2025. The report predicts that much of this growth will be within emerging markets, where weak card infrastructure creates a strong opportunity. However, the research also found that the U.S. will see a strong growth.

Deloitte Envisions Shift from ‘Health Care’ to ‘Health’

By Staff
Monday, January 11, 2021 4:00 PM Health care as we know it today will no longer exist by 2040 due to a fundamental shift from “health care” to “health,” the financial services and consulting firm Deloitte asserts in a recent article. Deloitte predicts that two decades from now we will be focused on wellness and managed by companies that assume new roles to drive value in the transformed health ecosystem.

“Driven by greater data connectivity; interoperable and open, secure platforms; and increasing consumer engagement, 10 archetypes are likely to emerge and will replace and redefine today’s traditional life sciences and health care roles to power the future of health, according to Deloitte.

What Are the Most Popular New Year’s Resolutions?

By Staff
Saturday, January 9, 2021 12:00 AM NEW YORK—We’re only 11 days into the New Year, but it’s likely that a few of us already have forgotten about the resolutions we committed to just a couple weeks ago. Yet, of course, there also are probably quite a few people who have turned the page and made changes in their day-to-day routines—and here’s hoping their success continues throughout the year 2021.

It does seem that making a New Year’s resolution is a fairly common practice among Americans, according to a recent YouGov survey. About one in four Americans (27 percent) said they did make a New Year’s resolution for 2020—a tough year to follow any plan. For 2020, the most common commitments people made, according to the survey, were exercising more (46 percent), improving their diet (45 percent), losing weight (44 percent) and saving money (41 percent).

But did Americans stick to their resolutions during the unusual 2020 year?

Surprisingly, many say they did, according to the survey’s findings.

About half (49 percent) of those who made 2020 resolutions say that they kept some but not all of their resolutions from last year, while just over one-third (35 percent) say they kept all of their resolutions. Only 16 percent say they did not keep any of the resolutions they made for 2020.

Looking forward to the New Year in 2021, 31 percent—an increase of 4 percent over 2020—said they intend to make resolutions for 2021.

For the most part, resolutions among Americans haven’t changed too much in the past year. The most common resolutions for U.S. adults as we head into 2021 are doing more exercise (50 percent), losing weight (48 percent), saving more money (44 percent), improving diet (39 percent), and pursuing a career ambition (21 percent).

The Pandemic's Devastating Impact on Health Care Workers

By Staff
Thursday, January 7, 2021 12:00 AM An analysis by The Guardian and Kaiser Health News found that the number of U.S. health care workers that died during the pandemic is considerably higher than official figures released by the government. It documented 2,921 deaths among health care workers up to December 23, 2020 compared to 928 deaths reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of Dec. 17, though the agency has stated that its figures are likely an undercount. More than half of the nearly 3,000 deaths in The Guardian/KHN analysis involved people under 60. It stated that the median age of death from Covid-19 in the general population is 78 but that it is just 59 among the medical staff on the front lines of the pandemic.

Most Eyecare Professionals Interested in Getting COVID-19 Vaccine

By Staff
Wednesday, January 6, 2021 1:00 PM A Women In Optometry Pop-up Poll that was launched prior to the availability of any COVID-19 vaccines and stayed open through New Year’s Day shows that a majority of respondents were planning on (or had already gotten) a COVID-19 vaccine. When asked if they were planning on getting the vaccine when it became available, the largest cohort was anxious to do so, with 41 percent saying “absolutely” and that they were already in conversations about it (and some later respondents even saying that they had received it or scheduled theirs already.)

Keeping Tabs on Jabs: Who’s Leading the COVID-19 Vaccination Race?

By Staff
Tuesday, January 5, 2021 8:00 AM Earlier this week, Statista released a timely infographic that illustrated the progress various countries have made to date in vaccinating people for COVID-19. As Statista’s Niall McCarthy pointed out, early efforts to secure vaccine candidates have resulted in a quick approval progress by authorities and effective infrastructure for administration, some governments are already racing ahead in their efforts to start mass vaccination against COVID-19.

MCommerce Payments to Rise to $3.1 Trillion in 2025

By Staff
Monday, January 4, 2021 12:00 AM A new study from Juniper Research has found that mCommerce payments will reach $3.1 trillion in 2025, from $2.1 trillion in 2020. The research found that the pandemic’s massive boost to digital wallet services in the offline arena with OEM Pay has been a key driver of greater mCommerce usage; accelerating the already rapid transition from offline to online services. Juniper found that China and the U.S. will see volume growth in smartphone payments for remote goods of 55 percent and 74 percent respectively, between 2020 and 2025.

COVID Challenges Weigh on Eyecare Community, Survey Says

By Staff
Tuesday, December 29, 2020 2:03 PM A recent survey, presented at Academy at Home 2020, has demonstrated the impact that COVID-19 and its consequent challenges have had on the mental health of eyecare practitioners, staff and optometry students. More than 60 percent of professionals and students reported that their mental health was worsening during the pandemic, and almost 40 percent reported symptoms of anxiety, depression or both during the pandemic. 

Researchers identified the top three factors that have negatively impacted mental health: 
(1) Worries about family/friends being infected with COVID-19.
(2) Self-worry about being infected with COVID-19.
(3) Social isolation. 

Study authors Yi Pang, OD, PhD, professor at the Illinois College of Optometry, and her student Connor Robbs, BS, shared their findings October 7, 2020 during a press conference, noting that outdoor activities, family time and exercise positively impacted mental health. Click here to read the full story from Review of Optometry.

CLI’s EASY Way Wear-and-Care Infographic Is Now in Five Languages

By Staff
Monday, December 28, 2020 2:04 PM The Contact Lens Institute’s (CLI) EASY Way Program infographic—developed to help eyecare professionals share simple steps to healthy, comfortable contact lens wear, is now available in five languages. By visiting EASYWayProgram.org, ECPs can download versions of the eye catching infographic in Simplified and Traditional Chinese, French (Canadian), and Spanish, in addition to the original English.

CLI launched The EASY Way (Eyes, Awareness, Safety and You) program this fall.