Coronavirus BRIEFING
Supported by Essilor

Business Updates

U.S. Consumers Expected to Spend Less This Holiday Season

By Staff
Wednesday, September 13, 2023 9:00 AM The lingering impact of inflation and COVID has made consumers even more value-conscious and discerning about their holiday shopping experience.

What Do Consumers Want in a Post-COVID Experience?

By Staff
Thursday, August 10, 2023 12:01 PM More than ever, customers demand—and deserve—efficiency, flexibility, timeliness, value, and priority.

A Positive COVID Milestone

By Staff
Tuesday, July 18, 2023 4:07 PM The U.S. has reached a milestone in the long struggle against COVID—the total number of Americans dying each day, from any cause, is no longer historically abnormal. Head over to The New York Times to find out where we stand when it comes to COVID statistics in the U.S.

Cosmetic Surgery Is on the Rise Globally

By Staff
Monday, July 17, 2023 3:23 PM The number of Americans getting plastic surgery is on the rise. According to a new report from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) titled, Global Survey on Aesthetic/Cosmetic Procedures, the number of people getting plastic surgery rose by more than 19 percent in 2021. 

The survey found that nearly 13 million people had surgical plastic surgery procedures and 17.5 million had non-surgical procedures worldwide. These figures indicate that COVID-19 is no longer slowing down the cosmetic procedure industry, which saw a decrease in procedures during the pandemic by 1.8 percent for all procedures and nearly 11 percent for surgical procedures. 

The U.S. saw the greatest increase in procedures, rising 24 percent, with 30 percent of all non-surgical procedures and 15.5 percent of all surgical procedures. Brazil came in second at 8.9 percent followed by Japan at 5.7 percent.

Jobson Research Issues New Report on the State of Telemedicine in 2023

By Staff
Wednesday, July 12, 2023 12:24 AM NEW YORK—The adoption of telemedicine has shown an increase in eyecare, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jobson Research’s latest report, titled Telemedicine Research - Updated April 2023, focuses on the integration of telemedicine into contact lens care, summarizing recent survey data to provide insights into the current state of telemedicine usage as well as practitioners’ perspectives on the feasibility of adopting telemedicine as a vision care tool. This data is derived from a survey of eyecare professionals distributed by Jobson Medical Information in 2023. The survey was created by John D. Gelles, OD, FAAO, FIAOMC, FCLSA, FSLS, FBCLA and Jennifer Waller, director of research & business analytics for Jobson Research. The survey was sent to Jobson’s email list of eyecare professionals. Only optometrists and ophthalmologists were qualified to take the survey.

Are Consumers Really Feeling Better About Inflation?

By Staff
Tuesday, June 27, 2023 4:05 PM The big picture for the Fed is that inflation fears are receding, but not back to where they were prior to the pandemic.

Maritime Transport Is on the Rise Amid a Consumer Spending Influx

By Staff
Wednesday, June 21, 2023 3:43 PM Consumer spending is on the rise, triggering an influx in maritime transport, according to the findings of a new report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Online orders have been the driving force behind consumer spending, leading to an increase in container shipping costs and the price of consumer goods. 

Increases have also been seen among raw materials such as grain due to the war in Ukraine and prolonged effects from the pandemic. This, paired with supply chain issues, has driven consumer food prices up 1.2 percent, particularly in middle and low income countries. 

The UNCTAD projects a decrease in growth to 1.4 percent, however between 2023 and 2027, growth is expected to reach 2.1 percent annually, slightly down than the 3.3 percent average over the past 30 years.

Shrinkflation Is Changing Consumer Spending, Poll Says

By Staff
Wednesday, June 14, 2023 2:54 PM Americans are more aware of shrinkflation and are feeling the pinch. These are the findings in a new poll from Ipsos Consumer Tracker. The report found that 83 percent of Americans are starting to notice the impact of shrinkflation on the products they purchase. Shrinkflation occurs when a company decreases the size of a product while maintaining or raising the price. 

As a result, 79 percent of Americans report feeling cheated as a result of shrinkflation. Americans are also discovering that the savings they accumulated during COVID is no longer the case, with only 37 percent saying they saved enough. 

The level of empathy for small businesses who have raised their prices has increased at a rate of 84 percent, while empathy for large global companies fell to 35 percent.

Review of Ophthalmology: Running a Practice in the Post-Pandemic Landscape

By Staff
Tuesday, June 6, 2023 11:33 AM Three years after the start of the global pandemic, ophthalmologists are facing new challenges. The initial impact of the pandemic on medical practices was purely financial. Fortunately, that impact was less than expected and was short-lived. “We thought it was going to have a longer effect. Most practices were able to briskly pivot to provide patients and staff with a sense of personal safety, and, within six months of the start of the pandemic, most of our clients were back up to their accustomed business level. I believe the most challenging adverse impacts of COVID arose after it was no longer a public health emergency, and they are mostly in the form of very strong human resource headwinds,” said Corinne Wohl, MHSA, a practice management consultant based in San Diego. Read More

Record Number of Travelers Expected This Memorial Day Weekend

By Staff
Thursday, May 18, 2023 9:49 AM Americans are ready to hit the roads this Memorial Day weekend. According to new statistics from the American Automobile Association (AAA), more than 42 million Americans are slated to travel 50 miles or more from their home during the holiday weekend. This is a 7 percent increase over 2022.
An additional 2.7 million people are expected to travel this summer compared to last summer, showing that COVID-19 is no longer playing a significant role in people’s travel plans. 

This year’s top domestic destinations are Orlando, New York City and Las Vegas.

Are Economic Challenges Over in Wake of COVID-19 Declaration?

By Staff
Tuesday, May 16, 2023 12:45 PM The World Health Organization says the pandemic is over, and the U.S. government has ended its declaration of a public health emergency. But that doesn’t mean the economic challenges brought on by COVID-19 are over.

Americans Ready to See the World Again in 2023

By Staff
Wednesday, May 3, 2023 3:03 PM After nearly three years at home due to pandemic travel restrictions, travelers are ready to experience the world. According to a new report from AAA, international travel is up 200 percent over 2022 figures. Hotels are experiencing the biggest surge in bookings, up 300 percent over last year. Airline tickets have also seen a sharp spike—air travel is up 30 percent for international destinations. 

“There’s nothing like going abroad. Personally, I just renewed my passport for a long overdue trip to see family in the United Kingdom,” Twidale said. “There’s excitement this year for international travel, but also a lot of questions about everything from passports to travel insurance.”  

Twidale recommends making sure all your travel documents are in order before booking your trip.

How the Pandemic Altered Consumer Behavior

By Staff
Monday, March 27, 2023 11:41 AM While e-commerce offers efficiency for both retailers and consumers, growing pain points have emerged for companies, shoppers and the environment.

Will Pandemic Consumer Trends Continue in 2023?

By Staff
Tuesday, January 31, 2023 9:00 AM There are some behaviors that we’ve developed during the pandemic, like streaming instead of necessarily going to the movie theaters, [that] will stick around longer than we expect.

Digital Payments and Tipping Leaves Consumers Frustrated

By Staff
Monday, January 30, 2023 10:23 AM Digital payment methods have been around for a number of years, though experts say the pandemic has accelerated the trend towards more tipping.