Transitions Optical’s White Paper Looks at Buying Habits of Millennials and Gen Xers


To gain a better understanding of Millennials’ views of eyewear and eyecare, the Center for Generational Kinetics conducted a survey of U.S. adults on behalf of Transitions Optical in January 2018.

PINELLAS PARK, Fla.—Shopping for new eyeglasses is viewed as an enjoyable experience by almost half of eyeglass wearers, regardless of age, according to a white paper released this month by Transitions Optical. The white paper also noted that among Millennials the percentage who find shopping for eyewear easy or enjoyable is even higher, at 59 percent. “Many wearers, regardless of age or generation, enjoy shopping for new eyeglasses,” the authors note in the introduction. “The experience of combining lenses and frames offers an opportunity to display unique expressions of their personality and style. They feel that the right pair of eyeglasses enhances their public persona and can even make them look stylish or feel smarter.”

The white paper, “The Eyeglass Consumer: Generational Shopping Behaviors toward
Transitions Light Intelligent Lenses,” is available at The findings in the white paper are based on a survey conducted by the Center for Generational Kinetics (CGK) on behalf of Transitions Optical in January 2018 among 1,263 nationally representative U.S. adults, ages 22-65.

Selecting a new pair of eyeglasses is “a complex sequence of choices and decisions,” the white paper noted. “On top of this, younger generations shop and make decisions very differently than the older consumers.” According to the white paper, this is the “ideal time for eyecare professionals to get ahead of Millennial and Gen X trends” as an increasing number of consumers in these demographics become first-time wearers and bring their generational perceptions to the eyeglass experience.”

The white paper recommends that ECPs consider aspects that would improve the shopping experience (from the time they walk in the door for the eye exam until they leave the practice or store), especially for Millennials and Gen X consumers. Over half of all wearers reported clear upfront costs as the single most important factor in their shopping experience, the while paper stated, while Gen X shoppers rated cost transparency highest, at 56 percent. “Half of wearers also indicated their shopping experience would be improved with a wider selection of frames and a third by having an eyecare professional they trust,” the paper noted.

Among the key takeaways of the survey: ECPs should strive to provide transparent information about costs and explain the value of what the patient is getting, and professional recommendations make first-time buyers more comfortable with their decision to try something new and different. “Millennial, Gen X, and Boomer wearers all heed the recommendations of professionals,” the white paper noted.

Also, according to the authors, 80 percent of Millennial “wearers” would try Transitions lenses if they could wear them for a week for free. “There is a risk associated with purchasing a lens for the first time, and it is a risk that potentially remains for the life of the eyeglasses,” the white paper stated. “Offering a trial period or a money back guarantee goes a long way to overcoming this concern as an obstacle to choosing Transitions lenses.”