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Traditional vs. Digital-Freeform Progressives Among ECPs

From the 2014 ECP Lens & Equipment Study, The Vision Council surveyed ECPs regarding progressive lens types (traditional vs. digital-freeform) in their respective practices. Respondents dispensing progressive lenses gave a breakdown of the types of progressives dispensed at their practice. Almost all practices (85 percent) were dispensing digital-freeform progressives and over 81 percent of practices were dispensing traditional progressives. Practices with 2 to 5 locations, practices located in the Midwest region of the U.S., and practices that dispense more than 10 jobs a day were very likely to be dispensing traditional progressives. For practices dispensing digital-freeform progressives, it was found that large independent practices with 2 to 5 locations were the most common respondents.

The volume at which practices dispensed traditional progressives was much higher than the amount of digital-freeform progressives that were dispensed. Just over 65.9 percent of progressives sold were traditional progressives while the remaining 34.1 percent were digital-freeform progressives.

Using the breakdown of progressive lens types dispensed, an average was derived to help indicate the relative volume sold of each type of progressive in the practices surveyed. The most common type of traditional progressive dispensed at practices were “premium / high end”, which, on average, comprised 45.7 percent of total traditional progressive sales for ECPs. Core / standard progressives made up an average of 34.8 percent of total traditional progressive sales. Value / basic progressives represented around 19.5 percent of traditional progressive sales.

The most expensive traditional progressive lenses being dispensed were premium/high end traditional progressives which sold on average for $334.64 per pair. Premium/high end traditional progressives were more expensive on average at independent opticianry practices. Practices with 2 to 5 locations sold a pair of premium/high end tradition progressives for an average of $329.94, while practices with more than 5 locations sold for $337.25 on average. Premium/high end traditional progressives were also more expensive in the Northeast region of the U.S than other regions ($360.78 vs. $327.12 in the Southeast and $341.75 in the Midwest).

Similar to the traditional progressives’ breakdown, the most common digital-freeform progressives dispensed were premium/high end (nearly 50%). Almost 53 percent of small independent locations dispensed premium/high end digital-freeform progressives. Core/standard digital-freeform progressives made up 33.3% of sales and the remaining 17.1% were in the value/basic category. Practices with 5 or more locations dispensed the most value/basic and core/standard digitally surface freeform progressives.

The most expensive digital-freeform progressive lenses being dispensed were premium/high end traditional progressives which sold on average for $413.33 per pair. Practices with 2 to 5 locations sold a pair of premium/high end digitally surfaced freeform progressives for an average of $395.32, while practices with only one location sold for $425.67 on average. Premium/high end traditional progressives were also more expensive in the Southeast region of the U.S than other regions ($452.46).

Data in this article was compiled from the Vision Council 2014 ECP Lens & Equipment Report. For additional information, please contact Brin Miller at 703-740-2251 or bmiller@thevisioncouncil.org.

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