Internet purchasing is on the rise according the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). Their most recent research indicates that men shopping online has increased by 20 percent and women by 26 percent.
That said, there are still lots of people who don’t buy online. Privacy concerns, including payment security, was one of the top reasons given for avoiding online purchasing, whilst shopping in person was also a common explanation.
So, when it comes to buying new frames and prescription lenses, should you be buying online or shopping eye-to-eye?
How we shop
The buying journey we take from initial idea and research, to trying and buying, is different for nearly every product we buy.
The more frequently you shop for a particular type of item, like groceries and clothes, the more comfortable you are likely to be with where to go and what to choose.
Whereas, buying one-off purchases, like new home appliances, increases the length of time you spend looking at different retailers, speaking to experts and doing your own research.
Buying new spectacles
When choosing new frames and lenses, the process is unique again.
It begins with a visit to your optometrist to have a regular eye examination. Once they have established the correct prescription for you, a fully qualified dispensing optician will take up to a dozen measurements of your eyes and face. This determines which lenses you require for your vision and lifestyle, and where the frames will sit for ultimate comfort.
When your new glasses arrive in the practice, you’ll be invited back for a fitting. Once again your glasses are meticulously measured to ensure they are millimetre perfect for you.
A process so important, that it’s backed by the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO).
When purchasing eyewear ABDO always recommends that you seek the personal advice and services of a qualified optical practitioner. It also says that the supply of spectacles without practice support or an individual consultation regarding a patient’s measurements, visual requirements, verification and aftercare can put the patient at risk.
For children the guidelines are stricter. Statutory regulation does not permit the dispensing of spectacle prescriptions by unqualified persons to children under 16.
Buying glasses online
Recently there has been a flurry of internet retailers selling prescription spectacles online, but all these legal requirements and guidelines raise questions about the practice.
Of course the convenience of browsing and ordering online is appealing, but this isn’t just a new pair of shoes.
Having spectacles that fit comfortably with the correct prescription and the right lenses is hugely important because we rely on our eyes so much.
We have a huge range of spectacles at our practice on Burton Road. With high-end designs like Kurt Geiger, Hook LDN and Oliver Goldsmith as well as more traditional styles and shapes in every colour and material you could ask for, we’re bound to have something that suits you.
Plus, you are guaranteed to have spectacles that have been properly fitted and a complete after-care service if you ever need any extra assistance.