The Glasses Market in China

China is not just the largest world’s connected country, but also the largest potential consumer of such products, such as glasse. In fact, glasse is accessories, worn on the eyes such as spectacles, contact lenses, and sunglasses to improve or enhance visual acuity, protect against harsh environment, and for fashion purposes.

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Market overview

glasses market

Nowadays, with the growing consciousness among Chinese consumer about the importance of regular eye checkup and proper eye protection, the eyewear market is rapidly developed over the year. The glasses are perceived as an accessory of fashion, which motivates consumers to buy multiple products from eyewear for more fashionable or better quality options.

The glasses market

The glasses market is subdivided in many important areas: there are the classical glasses, sunglasses and contact lenses. The retail sales glasses in China increased by about 6% to RMB69.9 billion in 2016. Sales of sunglasses also showed the fastest growth about 7% increase.


  • According to the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, China has a large myopia rate of 33% in particular among young consumers. More than 400 million of Chinese people are myopic and wear glasses.
  • China has been reached a high record in myopia, today up to 90% of the Chinese population are short-sighted while 60 years ago, this number only reach 10 to 20%.

glasses market

The rate of myopia occurrence in primary schools, junior high schools, and senior high schools is 25%, 70%, and 85% respectively, due to important hours of classes in schools as well as the excessive use of electronic devices, such as computers, tablets and smartphones.

China has one of the highest frequency cases of myopia in the world and its myopic population is expected to increase by 8% on average annually.

With the rising disposable incomes, Chinese consumers are paying more attention about their health and protection of their eyes. So they are very careful when they are choosing glasses, because they preferred to buy glasses of higher quality. Consumers are attaching greater importance to the ornamental qualities more than the practical functions of the spectacles they buy.

  • The new trend is increasing of purchasing bespoke, luxury glasses.

The Chinese market eyewear sells more than 50 million pairs annually, nearly 20 billion Yuan. The residents of small towns buy new glasses once every three or four years unlike those in the cities change approximately every two years.

A sale of sunglasses has increased to 7%

glasses market

  • Influenced by the celebrities’ style and the social media, there is a rise in the use of sunglasses as fashion accessories. This has contributed to a rise in demand for sunglasses, which is the one of the fastest-growing categories in eyewear in 2017.
  • Chinese Eyewear Market is driving sales of spectacle frames, as luxury brands such as Jins, Ray ban and Zoffs are providing fashionable sunglasses frames at affordable price.

EyeWear Market in China

The eyewear market is very complex in China, mainly because of the barriers to entry for the manufacturers, including eyeglass frames, contact lenses, and, a large number of local brands is providing products to value added with low prices to attract massive consumers who are price sensitive. However, thanks to the strong desire of Chinese consumers for the luxury products, they are increasingly aware of brands with technology improved and better quality.

Sales channels

The Optical stores continue to dominate the sales channels while the internet has also made a contribution as a robustly developing distribution channel for sunglasses. The optical stores represent the most important distribution channel for glasses and contact lenses. Consumers prefer to buy quality products and luxury brands in optical stores. In addition, optical stores provide a physical shopping for better professional experience service of optometry that consumers can easily seek to recommendations and information of the product from the salespersons in these stores.

E-Commerce in China

With more eyewear brands establishing on online platforms such as, Taobao and JD come, more consumers are ready to purchase eyewear online. However, sales of eyewear through internet include more sales of sunglasses, and much less prescription lenses and frames, as consumers are purchasing sunglasses as fashion accessories.

Online sales of optical products, especially contact lenses and sunglasses, are likely to become increasingly popular in the near future. Online sales reportedly accounted for 10%-15% of total sales in 2016, with online sales channels complementing offline ones.

How can you Market your Sunglasses in China?


glasses market

Chinese website is very important to develop a strong visibility in China. China is the largest world connected country, with nearly 900 million Chinese internet users. Chinese consumers spend more than 40% of their daily life on Internet. Chinese internet users trust more Chinese web site than English website.

  • Moreover, your website should observe some rules to make sure that it will be easily found and has a nice feel-and-touch for the Chinese visitor.
  • It’s very important to be available for Chinese visitors. Don’t forget to have a 24/24h customer service able to reply to any queries anytime.

Online Reputation in China ! 

glasses market

  1. Chinese consumers pay attention to the word of mouth and trust what they see on the net. So, it’s capital to build a good reputation about its company or its products and services for better Chinese decision. Having a good reputation is one thing but keeping it, is another thing.
  2. Online reputation management is also a good way to erase the bad contents in the web and taking your business to next step if done at an early stage and properly.
  3. A bad reputation can easily destroy your business in China because negative contents have this power to influence customers ‘decision and pushing down your brand image and you can lose your integrity and credibility among Chinese consumers.
  4. In the era of the internet, every Chinese consumer is filled with knowledge-based people gathering information about anything and everything through the internet. They are seeing the comments about your company and your product present in all online Chinese platforms.
  5. Build a strong presence on the popular social media platforms and getting some attention from key opinion leaders will boost your brand image.

Chinese Social Media

The Chinese social media is totally different to western social media. 9 out of 10 Chinese internet users owns at least one account on social media. All the western social medias such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp are blocked by the ‘’great China Firewall’’, there are just a Chinese social media platforms such as WeChat, Weibo, Qzone, QQ and Ren Ren.

  1. WeChat(the Chinese Version of Facebook) is an audio/text instant messaging app, with more than 800 million active users. Wechat offers some functionality such as Wechat account for brand, Wechat pay, buy taxi, book reservation…
  2. Weibo, is the Chinese Twitter, with more than 550 million active users. If you want to be connected with Chinese customers you have to be present on WeChat and Weibo. You can create on both platforms an official account which will offer you special features.

On all these social media, you can send push notifications to your followers and share valuable content in text, video or images. In order to create leads, you have to publish relevant, authentic content that will push Chinese social media users to share, comment or like. Engage them and some of them may just be leads for your travel agency.

Chinese KOL / Influencers

glasses market

KOL (Key Opinion Leader) is now the most used approach by brands for reaching more and more Chinese consumers. KOL or influencer is now strong weapon marketing for brands. Through the million followers, Kol have the possibility to influence the Chinese consumer’s decision, because this latter trust more kol or influencer than any Chinese website.

Branding in China

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5 thoughts on “The Glasses Market in China”

  1. I want to market a new sunglasses Company in China, Can you manage from Production to supplyChain, Distribution and online sales ?

  2. You address their unique strategy, in Chinese. Their strategy is so simple, yet very hard for most brands to get right: They’re not only in the top position in their category… they’ve defended that position for years!

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