At first glance, you may not think a company like Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, which supplies eye care specialists with contact lenses and vision care products, would be concerned about disruption or competition from the likes of Amazon. Lenses, after all, are Class 2 and Class 3 medical devices and even Internet companies specializing in contact lenses must validate a prescription from an eye doctor before they can fulfill an order for a consumer. The business is just different.
Yet, what was once a staid model is changing. For one, the needs of customers have changed: Variety rules the day as the number of SKUs in the space has steadily increased, as has the complexity of the products offered to meet those needs. Meanwhile, the online ordering experience has raised the service level expectations of customers accustomed to ordering from Amazon and its competitors, regardless of the products they are buying or the channels they are buying through. Optical departments at big box retailers as well as private practice opticians are trying to raise their game. And, that is forcing providers of vision care products to up theirs as well.
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