State of the Optical Industry

We received a report from Vision Watch, stating the optical industry was down $500 Million in 2008. Vision Watch tracks and looks at the whole optical industry and publishes reports with market trends. “VisionWatchsm is the only large scale continuous consumer measurement exclusively designed for the eyewear and eyecare industry. VisionWatch is aimed at making the eyewear market more transparent by analyzing market size, future market developments, consumer attitudes and purchase patterns. It is a joint venture between Jobson Medical Information LLC and The Vision Council of America.

We know It’s is tough out there, which is actually why we started this blog- to help provide you with optical retail strategies to compete in the optical marketplace. Your competition has increased- from box warehouses, discount stores, chain stores and the internet, and importantly from your competition across the street. How are you going to compete, remain profitable, provide the best patient relationships, garner the best customer service levels, offer inspirational products? Plus getting new patients and keeping old patients! Don’t forget to keep the front line army- the staff motivated and excited! It can be very overwhelming!

What to do- don’t freak out! It is going to be a tough year, but as Franklin Roosevelt said- ‘When the Going gets tough, the tough get going.” This is the time to really look at your business, and plan, plan and plan. Don’t cut back on marketing- you still have to keep your name in the public eye, work on customer service levels, try new things to keep and get patients. And please, please involve staff. They are scared as well- and you don’t want nervous and scared staff greeting patients.

Our recommendation– At Every Staff Meeting Ask they following questions:

  1. Are we the best we can possibly be?
  2. Why should people buy from us?
  3. What improvements will customers pay for?
  4. What are the main parameters of value in the optical industry?
  5. What can we do to improve?
  6. What new Revenue Sources could we implement?
  7. What segments of our market are we not capitalizing on?  Products are Services?

Constantly reviewing and communicating the above will bring about new ideas and creative solutions to help you get and keep patients. Try it- you might like it!