Niche Marketing Helps To Compete Against Online Retailers


Niche Marketing for eyecare professionals is buying products or offering services that appeal to a definite group. The marketing

including location, merchandising and advertising all has to appeal to that specific group. The advantages are numerous:

  1. Specialty Patients are less concerned about fees.
  2. Niche marketing provides huge opportunities to increase referrals
  3. Many of the ‘Niche Markets’ are private pay.
  4. Marketing costs are less.
  5. Focussed effort. No need to spread yourself out to appeal to everybody. Just a larger more manageable market. Focus on a market that is not dominated by anyone else in your area.
  6. Buying is easier.
  7. More Profitable
  8. Allows for innovation.
  9. Helps to build Your Brand
  10. Customer Loyalty

There are large ‘niche markets’ and small niche markets. Niche markets may be products or can be ethnic.

Ethnic Markets:

  • Native Americans. According to the 2000 census report there are 4.1 Million Native Americans in the USA. (Source)
  • African Americans: 2010 Census there are 40 Million African Americans living in the USA or 12.3% of the population. (Source)
  • Asians: There are 17.3 Million Americans of Asian descent in the USA. 14.7% of the population (Source, also has demographics)
  • Hispanics: Over 48.8 Hispanics in the USA, which is 16% of the population (Source with demographics)

By Group

  • Gay and Lesbians– This is a hard one to track- According to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, a sexual orientation law and public policy think tank, estimates that 9 million (about 3.8%) of Americans identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (2011). The institute also found that bisexuals make up 1.8% of the population, while 1.7% are gay or lesbian. Transgender adults make up 0.3% of the population. (Source and more information)
  • Persons under age of 5- 6.5%
  • Persons under 18 years, percent, 2011- 23.7%
  • Persons 65 years and over, percent, 2011- 13.3%

Sport-Hobby Niche Market-  there are thousands of sports and hobbies available to people. You don’t have to market to every sport. Take a specialty, like small crafts or skiing or football and focus on being the ‘Place To Go’ . You can find some sports breakdown by categories on Wikipedia 

  • 62% of Males play in competitive SPORTS
  • 48% of Females play in competitive SPORTS
 Social Good Niche Markets-  this is a growing market from companies that support the econmy (give back taxes, provide jobs) that give back to social causes and or eco -friendly (give back to the environment)
  • 47% of consumers have bought a brand at least monthly that supports a cause, representing a 47% increase from 2010. Over the years, consumers have taken increased action on behalf of brands with Purpose: (Source and more information)
  • Made in USA Products– large niche market
  • Eco Friendly Products– a niche market that is growing
  • Purpose Driven based Products such as Eyes of Faith

Eye Health Niche Markets

  • Safety Eyewear- huge niche market with OSHA regulations. Companies like WileyX and Hilco offer safety Eyewear
  • Migraine Headache market -Migraine headaches affect about 15% of the population. Three times as many women as men have migraines. Over 80% of migraineurs have family members who have migraines (Source)
  • Nutriceuticals, such as Biosyntrx and Theralife

Special Needs Markets

  • Erin World or Specs4 Us- Down Syndrome eyewear (about 1 in 1000 births) Google 48,800 hits, first independent eyecare retailer to show up is on page 3.

Color Blind Market – Color blindness affects a significant number of people, although exact proportions vary among groups. In Australia, for example, it occurs in about 8 percent of males and only about 0.4 percent of females. Isolated communities with a restricted gene pool sometimes produce high proportions of color blindness, including the less usual types. Examples include rural Finland, Hungary, and some of the Scottish islands. In the United States, about 7 percent of the male population – or about 10.5 million men – and 0.4 percent of the female population either cannot distinguish red from green, or see red and green differently from how others do (Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 2006) (Source)

Luxury Eyewear  there seems to be no real definition for the luxury eyewear segment. For this purpose these would be frames retailing for over $500 up to $30,000. That market continues to grow, focus on higher end and or exclusive type of products for your area.

Wearable Tech    Increasing demand for actionable, real-time data in a range of applications is driving strong demand for wearable technology. 14 million wearable devices were shipped in 2011; by 2016, wearable technology will represent a minimum revenue opportunity of $6 billion, according to World Market for Wearable Technology – A Quantitative Market Assessment – 2012, a new report from IMS Research.

Current wearable devices are concentrated around a few products mainly in the healthcare and medical, and fitness and wellness application areas. In these areas, there is a greater use-case for wearable technology in order to transmit data such as vital signs, and track user performance. Dominant wearable products here include continuous glucose monitors – such as from Abbott and Medtronic, activity monitors – such as Fitbit, Addidas miCoach and Nike Fuelband, and fitness and heart-rate monitors – such as from Garmin, Polar and Suunto. Source 

  • 3D Eyewear
  • Self Focusing Eyewear
  • More Emerging Technology here 

With the power of the internet and social media, specialty and niche marketing opportunities eyebound. Other areas to focus on are Dry Eye, (not a niche market)  Theatrical contact lenses or specialty contact lenses, Vision Therapy, computer vision, lenses, low vision.

All of the above can help you compete against online retailers. So find a niche and fill it.




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