‘Mind the Gap’: A New VM Series

When we sat down to brainstorm about what we thought was going to be the Cover Story of just a single issue of Vision Monday, the various ways different generations approach eyecare and eyewear, we soon realized that this was just one of many “gaps” that exist in the optical field. While the differences between the generations may be, to some, the most obvious gap in this profession, there are plenty of others, related to, for example, culture, technology, information and knowledge. So the “Mind the Gap” series was born.

We begin the series in this issue of Vision Monday with “The New Consumer Gap.” In it, we explore how a practice makes sure that an older, perhaps technologically less literate ECP is able to effectively communicate with young customers shopping and “showrooming” with their smartphone in hand. Conversely, we also investigate how young ECPs relate to older patients.

When discovering how ECPs achieve their best successes connecting with young and old alike, some of the demographics may surprise you. For example, in a small college town in Ohio, the sole proprietor of a local opticianry caters more to the loyal Boomers in town than to the deal-seeking Millennials. In Arizona, often perceived as composed primarily of retirees, a chain of optometric locations throughout the state has shifted focus to new social media outlets to reach the younger clientele, which actually composes more of that state’s population than the older set.

Future installments in the series will examine other gaps that exist in the optical field. For example, those related to cultural diversity, differences in technology, and others pertaining to the exchange of information and the knowledge that both the ECP and the customer bring to the experience. So, welcome to the new VM series, where you’ll find out how ECPs “Mind the Gap.”