Optics sales represent an excellent opportunity for retailers to optimize their revenue. However, connecting with the customer and defining his or her needs is the ultimate service a dealer can provide. Currently, the optics market is experiencing some exciting advancements in technologies and electronics. Optics manufacturers have harnessed these innovations and integrated them into their products to meet the needs of an expanding and knowledgeable customer base.
An array of tools exists to allow manufacturers to gauge the direction of the market. Working closely with their dealer network and staying informed on other trending technologies in the industry has proven to be successful. This relationship helps guide the types of products the manufacturer chooses to introduce to the market.
Without close communication with the various segments of the optics industry, trends can often be overlooked or misinterpreted. Some manufacturers are noticing increased activity into specific technologies.
"Rangefinding has been available on scopes for years," said Duane Sorensen, Sun Optics USA VP of operations. "The latest market trend seems to be 'first focal plane' scopes that can rangefind at any power. With the development of new reticles, it's now easy for the user to accurately determine the range to target."
Sorenson provided his analysis on why the market has shifted in this direction.
"The market has revisited first focal plane optics for a variety of reasons, but mainly due to the fact it doesn't matter what power is being used: High and low power work the same. Another leading reason for the rise in popularity is costs have come down and consumers can buy a good-quality product at an economic price," he said.
GOING THE DISTANCE
Across the industry, manufacturers have addressed the shift toward long-range shooting by maximizing the performance of today's rifles, cartridges and modern technology (like ballistic apps). Many dealers have accommodated this swing by offering a deep lineup of riflescopes geared toward long-range shooting.
Several manufacturers offer education to their dealers by conducting in-house instruction at their facility or through seminars and one-on-one training during trade shows and exhibits.
"With the amount of changes taking place at the current rate, it's important for dealers to educate themselves as much as possible. Researching new trends and technology advancements through industry publications will provide an...