ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The growth and affluence of the online marketplace has brought the end to life as we know it in a number of industries. From music and newspapers to shopping and socializing, digital has shifted how people live, and how they spend money. The question at this point isn't if it's going to continue, but what's next.
Industries targeting older demographics have been slower to adapt to the inevitable change in marketplace, but change is coming.
Hearing Network is taking aim at the hearing aid industry. Large markups by local hearing centers are commonplace, resulting in frequent overcharging for hearing aids and batteries. While a hearing professional is integral to the process, paying premiums for standard products is not.
It isn't as if local companies are necessarily overcharging for the entire experience, but audiologists and hearing aid professionals have been slow to adjust due to the long-entrenched business model of earning large revenues off product sales, while effectively discounting their actual time to make up for it. As consumers embrace online sales for actual products, these professionals will need to adjust their business models to one that values their time and expertise, rather than making their money off product sales.
Traditional sales methods and promotions, such as "free follow-ups with purchase" are transforming from the only way people buy hearing aids, to business models that are outdated and will likely go extinct.
"We sell all the major hearing aid models directly to customers on much lower margins than local clinics," explained Pete Hart of Hearing Network. "We've adopted a leaner business strategy and are able to sell the same, quality products at much lower prices."
While working on the high volume, low margin business model, Hearing Network also works with local professionals to make sure customers are getting the best hearing aids and fit for their particular hearing loss problems.
"Our goal is not to replace audiologists," continued Hart, who is an audiologist himself. "An audiologist's or hearing professional's expertise is vital to pairing individuals with hearing loss with the best solution and fitting the products properly. At Hearing Network, we just want to make the actual hearing aids more affordable."
Hearing Network lists hearing aids from brands such as Phonak, Oticon, Siemens, and ReSound. Their posted prices are frequently about 40% less than suggested retail prices.
Since hearing aids aren't always covered by insurance, customers are eager to find a way to save money on the process. The combination of an efficient online purchase and a skilled local professional can give consumers a high-quality experience without spending more than they need to.
The team at Hearing Network stressed that they just provide a medium to purchase hearing aids at discounted prices, and it isn't as simple as opening them up and putting them in to achieve perfect hearing. Audiologists and hearing professionals are always necessary to help fitting the instruments, and may need to help with reprogramming in the future.
To learn more about Hearing Network, visit their website at www.HearingNetwork.org or call (585) 266-4130.
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SOURCE Hearing Network