Overall healthcare costs continue to rise, the healthcare industry is consolidating and Congressional debate still rages on keeping or scrapping Obamacare.

But for Orthoticshop.com, a niche online retailer in healthcare, business is good. In business since 2005, Orthoticshop.com is on track to do $13 million in sales this year, up 30% from about $10 million in 2016, says founder Matt Behnke.

To hit those numbers, Orthoticshop.com is redesigning its website and adding more merchandise. “Now is a good time to be in healthcare,” Behnke says. “Consumers are using the web to do a lot more managing of their own healthcare, and that’s good for us because they go online for someone who sells orthotics and they find us.”

Orthoticshop.com began selling online with a selection of men’s, women’s and youth orthotics shoes. But over time Behnke has added more orthotic-specific product lines, including socks and apparel, braces and splints, insoles and other specialty merchandise such as gel-filled sleeves to relieve foot pain from bunions.

This year the number of available SKUs on Orthoticshop.com will grow from 140,000 to 200,000 as the online retailer adds specialty brands and suppliers.


The core customer Orthoticshop.com caters to are men and women age 45 and up that spend on average $75 each time they make a purchase. Originally customers came to Orthoticshop.com to buy shoes, but over time core customers began asking for additional products, Behnke says. New shoppers coming from Google after searching for terms such as “orthotics” often are looking for more than just shoes when they click on the link to Orthoticshop.com’s home page.

“We are growing because we became more of a one-stop shop for all kinds of orthotics,” Behnke says.

Buying anything orthotic—especially shoes—is a very personalized purchase because shoppers buy orthotic shoes to relieve specific types of pain from conditons that range from bunions, callouses or hammer toe to diabetes, Behnke says.

His customers want the speed and convenience of buying online, but Behnke says they also want to buy fashionable and contemporary footwear. “They want to look good, and just because the shoe is orthopedic there is no reason they can’t,” Behnke says.

Over time Orthoticshop.com has developed a loyal customer base by becoming a specialty web merchant and a provider of content on a range of topics on orthopedic conditions such as the common reasons for heel pain and how it can be treated.


In February, Orthoticshop.com launched a redesigned website using updated X-Cart e-commerce technology. The revamped Orthoticshop.com features responsive design and product reviews, as well as better site search that lets shoppers research and compare products by category, brand and price range. The online retailer also has grown the members of its customer loyalty program by 30% by giving out more rewards points so that shoppers can more quickly redeem product discounts of up to 30% off.

“The redesign gives us bandwidth to add more content and products to keep growing,” Behnke says. “The new site is also five times faster than the old site.”

When Orthoticshop.com first launched a dozen years ago customers with aching feet became the retailer’s first repeat customers. “They were customers who stood on their feet all day and then maybe spent all weekend on a boat deck,” Behnke says.

Now loyal customers are middle age and older and they want new ways to shop online—including paying for orthotic products using their healthcare savings or flexible savings accounts.

“There’s a lot more healthcare happening online with consumers these days,” Behnke says. “We are the beneficiaries of that.”