Are there to many sex toys?

Is the industry overly reliant on sex toys?

There are questions that are always topical in our industry, and one of them is: How can the adult market win over new consumer groups? While there are many strategies to extend the reach of the industry, sex toys always seem to be a part of it. Which leads to another question: Is this product category maybe too dominant in today’s market, or do other products provide enough balance?

matze_pc_webMatthias Poehl

It really seems as though the balance between sex toys and other products – most notably lubricants, massage oils, food supplements, cosmetics and care products, bath additives, etc. – is skewed in favour of the former. The reasons are rather obvious. At the end of the day, this business is about making money, and therefore, the profit margin plays a big role. Another reason is that the media pay a lot of attention to various products from the toy segment while other products are usually just mentioned in the “also-ran” category, if at all.

Moreover, it would seem that the sex toy category is the perfect place for the adult industry to implement popular new technologies, innovations, and developments. Adding a new ingredient to a massage oil, however, will not change the public perception of this products. It’s still a massage oil, even if it has a new effect. But be that as it may, other products deserve attention as well, also and especially because things such as massage oils, lubricants, and the like have a clear and direct connection with sensuality, fun, and togetherness – which makes them perfect for winning over new spheres of consumers. And even though we all wish it were true, the notion that every consumer out there is open and ready to buy a vibrator or dildo is, alas, wishful thinking. Yes, many people are curious or maybe even consider doing something to take their intimate life to the next level, but there is no direct correlation between that desire and the willingness to reach for your wallet ad buy a sex toy. Winning over these consumers and getting them to a place where they are comfortable buying a first-class vibrator is a long process that needs to start with something smaller.

Creams, oils, and other products for intimate togetherness are the perfect means of opening the consumers’ eyes to the potential of the adult market and maybe get them interested in other products – such as toys. Lubes, oils, etc. are also perfect products for couples, i.e. one of the biggest and most wooed target audiences in this market. And since these products are also consumer goods, you need to buy a new lube on a regular basis, which means that the consumers will come back to the store or the online shop of their choice to get more of their favourite product.

Put differently, these products generate recurring sales. Of course, selling an expensive vibrator puts a bigger smile on a retailer’s face than selling a tube of lube, but when’s the consumer who bought the vibrator going to come back to the store to get another one? The tube of lube, however, will be put to good use, and once it’s empty, the consumer is going to buy another one. The best case scenario: The consumer enters the store or visits the online shop because he wants to get a lubricant, and ends up buying another product he’s stumbled upon as well. Of course, for that to happen, retailers have to offer the right product range, the right kind of advertisement, and professional support and advice since these things greatly influence the consumer’s decision to buy a certain product. And who knows, maybe a massage candle becomes the gateway to the world of sex toys.