The phrase “sex toys” is not normally one that would make it into our blogs but when we had the opportunity to rebuild the website for New Zealand adult toy retailer SexToy.co.nz, we thought… why not?
By 2020 the global value of the sex toy industry is expected to be close to US$30 billion. There are more dildos, vibrators and other items of pleasure sold than ever before. Yet, purchasing sex toys is still a taboo in many cultures and due to its Adult Only rating, marketing the sale of sex toys online can be tricky. Conventional channels such as Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram are out of the question. Also, most websites won’t allow you to advertise unless they are already classified as porn. So, in order to successfully target the mainstream audience, new ways of marketing sex toys need to be explored.
Here are a few strategies to increase your audience and potential sales and help stay afloat in the sex toy industry.
Most people don’t like being sold to, but they are usually curious to learn more about what it is you have to offer. Whether it’s through an in-house blog or affiliate pages, write background articles about your industry, product reviews, provide answers to commonly asked questions and have it all published with links to your online store. That way you will draw new potential customers in, establish a relationship with them and over time build enough trust and curiosity so they will want to purchase from you.
Offer users of your store or website the opportunity to sign up to regular newsletters. Provide them with monthly updates on new product launches as well as upcoming sales and specials. You can also invite them to participate in surveys about products or anything related to the website such as design, features and additional content they would like to see. This will not only help you get to know your audience better; it will also establish a better relationship with potential customers.
To increase the chance of turning website traffic into sales, offer a voucher that can be spent on their next purchase as a thank you for their participation. Choose the amount freely, $5 or $10 is often enough to interest people in a first even if smaller purchase, especially if they have never used sex toys before.
Run personality tests
Most people love filling in questionnaires about themselves to find out more about their inner being, their character or special traits. Why not have a special place on your website for tests such as “which sex toy will fulfil my desires best” and link each answer with the respective toy from your catalogue.
Encourage product reviews
When it comes to something so personal and intimate as sex toys, some people may have a hard time talking to their friends or loved ones about it, let alone seek advice on what items to get. Reading an online review might help those that are undecided make up their mind about which toys to get, what to start with and when or how to use it.
Honest reviews from other users will be far more beneficial than product reviews by the manufacturer. It will also help build and maintain customer relationships, trust and an ongoing brand association. To entice current customers to write a review, have a link to a special review page under each product within your catalogue and offer incentives such as ‘25% off your next purchase’ for every review that is submitted and published. The same incentive can be printed on flyers that are sent out to customers with every purchase. To get in-depth and meaningful reviews, include topic ideas for your customers to write about and prompt them to make it as personal as possible.
You can also send out new gifts with each order every month and ask for product reviews for those. This will keep your customers entertained, increase brand popularity and help you test out new products.
Most people feel more comfortable ordering sex toys if they don’t have to worry about the postman or the neighbours finding out. Many pleasure product companies operate under a totally inconspicuous name which appears on the packaging as well as on credit card bills. SexToy.co.nz, for example, operates as “House of Fun”, with credit cards only showing a reference of “HOF”. Market this privacy strategy on your website to help potential customers feel secure.