As winter turns to spring, and the weather gets a little hotter, people get a lot steamier. Spring is clinically proven to be a time when people experience a physical, spiritual and emotional awakening. Inevitably, their sex drives follow suit. This re-activated sexual energy ignites their libido and the curiosity to break out of sexual ruts. All of this amounts to an excellent opportunity for retailers to help customers harness their sexual energy, ignite that curiosity, and purchase the right products. Many people find themselves living in a place of sexual complacency. Let me explain how to break this cycle.
The year 2020 has changed the way people behave in so many unique ways. We have found new systems to date and even to have sex. While so many have been quarantined in their homes, we need new inspiration to feel sexy. Sex toys have made their way into mainstream media, and have become a household conversation. Because of all of this, the way sex toys are sold also needs to evolve.
Right now, curiosities are sparking. Retailers need to take the opportunity to help people begin to explore their curiosities. Selling adult products is not about stacking the shelves; it is about selling an experience.
You are bringing confidence and curiosity to the customer with every successive purchase.
Here are four tips on how you can help your customer make their next purchase before they even realize what they are looking for!
Stay up-to-date on trending topics and why the topic is trending
Many people make purchases around what is trending in the media. Think about how the BDSM world changed after “Fifty Shades of Gray” became a bestseller. With the popularity of books and movies, BDSM has become accepted and enfolded more deeply into mainstream conversation. With this progression, people feel more comfortable having conversations with their partners that they might not have had before, leading them into retail stores for new and exciting products.
Currently, millennials are the ones steering the progression of sexual exploration. As this generation of sexual pioneers peruses the aisles, either in your store or virtually, retailers need to be aware of what millennials are influenced by, and what is causing them to react. For example, gender fluidity has never been more accepted. Toys that blur the line between male/female or the traditional gender roles are becoming more the norm.
Be the trendsetter
Staying up-to-date with trends will keep your retail store in the game, but being the trendsetter will make all the difference. Being aware of what is trending today, and possessing the knowledge of how all your products go together, directly illustrates what customers will be looking to explore next.
Create a landing page that steers customers’ attention to the items you feel they have not even thought of yet. Staying one step ahead of the curve will send the message to your customers that you are the authority in the sex industry that they have been looking for. Customer loyalty will build as they begin looking to your expertise to open their minds toward the next exciting experience.
To use the prior example, the progression of gender fluidity has opened the door for all to seek the pleasures that sex toys offer. There is a misconception that sex toys are only for females. Nowadays, we’re seeing the introduction of masculine-looking massagers that are opening the door for males to embrace the idea of using sex toys to indulge in pleasure.
Full customer experience
Through the pandemic, people have shifted to purchasing online. Yes, there is an obvious element of convenience, confidentiality, and for many, a renewed emotional safety that made this a preferred choice. Being in the industry, we sometimes forget what it is like for the consumer to commit to these purchases. We become immune to the taboo that many still feel about sex toys.
With this being said, it is no secret that visiting a brick-and-mortar store offers a unique experience. Customers still need to be reminded of this excitement. Purchasing in person can open the customer’s mind to ideas that they may not have considered. Looking at all the items on the shelf, it can be exciting and arousing in and of itself! Sometimes motivating the customer to talk about what it is they are into, or are excited by, can be very challenging. However, this personal interaction affords the customer the ability to explore and experience products they may not have ever considered. It is the retailer’s efforts here that make all the difference — a difference that creates an open conversation between the associate and customer, allowing them to feel comfortable talking about new and exciting avenues.
Yes, of course some customers may not want to interact with an associate, but those that do will inevitably benefit from an elevated experience in the form of expertise and familiarity with their products.
The bottom line here is that learning what the customer has been drawn to in the past can help you introduce them to the next great toy; the next experience. Helping them brainstorm about key accessories and helping them learn how sex toys can go together may be the thing that unlocks a series of wonderful sexual realities for the customer.
The introduction of mutual pleasure
Going beyond the service and becoming an authority figure in the industry means you need to know what a consumer will want before they even want it. It becomes the retailer’s job to help educate the customers on what can be possible in the bedroom.
The introduction of couple’s play sets or toys that both partners can enjoy is one example that opens the customer’s eyes to the idea that the same toy can satisfy both people. Try placing these items in key areas in the store to re-enforce this concept. The result will no doubt be that these products will fly off the shelves.
In summary, spring is approaching, and things are heating up! It is important for retailers to understand that people are impacted by the media, current trends, and the societal acceptance of new sexual topics. Toys are escalating as a household item. Retailers can capitalize on helping customers accept new ideas around sex toys through understanding current trends, setting new trends, and becoming an authority figure with ideas to enhance any situation.
Retailer Tips for Flourishing Springtime Sales by Melinda DeSeta originally appeared in XBIZ