I often wonder if others will be doing the same, particularly if they haven’t gifted pleasure products at all in the past. Based on the sales trends we’ve seen so far in 2020, coupled with some key statistics revealed in a survey conducted by CalExotics, I believe this year could be the year of the pleasure product gift exchange.
Before I summarize the reasons why I feel this way, allow me to share some of the key insights from CalExotics’ survey on gifting sex toys.
- 88 percent of people say they would be open to receiving a sex toy as a gift from a romantic partner, with the vast majority saying they’d be “thrilled” or “intrigued” about it.
- Almost half of those surveyed said that they would be receptive to receiving a sex toy as a gift from a friend. In fact, nearly 30 percent said they would be “happy” about it, while another 20 percent said they would be “embarrassed but secretly excited.”
- Men are more likely to feel intrigued about receiving a sex toy from a partner.
- Single folks were more likely to have given a sex toy as a gift.
The above stats show glowing interest in receiving sex toys, but were people actually giving them as gifts? Yes, but not as much as you’d think. Only one in three people had actually given a sex toy as a gift. But I tend to think that number is about to boost big-time this holiday season, and here’s why:
Long-distance relationships rely on them. Our team has fielded multiple interviews from mainstream media about this very subject. Long-distance couples have been separated for quite some time now, and the intimacy playing field has shifted for these couples. Without the ability to physically connect in person, virtual sex and phone sex are on the rise, so gifting your significant other a pleasure product may be another way of saying, “I still want to bring you pleasure, even if we can’t be together in person right now.”
Couples who live together need to break the monotony. Pleasure products have been “spicing things up” for couples for as long as I can remember. In a time when couples are home with each other all day every day, however, there’s a greater need for bringing new excitement into the bedroom.
Singles deserve pleasure too. Quarantining can be challenging and incredibly lonely for those doing it alone. Having a pleasure product can help relieve stress and offer that much-needed boost of endorphins we could all use right now. If you have some single friends quarantining alone who have been complaining about their non-existent sex lives, a sex toy can help put a smile on their face.
As an industry, it is our job to make pleasure products gift exchanges a reality this holiday season, and I am here to help with four easy tips for retailers:
- Transform your store into a holiday wonderland of pleasure. For brick-and-mortar retailers, try decorating your store for the holidays. Use holiday décor in window displays, tabletops and even end-caps. For online retailers, have holiday theme imagery on your site. Have dedicated pages for holiday-theme gift ideas. All of this will help put shoppers in the holiday spirit.+
- Give your social media a holiday theme. Consumers are spending more time on social media, so it’s important to showcase the holiday theme on all your social media channels. At CalExotics, during the month of December, “Callie, the naughty elf of the shelf” pays us a visit. We post a new picture of our naughty elf getting into some crazy, pleasure-product-related mischief every day. This always gets a lot of attention, as it is a great mix of pleasure products, fun holiday traditions and a few laughs.
- Make gifting easy. Offer holiday gift guides and stocking-stuffer ideas. Dedicate a section in-store or online for the top holiday gift ideas. This can include classic, best-selling items or new, innovative products. Providing suggestions and ideas is a great way to have consumers thinking about pleasure products as a gift. Also, remind shoppers that it’s OK to buy one for themselves too. After all, it is the season of giving, so why not give a little something to yourself!
- Add value for your customers. Offer gift-wrap options in-store or allow online shoppers to add a special message to their gift purchases. Offering incentives like a gift with purchase is a great way to add value for your customers, making them feel special. Deals and sales are also great for the holidays. Just like mainstream retailers, you can offer Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals or holiday sales to encourage your customers to shop.
Will 2020 be the year of the pleasure-product gift exchange? I suppose time will tell. But one thing is for sure — together as an industry, we’ll make this a pleasurable season for many people — and that’s important now more than ever. Happy holidays to you and yours!