A few years ago, we all saw the dawn of the suction/air pulse toy category. It was new, exciting and a revolution in the sex toy game. Manufacturers had a new range to focus on, and retailers had exciting new toys to debut in their shops, leaving the consumer with a new toy that brings a little something special to their toy box.
What makes suction and air pulse toys such a key category right now? Much like the wand or rabbit, this toy category is here to stay. It’s exciting to add a new range to the list of core top sellers — we don’t see that type of movement on metrics very often. The wand and rabbit are well-known, go-to favorites. Customers know and ask for them based on their legendary acceptance by shoppers of all kinds. By adding the suction/air pulse category, the wand and rabbit have rounded out into a trifecta of top sellers.
Much like the wand or rabbit, this toy category is here to stay.
Offering a range of suction toys in stores is as important as any other category. Originally stores may offer one or two styles, but with rapidly emerging technology and more options, this section of a store can be just as big as any other top seller. We often focus on creating toys for the end-user, but I feel this category allows the lines to blur when we are looking at who the end-user is. Make sure to mix up the brands you carry with newer items like this. Core top sellers will always have a place in your store; this is a perfect opportunity to try new manufacturing partnerships.
This is the first handheld, female-friendly toy that most accurately mimics human interaction during foreplay or intercourse. The entire concept of this toy is built around creating a realistic experience that you would have with a partner. What audience does that speak to? Everyone — from a sales perspective, suction/air pulse toys are something that any customer can use. This is also a category that doesn’t focus on vibration. Vibration is a nice benefit to most styles, but it’s an added feature to what the toy is intended to do. Suction toys also vary on their stimulation methods. Some of these toys perform a true suction and may offer different types of vibration to complement the core feature. Or it could be designed with air pulse technology that feels incredibly like suction, paired with different types of vibration.
This is also a toy that people can instantly relate to in a different way than they might to a vibrator. Our personal interpretations of vibration are different. Wands are a great example, what one customer may find too strong, another doesn’t think will be strong enough. Suction on the other hand, has a more uniform feel that users can easily identify with. It makes it easier to speak to someone about a sensation they are familiar with, than trying to break down more complex items like a 28-speed and function wand.
My favorite part of this category is the definition of whom it’s for. Sometimes it’s easier for customers to understand when the manufacturer or retailer breaks down the intended user for them. Suction toys can be enjoyed by everyone. Sell your hearts out, people!
One of the best retail mantras I have learned on the sales floor was “four to the floor” when I worked for Nike. The first two items you bring are what the customer asked for in two different sizes. The third item you bring is an alternative to their original choice in case that doesn’t work, and the fourth item is something you think they would like but wouldn’t ask for. A lot of times, the fourth option is store-driven — it’s something for a holiday; it’s a focus item for the month, or it may be something you have a lot of inventory of. This is such a great rule to translate and apply to our retail stores, and suction is an easy and perfect fourth option. Create a go-to area for that fourth surprise and delight item for everyone in the store, making it an easy conversation to add on to the sale. If a customer is looking for a rabbit, show them a few different rabbits and another type of clitoral stimulator. Surprise them with a suction toy that looks like a rabbit! These products are perfect opportunities for engagement on the sales floor, even for those people who don’t want help. I always talk about tester stations because I believe in them so much! This type of toy must have testers … ask your distributors and manufacturers for support. The more credibility you can establish with a product on the sales floor, the easier it will be to close the sale.
As manufacturers continue to develop more materials, colors and options for this category, suction and air pulse toys will continue to grow in popularity. Use these new and innovative products to make sure that your store or site becomes a go-to destination for your customers to find the latest and greatest.
Danielle Seerley, aka “America’s Sex Toy Sweetheart,” is the senior sales executive for Shibari Wands and Voodoo Toys.