As with any business, adult retailers must adapt to customers’ requirements. A perfect example is tech toys. Toys that connect to your phone, or that are controllable across the internet and give the feeling that you’re there with your partner in the same room, even though you may be thousands of miles apart. What an age we live in!
A lot of people, including myself, love tech. Seriously, stick Bluetooth connectivity into anything and I’m sold. I’m the proud owner of a Bluetooth toothbrush. I have no idea why, and if someone could explain what the point of it is, I’d really appreciate it! But these techy features are becoming commonplace in the industry and people are always hunting for something new.
[Consumers] want to be thrilled both in the first few seconds of opening the packaging and the first few moments beneath the sheets.
Yet while it’s great to have a toy crammed with features, it’s not as exciting as it once was. That’s not to say the toys aren’t as innovative, just that techy app-based toys are becoming the norm, so experienced toy users are searching for the next big thing.
As a retailer and wholesaler, I’m seeing a new demand in adult products and among customers in Europe: People are looking for pretty. They want something that will look beautiful on their nightstand, as well as feel amazing during use. They want dazzling products that look just as good as they feel. I’ve seen hundreds of stunning toys over my years in the industry, but many of them just don’t quite live up to the claims. Some may leave the user feeling unfulfilled and even a little disappointed, and we all know how frustrating that can be!
Getting the balance between a toy’s pleasure level and its appearance is tricky. Customers are now searching for toys to look like something they would buy from a designer boutique but that also deliver earth-shattering orgasms every time. Often the balance is impossible, as motors can be clunky and unsightly, controls may need to be implemented differently or the design of the toy may need to be completely changed to provide those perfect sensations the user craves. All this can affect the appearance of a pleasure device drastically and ruin this important balance. But let’s face it, there is no holy grail, and manufacturers won’t get it handed to them on a plate. They have to keep plugging at designs until they manage to achieve this delicate balance.
A number of devices are making their way onto the market, though, that have achieved that perfect balance of appearance and sensations, and these are quickly becoming favorites among consumers. They may not be the cheapest of devices, with some retailing for as much as $200, but people are seeking something new and exciting to explore, and many are prepared to spend that little more to delve into areas they may not have explored before.
Devices like this usually come in elegant, luxurious packaging and make the consumer feel as if they are buying into a concept, not just a product. Crisp, clean, bold designs help to add to this experience, giving them a fresh look and moving away from the bright pink, tacky-looking designs of the '90s. No longer do pleasure-product lovers want to settle for the cheapest toy on the market.
Over the next few months, I’m expecting to see even more ribbons, more textured packaging and cleaner, crisper designs on products within Europe. Packaging that looks beautiful on the shelf in any store, shouting “You know you want me!” to every customer that passes by. We have already seen an increase in this style here and, as more new devices hit the market, I predict that we’re going to see this trend explode into a celebration of color, simplicity and quality.
I was recently sent a sample of a rather elegant-looking device that was delivered beautifully. The packaging of the product included a delicate ribbon that I had to untie to open the box. Once I did, the toy was revealed to me, lying on a soft, smooth bed of sponge-like material contrasting against the product color. It was such an experience to open. I felt like I was opening something special, something luxurious. This is a trend that is starting to surface once again.
Customers are looking for something to make them pause and take in the beauty of what is in front of them. They want to be thrilled both in the first few seconds of opening the packaging and the first few moments beneath the sheets.
A pleasure product has to bring the most enjoyable stimulation it can, but if your product can do that and also give the consumer the feeling that they have bought into something special, then you're onto a winner.
Daniel Miller has worked in the industry for over 10 years and specializes in adult retail and wholesale. As well as working in this sector, he is also a DJ and producer, keen photographer and the proud owner of two chinchillas, a chocolate Labrador and his husband, Dave.