One of the biggest challenges facing both brick-and-mortar and ecommerce adult retailers is staying ahead of the competition — namely, megasites like Amazon and big-box stores that offer a vast array of products at substantially lower prices. To stay relevant, stand out, attract customers and compete with these mainstream behemoths, many businesses are turning to industry-exclusive brands and products, which are items that can only be found at specific adult retailers and/or retail locations.
Unique offerings: One of the most important benefits of stocking industry-exclusive brands and products is that it allows retailers to offer their customers something they can’t find anywhere else. This is particularly important in today’s hyperaggressive retail environment, where customers are increasingly looking for unique and innovative products.
One of the most important benefits of stocking industry-exclusive brands and products is that it allows retailers to offer their customers something they can’t find anywhere else.
Increased customer loyalty: Another important benefit is that customers who are passionate about a particular brand or product are more likely to return to purchase it again. By stocking these brands and products that resonate with customers, retailers can create a loyal customer base and repeat business. Worst-case scenario, they spot it at another adult store and support another counterculture business rather than some vast, faceless corporate entity.
Higher profit margins: Industry-exclusive brands and products often come with higher profit margins. Since they are not readily available elsewhere, customers are often willing to pay a premium for them.
Enhanced brand image: By offering products that can’t be found anywhere else, retailers can reinforce their identity as forward-thinking, which can help attract new customers and increase overall brand awareness and loyalty.
As with anything, while there are many benefits to stocking these brands and products, there are also some challenges to consider.
Limited availability: You may not be able to order as much inventory as you would like. This can be problematic if demand for a particular product is high, so if it’s a hot seller, make sure to stock up!
Higher initial costs: Because these products are not readily available from wholesalers, the initial costs of stocking them can be higher than for other products. Although most offer much higher margin capabilities, oftentimes offsetting the higher costs, this can still be challenging for small businesses with limited budgets, so shop wisely.
Need for marketing support: Because industry-exclusive brands and products are not widely known, they often require additional marketing support to educate customers about their features and benefits. Knowledge is power, so make sure to take vendors up on any offers to train your staff.
Stocking brands and products not available via mainstream outlets offers an edge to adult brick-and-mortar and ecommerce businesses looking to stay ahead of the competition. While there are certainly challenges to consider, the benefits of stocking such products can outweigh the negatives.
Hamed Bosset-Allen is an entrepreneur with over 15 years of brand development and marketing experience. In 2017, he founded SOS Distribution, which offers industry-exclusive brands with formulations for all genders and couples.